Greeted By Dragons….


As I mentioned in my last post, I headed over today to visit a local farm and it’s adjoining restaurants to view the gardens.  As I started walking towards the entry, I was greeted by numerous dragons – all flaunting their beautiful colors.

beautiful colors

Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) have always been one of my favorite annual flowers.  I remember my dad teaching me how to gently squeeze the flowers on the side to cause their “mouths” to open and close, like a dragon’s.  It is a trick that I have taught my children as well.


There were so many different colors all planted together, without much thought to design.


To be honest, when I design annual beds, I tend to use the same color of snapdragons and then pair them with a contrasting petunia or geranium.  

**One of my favorite combinations is using yellow snapdragons and planting deep purple petunias around them and finishing off with white alyssum around the border.  Or you can try red snapdragons with white petunias and lobelia.


Even though, I generally do not mix colors, I must admit that all of these colors mixed together, really worked.  It was a stunning display of color.

Snapdragons are typically planted in October and last through April in our area.  Obviously, they have reached their peak bloom. 


I spent quite some time just admiring the snapdragons and taking pictures.  But then, it was time to move on and visit the organic vegetable gardens, the restaurant and explore the rest of the gardens.


I will be posting about my visit next week.  I can’t wait to show you the many wonderful treasures tucked away in this special place.

But for now, I would just like to enjoy the snapdragons….

A Farm, Flowers and a Restaurant in the Midst of Suburbia

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."
26 replies
  1. Curbstone Valley Farm
    Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    I love snapdragons too, even though they're a common garden flower. They're so easy to care for, with an array of colors to suit almost any garden. These are quite stunning, although my eye still prefers a drift of a single color.

  2. Floridagirl
    Floridagirl says:

    I think that colorful mass works quite nicely also. It is quite beautiful! (But then again, I like bold colors.) Fun flowers! Can't wait to see more….

  3. keewee
    keewee says:

    As a child,I loved these flowers, and I still do today. I have many in my garden, which come up year after year, pleasing me with their wonderful color.

  4. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    These 'dragons" look great, I love bright colors and these mixed together do look lovely, In the Caribbean, bougainvillea colors mixed together look the most striking. In bright tropical light the colors mixed look lovely, I have noticed that in the duller light of the north mixed bright colors tend to look "clashy" and off.

  5. pamsenglishgarden
    pamsenglishgarden says:

    Snapdragons are annuals here and I don't plant them every year. I really like the mixed colors. I try to give thought to my garden design, but often find the "accidental" combinations are the best.

  6. Hocking Hills Gardener
    Hocking Hills Gardener says:

    They do make a marvelous display of color and it does look beautiful. I am always trying to color coordinate everything and do not like clashing colors which sometimes happens to my dismay. They usually get moved LOL! Yellow and blue or purple goes so well together.

  7. gloria
    gloria says:

    Lovely dragons. When I read the title of your post I was expecting something like a gila monster, you know those striped orange and black lizards. Very clever about the "snap" dragons. Lovely

  8. Ami
    Ami says:

    Beautiful snapdragons! I like the color combination advise. I will try to remember this 🙂 I have the pink snapdragon, now it is their peak time. Very pretty. This fall, I will try some other colors.

  9. Catherine@AGardenerinProgress
    Catherine@AGardenerinProgress says:

    I remember that little trick too, and have also taught my girls. Honestly that's part of the reason I buy them, they are fun 🙂
    Mine have never looked as nice as these ones you show, they are all so tall and healthy. I think they like your weather there better.

  10. Helen at summerhouse
    Helen at summerhouse says:

    The more color the better for me. I think these work quite well, they're mostly hot colors. I have a snap dragon plant that is coming up again and I'm wondering if it will bloom again too. I don't remember planting it either.

  11. Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    Noelle, I've never played by the rules re. color combinations (or most of the other rules either). I like the mixed colors…so vibrant and a breath of fresh air! My daughter squeezes the blooms to make them talk…she did it at the botanical gardens earth day festival today…had to tell her we're not allowed to do that to other snapdragons…just our own. 🙂 I have the light pink color with yellow centers. I love the vibrant colors you show here!

  12. Rebecca @ In The Garden
    Rebecca @ In The Garden says:

    Great post, I really like the mixed, colourful look, and am somewhat envious of people who can plant in that manner. I grew snapdragons for the first time last year, and found them to have a beautiful fragrance, which suprised me.

  13. Rosie
    Rosie says:

    I can vividly remember each year when the snapdragons came into flower in my granddads garden. They were just like the ones here Noelle – a whole mixture of colours. Sometimes I can keep mine going from one year to the next but I don't think that will be the case this year.

    The ones in the photos seem to be quite tall – I don't remember ours being as tall as that. Maybe its weather related.

    I too like the purple and yellow theme and I'm thinking of using that colour scheme in my annual containers this year.

  14. Meems
    Meems says:

    Snapdragons did unusually well in our area this year due to the colder winter. Most often they burn out early from the heat so we don't see them very often.

    That garden really had a colorful display of them ~~ it's making me wonder what else is around the next corner.
    I hope you're having a wonderful weekend with your sweet family.
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

  15. noel
    noel says:

    aloha noelle,

    these are also some of my favorite annuals and i do like using them with other annuals in contrasting combinations to make them stand out…sadly i don't plant annuals in my garden anymore in hawaii 🙁

  16. Meredith
    Meredith says:

    Beautiful snappies, as my mom used to call them. My grandmother taught me to open their dragon mouths, and I've passed on the secret to several non-gardening or baby gardener friends. It never fails to amuse and delight. I like them, as long as they're not overdone. Your pairing of yellow dragons with purple petunia sounds like something to try — when next it's time to plant here, in the fall. 🙂

  17. Msrobin
    Msrobin says:

    I do love that beautiful color mixture of snapdragons, fabulous! I didn't know they get so tall, ours are usually low to the ground.

  18. camissonia
    camissonia says:

    What a beautiful display of Snapdragons! I planted a few around my rosebushes last fall. They took a beating over the winter, but have since perked up with the warmer spring weather. Hope they turn out as nice as these!

  19. Rose
    Rose says:

    Do you know I've never planted snapdragons? I don't know why–they were always a staple in my mother's and my grandmother's gardens. But that will change this year, as I planted some seedlings of a new yellow hybrid called "Twinny." This mass planting is beautiful!

  20. Kathleen
    Kathleen says:

    I think these are the most beautiful stand of snapdragons I've ever seen. They look fantastic planted in mass like this. They are one of my favorite annuals too but our season is so short here that they never get as tall and full as what you pictured. I used to pinch them together as a little girl too! Fun times!

  21. Brad
    Brad says:

    I'm a big fan of snapdragons. Again something about those colors in warm, sunny places seems a perfect match for me. I kind of like that crazy riot of colors. Though the descriptions of your pairings with other plants sounds even better.

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