In May the Master Gardener’s had a Garden Tour and those gardens are reopened this fall, one each Friday, to the Master Gardener’s. It’s fun to see the gardens in their Autumn Attire, rather the Sparkling Springtime newness.
Here’s three pictures from last week’s and this week’s gardens.
There are many layers to this grouping: Sweet potato vine and profusion zinnias in the front, the pink and green cleome and light purple Mexican petunias in the back, and then the dark purple of morning glories in the very back.
A border of Turk’s Cap – the hummingbirds love the red flowers. I bought one of these plants on sale last night at Lowe’s – the label says 5’ x 5’. But I saw one today that was easily taking up a 12’ x 12’ area. I think I know where I can plant mine, but I’ll likely have to trim it from time to time.
American Beautyberry bush – the bright berries against the green leaves is very striking. I’m told you can make jam from the berries.
This year I planted several types of cut flowers into my raised bed, but only a few seeds actually grew. I don’t think I kept the seeds moist enough during their critical germination window. So I have only 4 snapdragons, 3 bachelor buttons, and several zinnias from all the seeds I spread.
The zinnias have gone wild, though! I planted two varieties, Giant Doubles and Candy Cane Zinnias. I’ve had to use metal plant stakes to hold them up – they are easily 2 feet tall.
While working in the yard this morning, I noticed these red flowers & vines growing through the fence from the neighbor’s yard.
Aren’t the flowers pretty? My Master Gardener’s group identified it as Red Cypress Vine and said that the hummingbirds love them. Further research reveals that it needs a trellis or something to vine around (they grow like morning glories) and that it can get very tall and be rather invasive if you let it self seed. It also needs a fair amount of water, so I’m going to have to consider carefully about whether I want to grow that in my yard or not. My ultimate goal is to have gardens that need no hand watering, native adaptive plants. Somehow I doubt Red Cypress Vine qualifies. But it certainly is a lovely looking flower. I’ll have to see how my neighbor is growing it, as I don’t see any trellis poking up over the fence that it could fine on.
One year from yesterday (October 3rd, 2009) we arrived here in Sierra Vista, feeling more than just a bit shell-shocked and lost. A year later life is much improved, although I think we both (Bill and I) would move back east in a heartbeat. It’s not all that bad here in Arizona; we just miss family and the sense of normalcy that familiar environs engender. Every now and then, when I’m missing the green trees and sandy beaches of Florida, I make a mental list of what I do like about living here in Arizona. Here’s a few of those things:
What I like about Arizona:
• The lack of humidity
• The incredible vistas
• Sky Islands
• The beautiful ornamental flowers & bushes
• New places to explore
And, of course, there are times I make lists of the things I don’t like!
What I don’t like about Arizona:
• The lack of humidity
• The inhospitable terrain
• The cold west wind and snow in the winter
• The lack of large green trees
• The fact that the sand is not on a warm sunny gulf beach
• It’s too far from family, especially Miss Munchkin
• The fact that rivers rarely have water in them
• Tarantulas (I’ve only seen one, but that was enough)
Last night I saw the most incredible sunset on our way home from Mount Lemmon and Tucson. Arizona certainly can have some beautiful sunsets!
Sunset in Arizona