Thursday, April 30, 2009

What a Wonderful Surprise

In excitement for the iris to bloom, we watched as the tips appeared and revealed in suprise the first hint of yellow. This iris purchased from the iris sale last year, was to be Hula Hands, Red with white on the top (standard), with white and dotted purple below (fall). I am delighted that instead I purchased this one because it was my favorite yellow iris in the show this year.
The cactus are in bloom. I photographed this bee inside the flower and during the photograph he did about 5 somersaults in the pollen. I walked away as he somersaulted himself silly.

I love cactus. This is the first cactus in the cactus garden. The orange flowering aloe frost bit by the snow this winter is starting to come back. The purple wandering jew is a great plant for any location and is starting to take off. More on the wandering jew later.

I purchased a couple of bags of cedar mulch for the planting beds before making a full commitment, in order to make sure that the mulch would not blow all over the yard because of our windy hillside. This is cedar mulch and so far I love it and it really does retain moisture, alot more than I imagined. I purchased it from Growwell, in Las Vegas at the end of Cheyenne by Nellis. I wish I had learned this lesson years ago. Cedar mulch also is a natural insect repellent. Last October I met a scorpion in the hallway of our home, so I am all about that added benefit.
I have noticed about 9 ladybugs on the plants in the mulch today. I think my neighbor purchased the tub o' ladybugs at the nursery and they rode on the wind over here.

The yellow butterfly iris is in bloom in the front yard. I made mention of the white with yellow and purple last post, so here is the yellow, with spots of orange, brown, and black.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Like a Cat in a Corner

Here is a lovely butterfly iris in bloom. They come in yellow also, but I prefer the white because of the purple and orange.

We went to Bonnie Springs up by Red Rock, outside of Las Vegas for a day trip. It is a spring tradition to go see the baby animals, and because there is a natural spring, with cottonwoods, native grasses, wildflowers, a pond with ducks and turtles, it is a nice little adventure. We didn't see any baby animals though, and alot of the animals from last year were no longer there. There were alot of peacocks, though.

There were some people there, but even Bonnie Springs is experiencing hard times right now.

We went to Cactus Joes on the way back home.

It is a gardener's paradise of color and form, and always an excellent place to visit.

The wandering pet pig stopped to pose for the camera.

Always nice to get home, though and check in on the garden and the cat.

Symba is seated on the wall in the corner. He is intrigued by the moths that resemble hummingbirds that flutter in the yard down below. I hope I can catch him before nightfall or I won't see him again until morning. We have coyotes in the surrounding hills, but I am not too concerned about the coyotes because of his wall walking ability.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dreaming Blue Iris

Here is a lovely blue iris spotted in my travels in Las Vegas. It is a phenomenal color and I would love to have one for Black Mountain Garden. I have logged the location in my garden diary, and have made a note to return to acquire the seed before the landscapers clean up the dried flower heads.

Here is a close up for it's name sake.

I visited a fellow blogger and they shared about composting in their gardening post. Last November we started composting everything from the kitchen. We compost everything possible and here's what I have to share so far,

I use the produce bags from the vegetables as they are used up. The bags sit on the counter from 1 to 3 days or until it is full. The landscaping pots from mid-sided trees make great starter compost containers for the garden, expecially if you have space constraints. At my last place, I used the landscapers large wooden tree boxes that somewhat taper to the ground, and they worked great in the space and looked neat as well all lined up in sentry.

I could go big and import leaves, and nursery waste, it is just a matter of time. I am at the tipping point. For now I just have this much baking. I leave the pots under the apple tree for the tea to leach out when the pots are watered. Another note, we throw the coffee filters in too and they work their way out because they don't seem to break down, and grabbing them when they are dry is less messy.

The daisy is loving the temperature, and it reached 90 degrees today. There are now flowers on the starts taken from this wonderful daisy back in January.

I pulled starts from the underside of the plant and planted them directly into the soil, and watered them until they took. Signs that they were still alive were that they were still plyable, then one by one they started to lift themselves off of the ground and I knew they had taken, and the slightest new green appeared at the center. All together 2 1/2 months till flower.

Here is Hula Hands that opened completely today. Symba was faster than shutter spead as he crossed the garden.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Iris for the Iris Bed

Here are the new iris for the iris bed from the show yesterday. It is nice to have a theme for a garden bed. This is a baking spot with afternoon shade but too hot for the shade loving plants.

The names and photographs of the iris were placed on placards, and was very clever. This one is Wild Wings and makes me look forward to next spring.

Symba likes this spot for the iris named Puccini already in bloom. Check out the amazing detail.

The orange catepillar is something that all 3 of the new iris have in common. My Hula Hands iris purchased last June bloomed this morning.

