April in the desert garden is, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful time of year.  Winter and spring-flowering plants (Damianita, Penstemon and ‘Valentine’ Emu Bush) are just beginning to fade and summer blooms are beginning to appear (Coral Fountain, Lantana, and Yellow Bells).   

But perhaps, the most colorful event in this month  is the flowering of palo verde trees.  

Did you know that each species of palo verde has a different shade of yellow?  

It’s true. The differences may not be obvious unless you see them next to each other, but I’ll make it easier for you and show you some examples below.

Blue Palo Verde (Parkinsonia florida)

Photo: Blue Palo Verde (Parkinsonia florida)

Foothills (Littleaf) Palo Verde (Parkinsonia microphylla)

Photo: Foothills (Littleaf) Palo Verde (Parkinsonia microphylla)

'Desert Museum' Palo Verde (Parkinsonia hybrid 'Desert Museum')

Photo: ‘Desert Museum’ Palo Verde (Parkinsonia hybrid ‘Desert Museum’)

Palo Brea (Parkinsonia praecox)

Photo: Palo Brea (Parkinsonia praecox)

Every year, the arrival of the yellow flowers are met with delight by many and to the dismay of others.  Those that like clean, pristine landscapes, without a stray leaf or fallen flower, don’t like the flowers that they leave behind.  

As for me, I like things mostly natural and the golden carpet that my ‘Desert Museum’ palo verde trees leave behind, area welcome sight.  

A few years ago, I drove by this lovely landscape along with my husband – he stopped the car and patiently waited while I took a few photos – this tends to happen often, so he is used to it.

summer blooms are beginning to appear

While I liked the contemporary entry to the front flanked by desert spoon and with the columnar cardon cacti (no, they aren’t saguaros) surrounded by golden barrels, it was the majestic ‘Desert Museum’ palo verde trees that caught my eye.

summer blooms are beginning to appear

The plant palette was limited, which works well with contemporary design.  The flowers from the palo verde trees along the street decorated the grass and sidewalk, (although they were pruned up to high).

summer blooms are beginning to appear

While my personal style is more informal, I do appreciate good, contemporary design and I really liked this pathway, although I believe a better species of agave that can handle full, reflected heat without growing too large would have been better – maybe Twin-Flower Agave (Agave geminiflora) or Artichoke Agave (Agave parrying var. truncata)?  

I’m still loving the flowers.

Victoria agave

My favorite picture is this one of the entryway which is covered with a solid carpet of golden yellow flowers, which contrast beautifully with the gray-blue walls and red door.  

How about you?  Do you like the way flowers look on the ground once they have fallen?  Or do you feel the overwhelming impulse to blow them away?  

Spring in the desert Southwest is a busy time of year. While those that live in colder climates countdown the days until March 20th, the spring season often begins a full month earlier in the low to middle desert.

As a horticulturist / landscape consultant, my days are quite busy in spring assisting people with their gardens.

Today, I thought that I would show some glimpses of a typical week in spring filled with creative containers, new xeriscapes, cacti flowers and the heavenly fragrance of orange blossoms.

sweet acacia tree

The weather this past week has been warm, in the low 80’s.  Spring-flowering plants were in full bloom such as this sweet acacia tree which produces small, golden, puffball flowers. I love how the deep yellow looks against the blue sky, don’t you?

Often, in my travels assisting clients, I see some great examples of beautiful xeriscapes.

verbena(Glandularia pulchella)

This is a newly planted landscape which stood out from the surrounded homes with its mature plants, the selection of desert-adapted plants and the nice design.

The vibrant purple flowers of the verbena (Glandularia pulchella) demanded attention from passersby. I also liked how the golden barrel cacti looked in the raised bed.  

aloe, artichoke agave and golden barrel cacti.

