After a record-setting February, I think that it’s safe to say that spring has officially arrived. Plants are waking up a bit early with flower buds bursting forth with glorious blooms.
Photo: ‘Sierra Star’ Fairy Duster (Calliandra ‘Sierra Star’)
Of course, an early spring means that people are anxious to get out in the garden. I always say that spring for horticulturists is like tax season for accountants as we get very busy helping others with their gardens.
This has certainly been true for me the past couple of weeks. Staying up until 1 a.m. in the morning and then up early the next morning for the next appointment and afternoons spent designing landscapes and writing articles – I can hardly see straight at the end of the day.
I thought that I would give you a snapshot of the past 10 days.
It all started with an early morning meeting with a landscape committee regarding adding come color to the entry areas of a community. An hour later, I was standing in the middle of a busy street, dodging traffic while taking multiple photographs of sixteen different corner landscapes.
Photo: Cereus peruvianus with golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii)
Later that morning, I met with some clients who had a lovely home and a landscape with ‘good bones’, but that needed some more color according to the clients.
Photo: Ironwood tree (Olneya tesota)
The property was situated along a golf course and had lovely specimen trees that offered welcome filtered shade.
Photo: Fragrant flowers of Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora)
As I walked around the landscape taking photographs for my report, I took some time to stop and smell the fragrant blossoms of their Texas mountain laurel, which smelled like grape candy.
Photo: Pink bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides)
The next day, I visited a family who needed help redesigning their backyard. However, as I approached the front door, my attention was caught by the beautiful pink bower vine that was blooming in the courtyard.
I spent that Wednesday working on designs and reports.
The next day, I visited a lovely ranch style home. The backyard was wall-to-wall grass and the homeowner wanted to create a border around the entire yard filled with flowering shrubs and perennials.
Photo: ‘Heavenly Cloud’ sage (Leucophyllum langmaniae ‘Heavenly Cloud’), yellow bells (Tecoma stans stans) and bougainvillea in my backyard.
As a flower type of girl myself, this was a fun design to get to work on. I created a plant palette that included white and pink gaura (Gaura lindheimeri), purple lilac vine (Hardenbergia violaceae), tufted evening primrose (Oenothera caespitosa), firecracker penstemon (Penstemon eatonii), pink trumpet vine (Podranea ricasoliana), andangelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) among others to ensure year round blooms.
Friday found me at a beautiful home in the foothills where the client had recently moved in. She wanted help adding more color as well as symmetry to the landscape. This was a large project that was split up into four separate designs/reports.
Saturday morning was spent attending the SRP Water Expo, where I bought my discounted Smart Irrigation Controller.
There were numerous displays, each with a focus on saving water in the landscape.
I saw many people I knew and walked away with my new irrigation controller, which will save water in my landscape. You can learn more about this controller and the Expo here.
After such a busy week, I indulged myself with getting a pedicure 🙂
This week was spent working on creating designs and reports for all of my consults the week before. I did have a few appointments, one of which, involved issues with problems with the turf areas in HOA common areas during which, I spotted more suspected cases of oleander leaf scorch.
This area of Phoenix is seeing a lot of cases of this bacterial disease for which there is no known cure. Affected oleanders typically die within 3 – 4 years from when they first show symptoms.
Photo: Gopher plant (Euphorbia rigida) and Parry’s penstemon (Penstemon parryi) in my front garden.
At home, my own landscape is having some work done. Our 15-year-old drip irrigation system is being replaced. The typical life span of a drip irrigation system is typically 10 – 15 years, so when ours started developing leaks and the valves also began to leak, we knew it was time. So, my garden currently has trenches running through it with PVC pipe everywhere. It will be nice to have it finished and working soon.
On another note, my little grandson, Eric, is now 13 months old. He is a bright ray of sunshine in my life and helps me to keep life in perspective when the busyness of life threatens to overwhelm me.
I am so blessed to have a front row seat as he is learning and discovering the world around him.
I think he would like his own pair of cowboy boots, don’t you?