It is a kaleidoscope of color, and well worth the wait. Next there is this unknown one,
already showing excellent form and ready to bloom. We have the first bloom of the California Poppies that were sprinkled in a couple of the beds.
The bamboo poles and chopsticks have become permanent fixtures in a couple of beds. They are to keep Symba from scratching at the seedlings.

Adorning them with marbles makes them magical.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Two maybe Three Garden Club Shows

Today was the Las Vegas Iris Society Spring Show, of course I arrived during judging so I snapped a couple of photos and had to leave. Can you imagine being escorted out of an iris show? But it wasn't like that. So here are the fabulous purple iris, and the next photo is my favorite yellow, that is all that I was able to snap. The yellow are Joyce Terry.

On the way out Michael and I met a couple of members of the Iris Society, and one was recently elected new president and soon will take office. She had iris available for sale so we walked out with 3 lovely new iris for the side patio bed, now deemed the iris bed.

The rose show was lovely and we have our favorites

This is Gizmo, a sweet little miniature rose.

This is in a container and named Orange Honey. We are learning to use macro on the camera, however switching back and forth for the long shots doesn't always pan out. So I appologize for the slightly blurry quality of the photos.

These are Playboy, and in the next photograph the pink are calledPlaygirl. Look at the ruffly edges. The quality of the photos is again from using macros. I'll master that.

Clear the palet with a simple white rose.

And a lovely yellow.In speaking with a couple of the members of the rose society, they highly praise a nursery known for it's roses named Otto and Sons in Fillmore, CA and make special trips to purchase their roses there because of the selection available.

There was also another Iris Show held at the Galleria Mall, but we didn't go. It's wonderful to have 3 spring garden shows in one day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Drenched and somewhat overexposed

It's lightly raining, with tiny snowflakes melting in descent. We don't typically have dramatic skies so I really appreciate clouds. The wind blew the iron patio chair into the house last night and popped a hole in the stucco. Gusts of 50 - 60 mph creating little patching choirs for the to do list. I love this photo. I reminds me of the coast.

These pictures are from yesterday. Here is the tulip blossom in full glory. I am going to have to relocate them. I planted them where they would get protection from the afternoon sun. Might be too bright still. I was a bit concerned about the quality of the photographs uploaded onto this blog. They seem sun drenched and somewhat overexposed. I have visited some other desert garden blogs and what I've noticed is that their pictures also have this quality. There are a couple in Las Vegas, and Phoenix, I am kinda new to this so I am not all hooked up yet.

Here are the latest photos of the cannas. They are just starting to leaf out. There are two kinds, one is orange with red dabbing and the other is a red that is smaller in form and simplier in flower. I am not going to rush off and find their latin names. I would if I were going to administer them to someone which I am not, instead I am more likely to just give them nicknames. I will share plant names as often as I can.

Here is one of the iris' that I had hoped to bloom it's first year. This is supposed to be October Storm. Let's all wait and see. So this weekend is the Las Vegas Iris Society's spring show. I had a cold last weekend, so I had to miss the plant sale at the Springs Preserve on Saturday. Did anyone go to the plant sale last weekend? Also it was State Fair weekend, and Easter.

Here is an update on the peach tree. We have peaches. I was tempted to reduce their numbers, but here in the desert the remaining ones would all fall off on their own, so time will tell what the proper course of action will be.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Black Mountain

This is a picture of Black Mountain from Lake Mead Blvd. down the hill from Lake Las Vegas. Black Mountain Garden is located in the middle of the 3 mountain ridges pictured above.

The red tulips are starting to bloom. The first 2 blossoms were cut short by what I suspect to be an adverse reaction to the amended soil that I worked into the top 2 inches of soil surrounding the plants in all of the beds. The leaves have been burned, and new growth is slightly curled and stunted. Here is a picture of the first tulip flower. Isn't the color amazing?
They are quite wild looking especially without any stems. This is the first time I have had tulips in Nevada. The bulbs were purchased on clearance and planted in January. I love the leaves and maybe next year they will have stems.
We are supposed to have a 30% chance of rain in a couple of days.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bonsai, Rhubarb and Apple Blossoms

The Las Vegas Bonsai Club had their spring show at Plantworld Nursery last weekend. I love bonsai, but I have had three and one day without watering and there is absolutely no grace. I like cactus for that very reason because with cactus, at least you get that next day.

The upcoming Las Vegas Iris Society and the Las Vegas Valley Rose Society shows are both on April 18th. The Rose Society was at Plantworld Nursery with a table set up to promote their upcoming event. We gabbed with the members and they showed us their roses that they had brought from their own gardens. Michael and I are planning to go to both events.

We bought a rhubarb while we were there and it will be planted in the lily bed under the apple tree so that it can have some filtered light and a little protection from the blazing summer sun.

Now for the update of Black Mountain Garden. The white and pink hawthorns are in bloom.

The apple tree is starting to leaf out and burst into blossom.
And the first of the penstemmon are starting to flower.