Another landscape that I saw this week was filled with countless different types of plants. Often, when you have too many kinds of plants, the effect can appear ‘messy’ visually. But, not with this landscape filled with succulents of all sorts including aloe, artichoke agave and golden barrel cacti.

damianita (Chrysactina mexicana)

While driving by a church landscape that I had designed previously, I stopped to take this photo of the damianita (Chrysactina mexicana), which was in full bloom. I absolutely love this plant and have several in my own garden.

creative containers

I took a few moments to stop by a small, local nursery in Fountain Hills, AZ – Verde Valley Nursery. My visits always last longer than I plan because I love looking at all the new plants in stock.

creative containers , Blue Elf aloe, golden barrel, small variegated agave and totem pole 'Monstrosus' cactus

During visits to a few of my regular clients, who have me come by on an annual basis, I saw some great examples of container plants, including this one filled with Blue Elf aloe, golden barrel, small variegated agave and totem pole ‘Monstrosus’ cactus.  

This looks so nice, it almost makes it easy to skip planting high-maintenance annual flowers.

creative containers

I really liked this container. Many people have problems growing flowers in entryways where there is not enough sun. In addition, there is the burden of having to water frequently that can lead to stains on the concrete.  

This colorful container is filled with dried, flowering agave stalks – I love it!

creative containers

One of the joys of my job is when clients invite me back to see their landscape and sometimes recommend a few ‘tweaks’. It was during one of these repeat visits that I saw this trio of Blue Elf aloe, which looks great when planted next to boulders, don’t you think?

creative containers

Sometimes, I see things that are somewhat unusual, like this Mexican fence post cactus (Pachycereus marinatus) that was forming flowers. They do not always flower in the low desert, so this was a really neat to see close up.

sea lavender (Limonium perezii)

Visions of purple-flowering plants filled my week. While on a date night with my husband, we strolled through our local outdoor mall and I saw these lovely sea lavender (Limonium perezii). They do best in areas with filtered sunlight in the desert garden.

 Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas)

Although I do not have lavender in my garden, I enjoy seeing lavender in other people’s gardens. This Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) looked beautiful.

gorgeous blue hibiscus shrub

I came upon this gorgeous blue hibiscus shrub in an unlikely place – the supermarket parking lot. 

creative containers

While not quite purple, the dark pink of Parry’s penstemon looks so beautiful in the spring landscape, as evident in a landscape as I drove by.

Orange Blossoms

Today as I drove home from an appointment, I rolled down the windows so that I could smell the heavenly fragrance of the orange blossoms from the surrounding orchards.

After beautiful weeks like this, I feel so blessed to work outdoors…

Do you ever wish you had flowers to give to a friend or to decorate your table?

Instead of heading to the store for a generic bouquet, how about creating a lovely bouquet straight from your garden?

Now before you say that you don’t have any flowers suitable for a bouquet, think again.  

Here are several bouquets from my garden and a few that my mother put together from her own garden….

gold lantana(Lantana 'New Gold Mound'), orange jubilee(Tecoma x Orange Jubilee) and Texas sage(Leucophyllum frutescens)

Isn’t this a lovely arrangement?

Believe it or not, the flowers in these vases all came from plants that many of you probably have in your own garden.

My mother created this arrangement using gold lantana (Lantana ‘New Gold Mound’), orange jubilee (Tecoma x Orange Jubilee) and Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) flowers.  As you can see, it is beautiful, didn’t cost her anything and took minutes to create.

 Pink and white globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) , Goodding's verbena (Glandularia gooddingii)

This is a bouquet that I created using flowers from my late winter garden. Pink and white globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) coupled with Goodding’s verbena (Glandularia gooddingii) are a vision of pinks and purples.

purple trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis), angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) and flowers from my cascalote tree (Caesalpinia cacalaco).

I used a small pitcher to put cuttings of purple trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis), angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) and flowers from my cascalote tree (Caesalpinia cacalaco).

 white alyssum (Lobularia maritima) , purple violas and pink bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides)flowers.

This antique milk of magnesia glass jar makes the perfect vase for sweet white alyssum (Lobularia maritima) , purple violas and pink bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides) flowers.

create a bouquet

Flowers aren’t the only thing from the garden that you can use to create a bouquet with.

A mason jar filled with cut branches from a kumquat tree looks lovely on this table in winter.

create a bouquet

Maybe your winter garden has no flowers.  Well, don’t let that stop you. A small vase filled with seedpods and dried leaves from a Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora) looks great on my mother’s diningroom table.

create a bouquet

Perhaps you’ve never thought that petunias could look be used in a vase. But, if you use a small, shallow bowl, they can add a beautiful spot of color on your table.

create a bouquet

Of course, roses always make a lovely bouquet.

