A Walk in the Garden – March GBBD

Red Globe Mallow

As you read this, I am on my way home from a visit to “The Refuge”.  I love visiting my sister and her family and will have lots to post about in the coming days….

In preparation for March’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, I took a walk out into my front garden.  I had a good idea of what was flowering, but also met up with a few surprises along the way.

few surprises

Red Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) reaches it’s peak blooming period in my garden during the month of May.  The bees are busy and the blooms are beautiful.

few surprises

Another of my Globe Mallow shrubs, but this one produces delicate white flowers.

few surprises

And last, my Pink Globe Mallow.  If it wasn’t obvious before, this is one of my favorite shrubs in the garden.  Beautiful flowers, drought tolerant, low maintenance….what’s not to love?

few surprises

A single flower from my Valentine shrub (Eremophila maculata ‘Valentine’).  Still blooming, although blooming will start to slow and will end sometime in April.

few surprises

Numerous yellow blooms from my Desert Senna (Senna artemisiodies sturtii) reach towards the sky.  I can view these shrubs from my kitchen window.

Firecracker Penstemon

Plumes of flowers from my Firecracker Penstemon, (Penstemon eatonii), act as focal points in the front garden during both winter and spring.

lavender blooms

Goodding’s Verbena, (Glandularia gooddingii), is now covered in lavender blooms.

**I had planted a couple of these perennials in the garden over ten years ago and did not replace them when they died off 3 years later (Verbena are short-lived perennials).  Six years later, we had a very wet rainy season and guess what?  Some old seedlings from the original plants began to come up.  The Verbena above is one of the ‘babies’ from the original plants.  While I was out today taking pictures, I noticed two more ‘babies’ coming up.  I am so happy!


People either love or hate Bougainvillea.  I happen to like them, except for when it comes time to prune them.  They are beautiful and drought-tolerant.  One of my Bougainvillea was protected by a tree from frost and is now producing flowers earlier then those that were unprotected.


As I was walking through the garden, I noticed a flash of color from my Radiation Lantana, (Lantana camara ‘Radiation’).  I was not expecting any blooms yet, but soon my Lantana will be covered with brightly colored flowers.

I hope you have enjoyed this ‘walk’ through my garden.  Please visit May Dream’s Gardens to view other bloggers and their gardens who also participate in Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
22 replies
  1. Catherine@AGardenerinProgress
    Catherine@AGardenerinProgress says:

    I love the bright colors of what you have blooming, it reminds me of the colors I see in the summer. That Penstemon is amazing and how cool the Verbena seeds sprouted all those years later!

    PS My parents sent me a postcard from the Desert Botanical Garden, I told them it you recommended it 🙂

  2. Edith Hope
    Edith Hope says:

    Dear Noelle, I have so enjoyed my 'stroll' through your March garden with so much to stop and admire along the way. My particular favourite is the white Mallow, so very cool and pretty. Never before, of course, have I seen Penstemon in flower this early in the year.

  3. Rose
    Rose says:

    Enjoyed the tour of your garden, Noelle! Arrived in AZ yesterday evening and haven't had time to do much sightseeing yet, but it seems the blooms here are not quite at the stage they were last year–although we came at the end of the month last year. I am a big fan of bougainvillea, but then I don't have to prune it:)

  4. Rosie
    Rosie says:

    Hi Noelle

    Such beautiful blooms and for the first time I've noticed how many grey leafed plants you have especially those mallows. We have mallows here too , quite flamboyant flowers that seem to be a bit bigger than yours – but not grey leafed. Most of the mallows in the east of Scotland died this winter.

  5. chuck b.
    chuck b. says:

    I'm also a globe mallow fan. I don't have enough room for the ones that do well here though. It's seems to be all or nothing with those plants. They get huge, or they don't grow at all.

    Does that Verbena have a fragrance? I have a species from southern California named V. lilacina and it has a nice fragrance when you get close to it.

  6. Ami
    Ami says:

    The mallows are really beautiful. The white ones are so delicate and pure! I am very eager to start my experiment with the seeds you sent! The lantana in my garden also starts blooming.

  7. Martha Z
    Martha Z says:

    There is a lot blooming in your garden already. Just daffodils and a few tulips here. Well, I guess I shouldn't forget the grevillea and loropetalum chinense. These are keeping the hummers happy.

    Thanks for reminding me about Lantana, it might be just the plant for my steep slope in front.

  8. NellJean
    NellJean says:

    Hummingbirds must delight in your garden with so many red plants from which to sip.

    My mother was a fan of bougainvillea but had to grow hers in a hanging basket so it could be brought inside in winter.

  9. Meredith
    Meredith says:

    Noelle, I agree with Nell Jean that this post looks like hummingbird paradise. 🙂 And I can't imagine someone hating bougainvillea. Really? Is it true?

  10. Carol
    Carol says:

    Noelle! Noelle! You have so many beautiful vibrant blooms… and the light is so full and cheery. Gorgeous!! I am so envious of your Firecracker P.! ;>)

  11. BGgarden
    BGgarden says:

    The colors you share from the Desert you grow truly inspires me with warmth! I am a big fan of those colors even up north in Ohio.

    THANK YOU for sharing your warmth! I can't wait to see what spring brings to your neck of the woods!

  12. Amy Farrier
    Amy Farrier says:

    The butterflies and bees must love your garden! The colors are amazing, not the usual shy pastels of spring. And desert senna is definitely going on my list (so cheery)…if I can figure out where to put it.

  13. Janet
    Janet says:

    How wonderful to have such an array of colorful blooms. I noticed a seedling of a lantana late last season…I love volunteer, well most of them. (My front is overrun with impatiens). How lucky for you to have baby Verbena. Happy bloom day.

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