Friday, March 22, 2013

Changing Seasons and Places

Reality - the change from chilly, early spring to the warmer, dustier heart of it, and my move.

Like recent springs, we have near-record cold on tap. Some plants may be slowed - we rarely get a warm-up much later, followed by a hard freeze. But it's happened before. Steadiness is usually our rule, but ...

The next 5 nights are forecast to be near 32F, 3 of those hard freezes <28F, with Saturday night 22F 19F getting to 26F (whew).
Wild native, Wright's Verbena, and it's first bloom of the year


Reality - my house of 15 years is now on the market. Drought makes moving easier!

I have some work to make this view more appealing, though most neighbors'
versions of landscaping helps keep the bar low more attainable!
A few weeks ago, a Phlox of some sort blooming down in town
Finished brunch on the patio. The Winter Jasmine is finishing, too. Only this section
of the wall planting of it bloomed, but it's all rushing into spring.

Like a few areas on my property, I'll be making greener, more striking plant
foreground additions here, even borrowed from elsewhere on-site.

Parry's Penstemon, even though from the much warmer Sonoran Desert, this is the
first of mine convinced that warmer times are here and it's time to flower. Juicy
buds are forming on this early bloomer's stalks...the others, most more out in the
open, may be better for waiting to grow, and probably awaiting a hose!

I should have past posts on this plant in full glory, so you can enter its name into
my blog's right column search box.

Raywood Ash starting to leaf out - a poor choice, but this city loves thirsty lollipop trees, justifying via fall color or assuming they are xeriscape or native. These might not get much larger on this arid upland soil rocky grit, but they leaf out early.

And more than once in my years up here, this species must grow a 2nd set of
leaves after a later freeze surprised us. But that wine-red November color...

If I were to venture even deeper into the dark side, I could show photos of all
the habitual ornamental trees in full flowering glory. But...

...I can't end with a water hog! Prickly pears standing up, Thompson Yucca and Cholla always stand proudly as part of our regional flora. I would enjoy taking good bones like this, and make them sing with suitable companions.

Maybe a spreading multi-trunked desert tree inside the gate (you would lose the mountain view, until you walked beyond the gate...surprise is more sophisticated). Shade and another texture would be nice there. So would some softer plants below the yuccas, and the above penstemons or low, native grasses would work there, instead of that cobble.

A soaking rain would work even better! Not one chance in the next 7 days - spring here, indeed!

24 comments:

  1. David....I really enjoy your blog. Where are you moving to?

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    1. Thanks! I'm down to 4 general places a zone or two warmer, but still not sure...

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  2. Congrats on the selling of your home being official - it must feel very real now? Are you keeping your new future location a secret or what?! The suspense is killing me!!!
    Oh yeah - loved the bones in the last picture too. :) Okay but seriously???!!!!! Where will be the future location of your blog and next garden????????????

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    1. Hopefully, the sale closes in enough time so I can easily decide what gets moved and where it goes to...and all my work done! Suspense - some hints in past posts (esp. one in the last 3-4 months), but none picked yet. I wish more would add to that type of bones. Blog location - the blogs I started include "dry heat" on one, and "hell and high water" on the other. Next garden - probably my designs for others, mine likely to be a few pots on a patio or balcony, but still fun!

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    2. Come to Tucson!

      Im guessing San Diego? San Francisco?

      Is a few potted plants enough for you?

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    3. Lived in 1st of the last 2, not enough $ for those, especially SF. The other, hmmm...

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    4. Still suspense eh?! ;) So San Antone or Austin it is! :) Glad it is settled then.

      BTW I applied what you told me in regards to relating the areas in my design - I hope you approve when you see the reveal. Just wanted you to know I took your advice to heart - I HOPE YOU LIKE! You will HATE or LOVE.

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    5. No suspense, just too busy w/ work and a presentation.. But SA / ATX are ranking high...may have to split SA to be itself, then visit this spring and again in summer for a few days. One of my sisters and many others are voting with you...my sister citing live music, another even my love life (what does she...in Abq...know that I don't?), and others with work and other reasons. Less combined are voting for the other 3 places combined. Hmmm!

      Can't wait to see your design revision. Here's a quote for that process, ”A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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  3. Yes, 'life' puts us into new chapters at times. Whether we want to or not.

    You're like me, you'll be happy everyday, no matter. By choice.

    XO T

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    1. So true on each account - what we have is joy, happiness non-dependent on circumstance. Even if we get down temporarily (at least me)! "It's all good".

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  4. David, I also just moved to a new place. Still in Tucson....but a yard with much more work and more challenges.......as well as opportunity.

    One block away from Tohono Chul park.

    Unsettling to be uprooted.

    But hoping for the best.

    John

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    1. I'm about to look into specific living choices in each place. Tohono Chul would be a nice location, was there briefly in mid-Oct. Tucson has a horticultural culture and a land ethic...rare.

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    2. THe grass IS always greener. Tucson gardeners wish they were in Sonora!
      Plenty of butchered plants and bad plant choices here as well. "Hey let's plant a queen palm next to the Saguaro....and surround it with a sea of dirt!" "Let's get rid of all those spiny things.....which leaves us with......" "How about an eighty-foot Washingtonia next to our trailer"

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    3. True that bad horticulture is universal, but it's to what degree. In countless trips to and through Tucson; it is *of* the desert, Abq is *in* the desert - a huge distinction in sense-of-place. Tucson has many more desert trees / plants as a % of overall landscaping fabric. My other 2 desert town choices (both where I do some work) are in-between; my non-desert area choice is along the lines of Tucson, but for savannah and prairie.

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  5. Hi David,

    How long are you gonna make us wait to find out your new digs? Any chance of ending up in AZ?

    I love your Parry's Penstemon and the promise it holds. Many are in full bloom here, which makes me wonder why I don't have any planted in my garden. Maybe because I usually choose the Firecracker Penstemon instead.

    Hope your move goes smoothly.

    Noelle

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    1. Only as long as I have to wait - I need to decide fast! And yes, AZ is on the list. Exciting times!

      Yes, new flower stalks and buds really do hold that promise, right to so many having hairs, or fuzz, or moisture. Maybe you see that penstemon so often, you don't think to use it in your own abode? Firecracker Penstemon seems so tolerant from clay to rocky soil.

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  6. Your mention of parry's penstemon reminded me of other parry plants and to look up his story. The trail causing joy of the internet is a huge amount of its charm for me!
    David, all the best with your sale and move etc. We will all follow keenly!
    All the best
    R

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    1. Yes, I've heard about Parry...then there's Wright, Lindheimer, not to mention Lewis! Thanks so much; I'll try to document the highlights of my new adventure, wherever it leads and along the way.

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  7. Moving is always exciting AND nerve-wracking (well, for me, at least). Can't wait to see where you end up :-)

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    1. I can't wait, either! My last big move was here 21 years ago (a smaller move into this house in '98), so this will be much different. Including any garden!

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  8. All the best luck, on selling the house. Hope it happens soon.

    How exciting to be able to choose where you're going...no job tell you, where you HAVE to go. Or, at least, that's the way I'm reading this.

    I have a feeling you'll do well, wherever you land.

    Keep us posted.

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    1. It should be fun! You're reading me well, though I'm choosing a place where I can make a better living, my mindset is more accepted and marketable, a more civil culture, and a few other big things. One place I could go work for someone like-minded, though nothing so far...so worst case, I'll stay self-employed. So, some constraints, but thanks so much and I'll try!

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  9. Tucson could use your talent.

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    1. Thanks - interesting is that w/ so much talent there, I might not be needed. But it may want someone like me to compliment who's already there?

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