Bouquets created from items in your garden are a great way to add a personal touch of beauty to your space.

So, are you inspired to create your own unique garden bouquet? Step outside in your garden and take a new look at your plants – you’ll probably be surprised at how many would look nice in a vase.

**How about you?  What plants would you use to create a bouquet with?

beautiful winter color in desert garden

One of the many blessings of living in the desert is that you can garden all year.  That means that you can have beautiful color all year, even in the desert winter (above).

beautiful garden

Drive down the street during the summer, and you will see flowering plants in the common areas and gracing the front yards of everywhere you look.  Texas Sage, Bougainvillea, Lantana, and Tecoma species dot the landscape as shown in the photo above.

Why, then, do people not include plants that will provide color in the winter?  You can take the same drive as you did in the summer and see nothing but green blobs and nothing else (below).  The landscape below is an unfortunate victim of ‘poodle’ pruning.  We are so fortunate to live in an area with relatively mild winters, so why not take advantage of that fact in your garden?

beautiful landscape

I mean, who thinks that this looks nice?  Countless times, when I am meeting with clients, they ask, “My landscape is so boring.  What can I do to make it look better?”  The majority of the time, I hear this from winter residents.  Their landscape is a riot of color in the summer when they are gone.  But, in the winter when they are there, they have green blobs and little else.

brand new landscape

The landscape (above) has potential.  The solution to a somewhat dull landscape is easy.  Add plants that bloom in the cool-season to the landscape.

When I create a landscape design for a brand new landscape, I make sure to include a variety of plants that flower at a different time of the year.  This ensures year-round color.  If you have an established landscape, add a few winter-flowering plants.  That is all it takes.

For beautiful winter color,  I recommend trying the following:

Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana) Flowers late winter to spring and again in fall it's a beautiful winter color

Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana) Flowers late winter to spring and again in fall

Valentine Bush (Eremophila maculata 'Valentine')  Flowers winter into mid-spring

Valentine Bush (Eremophila maculata ‘Valentine’)  Flowers winter into mid-spring

Purple Lilac Vine (Hardenbergia violaceae) Flowers in mid-winter

Purple Lilac Vine (Hardenbergia violaceae) Flowers in mid-winter

Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) Blooms winter, spring, and fall

Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) Blooms winter, spring, and fall

Firecracker Penstemon (Penstemon eatoni) Flowers winter into spring

Firecracker Penstemon (Penstemon eatoni) Flowers winter into spring

 Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) Flower mid-winter into spring

Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) Flower mid-winter into spring

Feathery Cassia (Senna artemisoides) Blooms mid-winter into spring

Feathery Cassia (Senna artemisoides) Blooms mid-winter into spring

Angelita Daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) syn. Hymenoxys acaulis  Blooms off and on throughout the year

Angelita Daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) syn. Hymenoxys acaulis Blooms off and on throughout the year

As you can tell, there are countless plants that you can use for winter color. If you are only a winter-resident, you may choose to primarily have plants that flower in winter. As for me, I love lots of color year-round.  My favorites are Purple Lilac Vine, Firecracker Penstemon, Valentine, and Angelita Daisy.

Whether you live in the Tropics or Canada, this same principle is true for any climate you live in – make sure your garden provides color for you when you are there.

What are your favorite winter-bloomers?

Gardeners have long known about white flowers plants and the beauty that they bring to the garden.

The color white is seen by many as a bright, clean color that makes surrounding colors ‘pop’ visually.  Others like how white flowers seem to glow in the evening and early morning hours in the landscape.

Thankfully, there are several white flowering plants that do very well in the Southwestern landscape. In Part 1, I showed you four of my favorites, which you can view here.

Today, let’s continue on our white, floral journey…

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

White Evening Primrose (Oenothera caespitosa)

White Evening Primrose (Oenothera caespitosa)

The arrival of spring transforms the low-growing green foliage of White Evening Primrose with the appearance of beautiful white flowers. What makes these flowers somewhat unique is that as the flowers fade, they turn pink.

