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A couple of months ago, I carved out an area of the back yard for a flower garden, and planted lots of seeds, mostly different varieties of Zinnias. I carefully planted one little portion with Cosmos seeds only.
I waited a couple weeks, and nada. No sprouts.
So then I pulled out all the seeds I’d collected the last couple of years in Albuquerque – my Penstemon, Agastache, Gaillardia and Hollyhock seeds, and more. I threw them all into the bed together willy nilly.
A couple of weeks later, still nothing. (Except for the Cosmos portion of the bed – lots of encouraging sprouts there.)
Then I decided to pick up a few seed packets – Portulaca, more Zinnias, some wildflower mixes. Planted ’em all with no thought to straight rows or neat little bunches of flowers. I stood over the main portion of the bed and scattered them with wild abandonment like I had beforehand. I felt like the wind. Or a flock of birds.
A couple of weeks later, the Cosmos portion was thriving, but the rest of the bed was disappointing. A handful of sprouts that I could identify as Zinnias, a stray Cosmos sprout or two. But pretty much nothing else.
Then last week, it rained – poured – for nearly two days in a row. I should mention, the bed isn’t on drip irrigation, but I was very good about keeping it moist so the seeds could germinate.
But I had nothing on the rain.
Suddenly, I had dots of green galore. Yay!
My takeaway here isn’t that I should’ve been more diligent about planting in an orderly fashion. It wasn’t that I’m going to need to thin those when they get a little bigger. And it wasn’t that perhaps I should’ve exercised more patience from the beginning.
Nope. None of the above.
My takeaway from this is that I love rain in the desert.
One thing I don’t like about the desert? The spring winds. I thought I’d escaped the ones that hit New Mexico by living in the low valley of Arizona. But I was wrong. A few days after the rain, we had 45-50 mph gusts of wind for a whole weekend.
Which brings me to another first in the garden: First major cleanup of spring.
(I know, this doesn’t look too bad, but it’s only the tiny area by my back door. The entire back yard is littered with leaves and trash. Also, to my amusement, the welcome mat by the front door somehow ended up in the back yard. Not sure if it flew over the apartment or went through a series of turns and flights.)
Let’s take a look at what’s blooming in and around the casa:
Inside, the Echeveria on the kitchen windowsill continues to bloom its funky flowers:
A Haworthia bloom stalk photographed from above:
You can’t see Gus in this photo, but this is the Gasteraloe’s bloom stalk:
Crissy, one of the Schlumbergeras, is still blooming:
As is one of the Euphorbia miliis:
Both Chlorophytum comosums are blooming like crazy:
And the Orchid has been blooming since my birthday at the beginning of March:
It just sits there day after day prettying up my windowsill. Love it.
That’s what’s blooming around here. Thanks to Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for hosting the Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day around the 15th of each month. Check out her blog to see lots of other pretty flower photos.
If you have flower photos you’d like to share, but you don’t have your own blog, you can send your photos to me and I’ll post them for you in a few days.
I’ll be back tomorrow with an all-new Ask the Experts Panel. I’ll also have a new puzzler for you.
You still have time to guess the current puzzler, in which I asked if these plants were real or fake:
Not an easy puzzler this week. The deadline is tonight at midnight MST (that’s 2am EST). You can leave your best guess in the comments section. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after the Experts Panel tomorrow. Imaginary prizes will abound for all who play.
I hope to see you back here.
The big news for the plants this weekend was the windy weather in Albuquerque:
Most of the plants in my container gardens are growing at a harsh angle now, thanks to the wind gusts:
Oh dear – my poor Gaillardias!
They’ve been taking a beating from the wind!
The Penstemon and the Gazania flowers are faring better:
I love the blue Penstemons. Here they are in the afternoon light:
It’s going to stay windy for probably another month. Hopefully the plants can hang on in the meantime.
The little Allium azureum flowers are doing well:
I’m mostly posting these pics for Tom at Midwestern Jungle, as he expressed interest in them a few weeks ago. He’s got good taste – they’re adorable!
Tom thinks he lives in the windy city. But I would argue that Chicago should have some competition for that title. Haha, Albuquerque’s coming for you, Chicago!
I’ll be back tomorrow, hope to see you here.
Aaaahhh, I felt like sharing some photos of pretty flowers. Some are new to the casa, others are returning from last year.
This Allium, opening in one of the container gardens, is a newcomer:
Much smaller than the other decorative onions, but no less charming.
The ever-fabulous Gaillardia is back:
Bright showy flowers from May through November. I’d be thrilled if the flowers reseeded themselves all over the place. It doesn’t bother me that some people associate Blanket Flowers with weeds or dismiss them as too commonplace – I love them. I love their cheerful little faces greeting me every morning. Their consistency is a great quality in a flowering plant.
Another of my favorites, this Penstemon is back (I planted it last spring):
Gorgeous flowers! The hummingbirds love them.
And the first Gazania is back!
Woohooo! Everybody knows Gazanias are cause for celebration.
These flowers open the gates to summer blooms here in the Southwest. I’m excited to see the plants that follow them.
I’ll be back tomorrow, hope to see you here.