What’s Happening This Week

It’s still crazy hot right now,  97 degrees to be exact.  I tried to walk around the front garden barefoot for about 3 seconds before I scurried into the house to find my flip-flops!  Even with the high temps, we have some blooms and some veggies.

The Desert Willow has been putting out gorgeous blooms for weeks now.  There are always little goldfinches hanging out, eating the seeds.

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Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis); the center piece of the front garden.

Underneath the Desert Willow is a cute little Gazania.  It doesn’t necessarily need to be in the shade but it likes a little more water than the rest of the garden.  Since it’s pretty shaded and heavily mulched, it seems to be happy here.

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Gazania, part of the aster family

The Dahlia’s have been the big surprise.  I really didn’t know if they’d do well but they don’t mind the drier soil and full sun, so YAY!  There will be more of these next summer for sure.

These delicate little things are called Fame Flowers.  They are out in the hellstrip, that area between the sidewalk and the street.  It’s hot and I only irrigate that section once a month.  The Flame Flowers are totally happy there and I’m going to add a lot more next year.  In the background, there is a sad little desert marigold, a baby Banana Yucca, and some Wine Cups that haven’t bloomed since we had that heat wave a few weeks ago.

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Fameflower (Phemeranthus calycinus) will only grow 10 ” wide by 6 inches high. I’m so happy it’s a perennial!

 

In the same bed the Prickly Poppy’s are sending out a bloom every once in a while.  I think they’d be happier with a little more water.  They are natives of Colorado and Wyoming and are used to just a bit more precipitation.  We’ll see if they make it to next year.

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Prickly Poppy (Argemone albiflora)

 

The pink ice plant is also pretty happy.  Frank picked these out because the shiny, hot pink blooms look like plastic and he thought that was hilarious.  They’re low maintenance and don’t seem to mind the low water schedule.

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Pink Ice Plant (Delosperma ashtonii): Drought hardy and cold tolerant. Yes, please.

The Moonbeam Yarrow is having a second bloom.  I just pruned back the spent flowers, which I should have done 2 weeks ago.  Hopefully that will kick it into gear again.

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Yarrow (Achillea moonshine)

In the veggie garden, we’ve got cherry tomatoes.  Those never make it into the house because we eat them like candy.

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Cherry tomatoes, I planted 3 of these and am guarding vigilantly against Tomato Worms!

 

There is this mysterious volunteer squash.  I have no idea what it is, maybe a kobucha?  We’ll have to wait and see.

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Here’s a little sunflower among the chilis.  Sunflowers just seem to pop up everywhere.  I didn’t plant any but I think the birds probably scatter seeds from the feeders all over.

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Flamingo photo bomb

What’s going on at your place?  I’d love to see your pictures in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

July To-Do

July To-Do List

There really isn’t much to do in July.  Here in zone 7, the tomatoes, squash and peppers are starting to come in.  It’s really too hot to do much planting outdoors and pruning is too stressful on the plants. However, beans, corn and fast maturing squash can still go in the ground.  July is really about observing, maintaining and thinking about fall.

  1. Start thinking about cool weather veggies like kale, lettuce, and other greens as well as carrots and some root vegetables.  Make a wish list of what you’d like to eat fresh in the winter months and keep it on your fridge.cabbage
  2. It’s a good time to order seed potatoes.
  3. Plant fast maturing squash, melons, beans and corn if you live in zones 7 and plus.
  4. The bulb catalogs are coming out and some of them are give pretty steep discounts.  None of us want to think about February and March while we’re lounging under the shade tree with a cold beverage but you’ll be glad you did when those first spring flowers come poking up out of the ground.  Get your daffodils and tulips ordered now.  Breck’s is my bulb company of choice right now, though I’m always looking around for other eye candy.
  5. Keep an eye on your plants for caterpillars and other bugs that might do serious damage to your garden and remove what you can.
  6. Read a new gardening book.  I’m waiting on a book on landscaping with native plants by Judith Phillips.  She’s a local garden designer and expert on using plants that are appropriate for the Southwest.
  7. Try new recipes for your fresh veggies.  Really.  You need to figure out what to do with all that zucchini.
  8. Sit in your garden and watch.  Keep a little diary of what’s working and what needs to change for next year.
  9. Even though it’s hot, don’t overwater your trees and perennials.  Once every 10 days is still fine.  They’ll be forced to develop a sturdier root system.
  10. Put a bird bath or small fountain in your garden.  Having a water source nearby will keep the birds from devouring your fruits and juicy tomatoes.  Its also fun to watch them splash around and stay cool.

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    Our birdbath
  11. If you haven’t already done it, mulch!  We have bark everywhere we have plants right now but are going to be removing the bark around the veggies and replacing it with straw.  Mulch will keep the roots cooler and slow down evaporation so that water stays where it needs to be.http___www.lifeofpix.com_wp-content_uploads_2017_06_bolet-pinassa-444