White Evening Primrose looks best when used in a landscape with a ‘natural’ theme or among wildflowers.

The flowers appear in spring and summer on 10″ high foliage.  Hardy to zone 8 gardens, this small perennial is native to Southwestern deserts.

White Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua 'White')

White Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua ‘White’)

This is a shrubby perennial that is in my own landscape.  While the most common color of Globe Mallow is orange, it does come in a variety of other colors including red, pink and white – all of which I have.

The white form of Globe Mallow shares the same characteristics of the orange one – it thrives in full sun and can even handle hot, reflected sun.  The foliage is gray and looks best when cut back to 1 ft. high and wide after flowering in spring.

I pair white Globe Mallow alongside my pink ones for a unique, desert cottage garden look.

White Flowers for the Southwest

See what I mean about white flowers helping other colors to stand out visually?

Hardy to zone 6, Globe Mallow grows to 3 ft. tall and wide.  It does best in full sun and well-drained soil.

To learn more about this beautiful desert native, click here.

Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum)

Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum)

Blackfoot Daisy is another perennial that looks great in a natural desert-themed landscape.  This ground cover produces sunny, white daisies in spring and fall in desert climates – it flowers during the summer in cooler locations.

Hardy to zone 5, Blackfoot Daisy can handle extreme cold when planted in full sun.  I like to plant it near boulders where it can grow around the base for a nicely designed touch. It grows to 1 ft. high and 24 inches wide.

I have several in my front garden and I love their beauty and low-maintenance. They need very little maintenance other than light pruning with my Felco Hand Pruners in late spring to remove dead growth.

Little Leaf Cordia (Cordia parvifolia)

Little Leaf Cordia (Cordia parvifolia)

This white flowering shrub is not used often enough in the Southwestern landscape in my opinion.  It has beautiful flowers, needs little pruning if given enough room to grow, is extremely drought tolerant and evergreen.

Little leaf cordia can grow 4 – 8 ft. tall and up to 10 ft. wide. Unfortunately, some people don’t allow enough room for it to grow and shear it into a ‘ball’.

You can go 2 – 3 years or more between prunings. It’s best when left alone to bear its attractive, papery white flowers spring into fall.

Hardy to zone 8, little leaf cordia does great in full sun and well-drained soil.

‘White Katie’ Ruellia (Ruellia brittoniana ‘White Katie’)

During a visit to a nursery some time ago, I noticed a white flowering variety of the more commonplace purple ‘Katie’ ruellia and I immediately decided that I liked the white color better.

‘White Katie’ ruellia grows to 8 inches tall and 1 1/2 ft. wide in zone 8 gardens and warmer.  It looks great when planted in groups of 3 or more.  You can plant it alongside the purple variety for fun color contrast.  It does suffer frost damage when temps dip below freezing but recover quickly in spring.  

This white flowering perennial does best in morning sun or filtered shade in desert gardens.

I hope you have enjoyed these white flowering plants and decide to add them to your garden!  

Vine for Southwestern Garden, Tangerine Crossvine

Vine for Southwestern Garden, Tangerine Crossvine

Vines are a wonderful way to decorate vertical surfaces with lovely shades of green as well as colorful flowers.

Queen's Wreath

Queen’s Wreath

This is especially valuable in southwestern gardens where vines can help moderate the heat that re-radiates from a wall or used to create filtered shade when they are grown up on a pergola or patio roof.

Vine for Southwestern Garden, Pink Bower Vine

Vine for Southwestern Garden, Pink Bower Vine

I have grown several types of vines during my years living and gardening in the desert southwest and have shared my 10 favorite vines in my latest article for Houzz.

Do you have a favorite vine?

10 Flowering Vines for Southwestern Gardens

 

 

New Use for Vines

Last week, I had one of my best days at work.  I had to do some work out in the field, which entailed placing 3 large boulders in a high profile landscape design of a golf course.

high profile landcape area of a golf course

While placing boulders may seem rather boring to some, I must say that I always enjoy this job.

large boulders

Why you may ask?

