after the storm

after the storm
Welcome autumn!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

we're all enjoying the spring weather...

I took a walk with a dear friend this morning. It was filled with joy as we talked about the birth of her first grandchild. After our walk, we sat in the garden with a cool drink. As we sat there, my fingers were itching for the camera as I spotted one creature after another, enjoying the garden too. After she left, my husband called to tell me he was coming home for a quick lunch between meetings. We sat in the garden, enjoying lunch. As we sat there, my fingers were itching for the camera as I spotted one creature after another. After he left, I finally was able to grab the camera. Then my fingers were itching to use it because I was not spotting one creature after another. As I got up to go inside, it began.

He may be out of hibernation but clearly, he is not quite ready.

The hummingbird didn't stay long at all. I haven't spotted any nests yet but they are very clever.

This finch was very helpful, removing bugs from the rosebushes.

This lizard was sunning on the warmth of the terra cotta tortoise.

Happy Spring!

Several bobcat sitings over the last week but too fast for my camera. Hoping, hoping to see babies this summer.

Monday, March 26, 2012

if you want to grow tulips in the desert...

Forgive my obsession with spring flowers right now but spring never lasts long enough around here so I am enjoying it while I can. I am out in the garden with my camera every morning.

When we started to get interested in gardening (giving up on productive gardening because the critters around here ate every vegetable and fruit we tried), I really wanted to try tulips. I knew that growing tulips in the desert wasn't anything like growing them in other climates, but I wanted to try. We knew that tulips wouldn't come back every year in our climate so it was a one and done situation. We looked at bulbs and couldn't believe the prices. It was a little scary not even knowing if they would bloom. I decided they were too much but on my birthday, there was a lovely box of tulip bulbs. He does know the way to my heart. We planted them in our little garden and most of them came up. Our garden isn't really visible from the house so we were trying to come up with another method. My brilliant husband figured it out and it worked perfectly.
Instructions for growing tulips in the desert (at least in southern Arizona).

1. Chill bulbs for 6 weeks. If it ends up not being quite that long, don't worry. We usually plant Thanksgiving week because I desperately need the room in the frig for Thanksgiving food. So we buy in October.
2. Plant bulbs in shallow pots. Be sure you have the bulbs facing the right way. I still remember doing it wrong as a child.
3. Water regularly. We just keep them in our other garden, tucked out of the way. It gets a regular spray.
4. When bulbs start blooming in February, move the pot to where you can see them every day. It will make you very happy.

Last fall we bought a bag of tulips from It was the perennial tulip collection for $57.99, free shipping. I don't remember the number of bulbs that included but we got enough for 8 big pots. I like planting one color in one pot but you could mix them up too. The red started blooming first and are gone by now. Then came the pink, almost finished. Right now, I still have yellow, orange, white and a beautiful yellow/orange color. We have had blooms for over a month.

I know I don't have many readers from desert locations but just in case, I had to pass this along because it has brought us so much happiness this spring, not to mention too many photo ops.

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

speaking of birthdays...

I've enjoyed way too many of your years.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

happy birthday, Mr. Rogers...

Thank you for your gentle kind of quiet and respect that captivated my children long enough for me to get lunch made. Thank you for showing us that love, respect and simplicity were things we all need. We still miss you. I just want you to know that we didn't name Kate, "X, the owl", like her brother wanted but I am sure she would have worn the name proudly.

don't be afraid to buy the pathetic looking daffodils from Trader Joe's...

because after you cut off a bit of the stems and put them in water, they will change from what you see on the left into what you see on the right. Then, they will make you happy for days and days. Thank you to the kind stranger who was in front of me in line several years ago who told me about this magic. I hope I am paying it forward right now.

photo inspiration from Heather Bullard

Friday, March 9, 2012

spring is here...

Blooming right now: daffodils, freesia, roses (just the miniature ones so far), ranunculus, camellias, pansies, Iceland poppies (well, the wind took all the petals away the last few days but there are new buds ready to pop), snapdragons, lavender, violets (although they are almost finished), nasturtiums and daisies. The hummingbirds are finding the salvia. The bougainvillea is a happy pink. This morning, the first calla lily opened.

Sometimes, I think I want to be a gardener who sticks to a single themed color. There would be only white daisies, white snapdragons, white poppies. A white garden is amazing in the moonlight. But how could I decide on one color? Leave out pink? Leave out purple? Leave out yellow? It would be impossible! So my garden is a little bit of this, a little bit of that.