During the summer months, I enjoy spending time in my garden in the evenings, just as dusk settles in.  I love the warm dry heat, without the bright sun beating down on me.  I like how the light from the setting sun brings a new dimension to the garden.

One of my ‘Desert Museum’ Palo Verde trees is a late bloomer and is still in full flower, which this bee is taking full advantage of.  I love how the sunlight shines through it’s delicate yellow petals.
My attention is drawn to another one of my favorite trees, my Palo Blanco (Acacia willardiana).  The common name, translated into English means ‘white stick’, which refers to the white trunk.  I have three of these trees and I walked over to see the delicate foliage and seed pods.
While I was standing there, my attention was captured by what was going on higher up in the tree.  There were two hummingbirds enjoying the setting sun, just as I was.
I couldn’t believe how close I was and they were aware of my presence, but I think that they were so focused on each other, they could care less about a human standing nearby.
Because of the lighting, I could not tell what color they were to identify what species they were.  I would make a guess that they were Anna’s though.  I am sure they are a mating pair.  I wonder where they have built their nest?  I will have to keep my eyes open.
I have never photographed two hummingbirds together and was so excited – I could hardly believe my luck in getting a picture of them.  On my way back through the garden, my attention was captured by the last bloom of my English Rose, Abraham Darby.  I say that it is the last bloom, because it will not produce more roses until late September, when the summer heat begins to abate.  
The bloom was quite small, but lovely just the same.  **The heat of summer causes the rose blooms to open too rapidly, before the petals have fully formed.  
Before, I went back inside, I went to see how much larger our pumpkin has grown.  We have had so much fun growing pumpkins, even though it will be ready far before October.  But, my kids wanted to try growing them early, and they are having so much fun seeing how quickly it has grown.  You can read more about our ‘escaped pumpkin’ here if you like.
Here is what our pumpkin looked like one week ago…
 
And here is what 7 days of growth looks like….
Isn’t it amazing?  We are so proud of our little ‘escaped’ pumpkin.
As I prepared to go inside, I noticed that one of our sunflowers is beginning to open.  
It’s face points east, ready to welcome the start of a new day.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, 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. Edith Hope
    Edith Hope says:

    Dear Noelle, Like you, I love to be in the garden on a summer's evening especially after the heat of the day and at that moment when the light begins to fail. Magical. And, of course, one sees so much – more, Ibelieve, than at other times. Certainly that is so in this case, not least on account of the possibly mating birds. I do hope that you discover a nest.

    Reply
  2. Curbstone Valley Farm
    Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    Our garden at our home in the Central Valley was so important to us, especially at night. It was the first garden we installed lighting in, because after the heat of the day was done, that was when we could finally enjoy it.

    Your hummingbird photo is lovely. I love their little silhouettes against the sky.

    Go pumpkin! It's grown a lot in a week! I can't wait to see how large it gets…

    Reply
  3. Kyna
    Kyna says:

    I LOVE the hummingbird photo! I haven't ever seen two of them sitting together, they must be a mating pair. I've seen two hummingbirds fighting in mid-air but that's about it.

    I want to try growing a pumpkin so much! I should just go ahead and do it next year. I have a whole yard for it to grow in, I don't know why I'm so worried about space lol

    Reply
  4. Antique ART Garden
    Antique ART Garden says:

    I take it there are no mosquitoes in Arizona Missy ? I cannot enjoy evening in my garden ever, as they are in major attack mode then. Great hummingbird photo, and I love the sunflower one , take care, Gina

    Reply
  5. Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    Noelle, your evening garden is serene! I like the yellow blooms also…so bright with the light shining through! And yes, you are truly fortunate to photo the two hummingbirds…I keep praying for ONE, let along TWO!!!
    Your pumpkin is really growing as well. Nice progress!
    Hope all is well with Kai and the rest of your family. I injured my knee causing me to hobble around on crutches. It makes me think of your your little one, dealing with so much more but always so sweet.

    Reply
  6. Ami
    Ami says:

    Noelle: Gorgeous evening garden pictures! Humming birds picture is so precious, you are very lucky!

    My roses are also going through the heat stress, only produces flowers occassionally except the double delight. Your sun flower is really amazing. I think I will grow some next year with kids.

    Reply
  7. debsgarden
    debsgarden says:

    Near dusk is my favorite time to walk in the garden. The air is cooler, and the light is magical. I enjoyed seeing all of your plants and also the hummingbirds! The pumpkin is looking great, and the sunflower pic is gorgeous! Happy summer!

    Reply
  8. Annelie
    Annelie says:

    There's nothing like morning and evening light for good pictures. Yours are magical.
    Absolutely love the one with the bee, and the tree with the hummingbirds. I have never caught humming birds two at the time, or, still. The lower hummingbird looks as if it is looking up at the other one. So cute.

    Reply
  9. Turling
    Turling says:

    The evenings are the best during the summer around here, as well. We pick up a little breeze about 4 pm that continues until about 7. When it's in the triple digits during the day, the cooler evening is most welcome.

    Love that pumpkin, by the way. Only seven days??

    Reply
  10. Teresa O
    Teresa O says:

    Gardens in the evening hold such enchantment. What a capture of two hummingbirds. They seem to be staring so intently at each other. Loved the photos showing the growth of your pumpkins in just 7 days.

    Have a wonderful Sunday, Noelle.

    Reply
  11. Becca
    Becca says:

    Oh I love the sunflower! I've seen a neighbor down the street grow those here too, so I would love to give it a try, but I don't know much about planting them. 🙂 Have a great weekend.

    Reply
  12. Diana (Di)
    Diana (Di) says:

    Noelle, there is no place we would rather be than in our garden and especially in the evening! There are few words to describe the pleasure.

    The children must be excited about the pumpkin. And look at that beautiful sunflower! It is supposed to be in the low 80's here today, so our work will get done early. We hope you are having a most enjoyable weekend.

    Reply
  13. Floridagirl
    Floridagirl says:

    Beautiful shots, Noelle! Love that hummingbird capture. By the way, the Palo Verde is grown here is Central Florida but are not extremely common. Since I've been reading your blog, I think of you and the Arizona desert every time I pass one.

    Reply
  14. Crystal Rose
    Crystal Rose says:

    Your photos are great! really love the sunlight morning effect. Your place looks perfect for vegetable planting because of your pumpkin. It's fast to grow on your garden while on our garden it takes 14 days to grow as big as that one. Your place is relaxing too.

    Reply

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