Well first of all, it can be quite exciting.  Moving very large boulders isn’t without its risks.  There is always danger of damaging nearby structures.  You can also get a sense of how heavy a particular boulder is when the back tires of the backhoe comes off the ground.

landscape design

But, the reason that I most enjoy placing boulders is that I have several people listening and following my directions as to where to place each boulder.

Now, lest you think that I may get carried away with my power – there is no chance of that.  After a busy day in the field, I came home and tried my best to get my 3 teenagers to listen and do what I asked.  Needless to say, the ‘power’ I had earlier in the day, mysteriously disappeared  😉

landscape design

landscape design

But at the end of the day, I did have three nice-sized boulders to anchor my landscape design.  Plants were ready to go in a couple of days later.

A Snapshot of My Crazy, But Happy Life…

With the arrival of winter, some people resign themselves to a boring garden, devoid of interest until spring arrives with its warmer temperatures.

Thankfully, we don’t have to settle for ‘blah’ winter gardens if cold-hardy succulents have a spot to grow in the landscape, many of which can survive temps down to 0 and even -20 degrees F.

Yucca growing among boulders.

Yucca growing among boulders.

When the flowering plants are ‘sleeping’ through winter, succulents take center stage with their unique shapes and growing patterns.

10 Cold Hardy Succulents That Add Beauty to the Winter Landscape

Whale’s Tongue Agave (Agave ovatifolia)

While the cold temperatures may freeze back your favorite bougainvillea or lantana flowers, cold hardy succulents like these whale’s tongue agave steal the show with their beautifully shaped leaves.

Toothless Sotol (Dasylirion quadrangulatum)

Toothless Sotol (Dasylirion quadrangulatum)

During the warmer seasons, these succulents add texture and welcome structure to the garden, often serving as a backdrop to flowering shrubs and groundcovers.  But, when winter arrives, they get their turn to shine.

Want to learn more about cold hardy succulents, which will add beauty to your outdoor space, not just in winter, but year round?  I recently compiled a list of 10 succulents, for Houzz.com that would be a welcome addition in most landscapes.

Hopefully, you’ll find some of your old favorites and maybe a few new ones.

 
 

Great Landscape Design: Drought Tolerant and Beautiful!

Some of you may remember me sharing about my oldest daughter moving to a small town in Michigan back in early September – “Goodbye Arizona, Hello Michigan”

oldest daughter moving to a small town in Michigan

It was so hard to see them go, but at the same time, I was excited for their new future as they left to join my son-in-law who just started a new job as a professor at a college in Petoskey, Michigan.

The very next day, as my husband and I booked a flight for Michigan in November.  I must admit that planning a trip within a few months of their leaving helped me to deal their absence more easily.

As November approached, I began to count down the days until we would see them again.

Grand Rapids

Our flight left on an early Friday morning and would take us to the city of Grand Rapids.

Petoskey, Michigan

From there, we rented a car for the 3-hour drive up to Petoskey, Michigan. which is located at the “tip of the mitt” as the locals like to say.

Along the way, we spotted a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant.  Now this is a place where both my husband and I spent a lot of time (separately) visiting while children growing up in Arizona and California.  Sadly, they have all but disappeared in those states, but they are still quite popular in Michigan.

So, we stopped off for dinner where we both enjoyed our favorite meals from our past.

 

As we sat eating our dinner, snow began to fall.  It was at this point that the fact that we weren’t local was painfully obvious as we couldn’t stop looking and talking about the snow.

We pulled into Petoskey just before 8:00 pm and Brittney, Lily & Jeff were waiting outside for us, bundled in their jackets.

It was so wonderful to be close enough to hug them all again and I could hardly wait for the next day to begin.

Lily

Our first stop was at Meijier’s, which is very large grocery store chain in the Midwest.  Lily was excited to share her coffee drink with me.  She said that it was better than Starbucks because they put sprinkles on their drinks.

We then bought some groceries.  My job was to make her a birthday cake and we also took her birthday shopping.

Northern Central Michigan College

Next, we drove to Northern Central Michigan College, where my son-in-law now teaches.  Lily loves to visit her dad at work.

