Eggs, Gardens, Cake & Chocolate….

family Easter celebrations

What a wonderful, busy weekend we had.  I always enjoy the coming of Easter and what it signifies – rebirth.  

When I first started this blog, I promised myself that I would not create a post solely about my family – I didn’t want to bore anyone and although my family is wonderful, we aren’t terribly interesting.  

And so, I will keep my promise and show you a garden, sandwiched between two separate family Easter celebrations.  That way, you can skip over the family photos and just look at the garden if you like.

family Easter celebrations

 You can see my two youngest with their cousin, planning their strategy on how to get the golden egg in the middle of the field.

Saturday morning found me with the kids at the Sun Lakes Annual Easter Egg Hunt.  It is a fun event for the kids and they always look forward to it.  I love to watch the joy on their faces as they anticipate the hunt and plan their strategy.  I don’t particularly like having to get up really early on a Saturday though.

family Easter celebrations

Easter celebrations

They both did pretty well and got quite a few eggs, but alas….the golden egg was found by someone else.

After the hunt for eggs was over, we settled ourselves to watch the Easter parade, which consists of golf carts decorated for Easter.  

Easter celebrations

I will not show all of the entries, but I will show you the one that the kids selected as the best one.

After the parade was over, we went back to my in-law’s home.  I am very fortunate that I have very wonderful in-law’s – (and they occasionally read my blog 😉  My favorite thing about their home is their landscape.  It is a wonderful mixture of succulents, shrubs and perennials.

family Easter celebrations

I was fortunate to have been asked by my father-in-law to design their front and back landscape when they had their home built.  Prickly Pear Cacti, Agave, Golden Barrel Cactus, Pygmy Date Palm, Palo Brea Tree, Baja Ruellia, Katie Ruellia, Damianita and Firecracker Penstemon are all part of the front garden.

family Easter celebrations

My father-in-law has a green thumb, especially when it comes to growing annuals, like these geraniums.


Our gardening styles differ in that he is more of a formal gardener.  His plants are carefully pruned and his garden is the ‘cleanest’ garden I have ever seen.  I am a more carefree gardener and prefer more naturally shaped plants and I do not mind loose leaves in the garden.

Desert Spoon

Last fall, my father-in-law asked me to re-design the corners of the backyard.  The new Firecracker Penstemon and Blackfoot Daisy are growing in nicely.  The original Desert Spoon (Dasylirion wheeleri), were kept in the background as they offer texture and a great color contrast.

After a wonderful Easter lunch of my mother-in-law’s lasagna and the ice-box cake that I made, I was ready to go home and take a nap, which I did.

The next morning, we went to church and then prepared to go to my mother and sister’s home on Double S Farms.  My brother and his wife, my cousin and her family were to join us all there for Easter lunch and another Easter egg hunt.  As my son put it, you can never have enough Easter egg hunts.

family Easter celebrations

My two oldest daughters.

my cousin and her daughters

I had a great time catching up with my cousin and her daughters.

We had a great lunch and then it was time for the hunt.  Tradition in our family holds that the men of the family hide the eggs.

hide the eggs

The vegetable garden at Double S Farms made a great place to hid eggs, along with the fruit trees and the chicken coop.

Easter egg hunt

Little & Littlest Farmers got a head start on the Easter egg hunt with assistance from their mother, Chicken Farmer.  Little Farmer, figured that since he was hunting for eggs with candy that his Halloween pumpkin would work just fine.

family Easter celebrations

Easter celebrations

I think this is the cutest Easter bunny I have ever seen 🙂

Easter egg hunt

There were a lot of places to hide eggs, but the kids soon found them all.

youngest daughter

Including my youngest daughter, who was so happy because she absolutely LOVES chocolate candy.

Well, I hope I have not bored you with our exploits over Easter weekend, but we had a wonderful time being outdoors enjoying the springtime weather and being with family.  I do hope that you all had a very blessed Easter.

My next post will be a guest post by my sister, Chicken Farmer.  You don’t want to miss it….

All Dressed Up For Easter….

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."
23 replies
  1. Rebecca @ In The Garden
    Rebecca @ In The Garden says:

    Fun post Noelle, looks like a great time was had by all. I like the landscaping you've done at your inlaws, and he certainly does keep it very neat and tidy. I think the round shrubs are very cute (and not cupcakeish). 🙂

  2. Darla
    Darla says:

    Your FIL has one immaculate garden!! The lanscaping is beautiful Noelle. I personally love seeing the gardener and the gardener's family behind the gardens..sweet post!

  3. Ami
    Ami says:

    I am not bored at all to look your family photos. Kids sure had very fun time do double egg-hunting! You did a very good job to design your in-laws garden, and your FIL sure have kept it very neat and beutiful! Enjoyed the post, Thanks!

  4. Edith Hope
    Edith Hope says:

    Dear Noelle, Far from being bored, I have been spellbound with this posting which is such fun. I have so enjoyed looking in on the Easter egg hunts and can well imagine the excitement they generated. The garden of your parents-in-law is indeed immaculate but appears to be very thoughtfully designed to create a beautiful whole.

    Noelle, I am intrigued to know what the blue flowered topiarised shrubs are which are along the house wall? I know that you like things to be more informal but I do think that they look rather stylish.

  5. FlowerLady
    FlowerLady says:

    What a fun weekend you had, as did everyone else. I love your FIL's gardens even though they are entirely different from my style. There is something rather soothing in their simplistic beauty. You did a lovely job designing them for him and he definitely takes great care of them.

    It was nice seeing your family Easter celebration.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  6. Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    Noelle, your family is so precious! What fun you all enjoyed together! Your little bunny is adorable. Your in-laws home and gardens are fabulous! You're very talented…beautiful design.

  7. says:

    Thank you all for your kind comments!

    Edith, the shrubs with the purple flowers are called Baja Ruellia (Ruellia peninsularis). I must admit that they do look nice when formally pruned, but they are also beautiful in their natural shape 🙂

  8. Kate
    Kate says:

    Fun post, Noelle. Not boring in the least! The kids are adorable — they make Easter so merry.

    I really love the design work you did on that front yard. Beautiful!

  9. NellJean
    NellJean says:

    I think your FIL's garden is perfectly beautiful. If he enjoys clipping and looking at tightly clipped shrubs, that is his right.

    Reminded me of the time when a friend called my husband's uncle, who was also of the 'not-a-thing-out-of-place-and-everything-regimented' school and said, 'Ben, Ben! I passed by your place and there as a pine cone on the lawn.'

  10. Hocking Hills Gardener
    Hocking Hills Gardener says:

    Thank you for sharing your Easter with us.With no family left hardly and no little ones it is nice to see others celebrations. That Easter bunny has the cutest tail and ears LOL! Wow, I do not see a leaf or a weed in your father in laws beds. They do look wonderful Noelle.

  11. Balisha
    Balisha says:

    You didn't bore me at all…I loved looking at all your pictures. Your kids are beautiful..How is your daughter coming along? I hope she's doing well.
    That geranium is wonderful!!!

  12. Evelyn Howard
    Evelyn Howard says:

    Looks like a fun day. You did a good job with the garden design at yr in-laws. I love the front garden, where the rocks are arranged and they look like a stream.

  13. Amy
    Amy says:

    Looks like your family had a great day! You did a great job designing your father-in-laws garden. I think it is very pretty and very neat!

  14. jodi (bloomingwriter)
    jodi (bloomingwriter) says:

    What FUN!!! I've never seen so many of those eggs flung out on a lawn. What a colourful, happy post. Celebrating family is as important as celebrating our gardens, Noelle. Thank you for sharing this peek at your holiday celebrations.

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