Last July, we had some guests visiting us from Missouri. There visit was to be only 48 hours and so we planned a day trip, packed with activities in order to show them parts of our beautiful state.
So, we took them up to Sedona, which is a stunningly beautiful area, less then 2 hours from our home. As we started the drive north of Phoenix, our friends were amazed at the beauty of the desert and marveled at all of the Saguaro cacti that dotted the landscape.
Soon, the cacti disappeared and pinyon pine started to appear and we soon saw the red mountains of Sedona in the distance.
Sedona is one of my favorite places to visit and we make it up there at least once a year.
Our primary destination in Sedona was a place called ‘Tlaquapaque’, which is a recreation of a Mexican village. This recreated village is actually full of shops – mostly full of creations from local artists. Although, I must admit that my favorite store is the Christmas store 🙂
There is just something so inviting about an archway that says “Shops” over it, isn’t there?
Tlaquepaque is a very beautiful place with many specimen trees, shrubs and plants.
As we walked around, our guests headed straight for the shops, while I spent most of my time looking at the gardens.
I was especially interested in the beautiful container plantings that they had.
Here are a few of my favorites….
Coreopsis, Zinnias and Toadflax
Coleus and Impatiens
An entire walkway was lined with containers full of annuals.
Potted Geraniums and Variegated Ivy
Did you know that Bougainvillea make great container plants? Look how beautiful they look when trained upward against a wall, below.
Bougainvillea don’t like wet soil and like to be watered deeply and then allowed to dry out in between, which makes them suitable for containers.
Indian Fig Prickly Pear
I thought this was an interesting potted plant. Now most Prickly Pear species are NOT suitable for being planted in pots because of their thorns and ‘glochids’, which are the tiny, brown hairs that get stuck in your fingers.
But, Indian Fig Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) is a thornless species of Prickly Pear, which makes it okay for use in a container.
Petunias and Purple Coneflower
As I walked around taking photos, I noticed that I was close to my favorite Christmas store, so I ducked inside….
This store (I forgot the name) features beautiful, handmade Christmas ornaments. I have bought some of my favorite decorations here.
The display above features a dried agave stalk that they have hung ornaments from.
I resisted the urge to buy more ornaments for myself, but I did purchase an ornament for our guests to take home to remember their trip to Arizona. It was a dried, red chili with a Santa face and beard painted on it.
As I stepped out of the store, I heard Indian song and drums….
Imagine my surprise to see an Indian hoop dancer, performing.
My family and our guests enjoyed the performance very much.
Especially my daughter, Gracie (far right), who in the past was scared of Indians because of their painted faces (from the movies, I think).
She loved the performance and afterward….
Posed for this picture and shared it with her school.
We had a fabulous day with our friends and on our way home, decided to treat them to another regional treat….
In-n-Out Burger 🙂