Northern Central Michigan College
Northern Central Michigan College

It was so nice seeing his office, classroom and how happy he was after working so many years for his PhD.

local pizza and sandwich

Whenever we are traveling, I love to eat at restaurants that are different than what are at home.  We ate dinner at a local pizza and sandwich restaurant where I was introduced to ‘grinders’.

local pizza and sandwich

Grinders are basically Italian subs that are often served alongside pizza.  All I can say, is that were delicious!

The next morning, we were awakened early by the appearance of our granddaughter Lily, by our bedside who then got into bed with us and snuggled for a half hour before we all woke up.  I must confess, that was one of my favorite moments of our entire trip.

Little Traverse Bay.

Little Traverse Bay.

The next morning, we decided to set out for the picturesque downtown area of Petoskey, which is consistently rated in the “Top 10 Best Small Towns of America”.  

granddaughter Lily

While the walk was a short one (3 blocks), we found time to pick dandelions and blow the seeds.

Petoskey, Michigan.
Petoskey, Michigan.

The downtown area is quaint and filled with a variety of shops, restaurants and other businesses. We passed the local park with its gazebo, a lovely church with its tall steeple and gas lights and shop windows being decorated with garlands made of fresh evergreens.

You can read more about our visit to the downtown area in my previous post “A Small Town Visit and Holiday Traditions”. 

Petoskey, Michigan.
Petoskey, Michigan.

After doing some Christmas shopping the local bookstore, general store and fudge shop, we made our way back home.

Petoskey, Michigan.

While Lily took her nap, my husband and I took a mini-road trip to visit the other small towns close by before getting ready for our ‘big date’.

Petoskey, Michigan.

We had a date with our very sweet granddaughter, Lily, while her parents went on their own grown-up date.

Our restaurant of choice was ‘Roast & Toast’, which I had eaten at the year before on a prior visit to Petoskey.  Lily thought that the cups and plates stuck to the outside of the window were pretty cool – the purple coffee cup was her favorite 😉

 our granddaughter Lily

Lily was a delightful dinner partner.

 our granddaughter Lily

We had a table located in a little alcove.

 our granddaughter Lily
 our granddaughter Lily

It turned out that the seat was perfect for lying on while eating your dinner.

*Believe it or not, I had no problem with Lily lying down eating her dinner.  In fact, I thought it was rather cute.  But, I would NEVER allow my own kids to do that, which let me to an epiphany that many grandparents experience – your standards you set for your children vs. your grandchildren are completely different, which makes it much easier to be a grandparent than a parent!

 our granddaughter Lily

The downtown area came alive in the evening with the gas light lit up with their festive greenery and Christmas lights.

Little Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan

The next day, we spent some time at home.  I found myself enjoying the view from the living room windows, where the you could just see Little Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan out of the window through the trees.

Wildlife

Wildlife was abundant around the house including brightly colored blue jays, cardinals, black & brown squirrels and deer.

A Welcome Visit

Of course, Flynn, their dog was there to chase those wild animals away 😉

My Little Pony

Lily and I spent time playin with her new ‘My Little Pony’ toy, that squirted out play-doh.

Lily

Her papa showed his love for Lily by playing dolls with her for over an hour at the kitchen table.

It was so nice to completely unplug from our busy lives and just sit back and enjoy the simple pleasures.  I helped my daughter with her first knitting project and even found myself coloring a page in her new ‘adult’ coloring book, which was surprisingly enjoyable and relaxing.

After cooking dinner for the family, I set to work making Lily’s birthday cake with her help.

orange cake with hot pink frosting and sprinkles.

She wanted an orange cake with hot pink frosting and sprinkles.

orange cake with hot pink frosting and sprinkles.

And that is exactly what she got.

After we left the next day for our trip home, I reflected on how fortunate we were to have been able to spend time with our daughter and her precious family.  Thankfully, we only have to wait a few more weeks until Christmas until they come to our house for a long visit!

**Thank you for allowing me to share a glimpse with you an important part of my life 🙂

I love flowers.  In fact, it was my love affair with flowers that inspired me to get my degree in horticulture.  I figured that life is too short to not do what you love, so working as a horticulturist allows me to be around blooming plants throughout much of the year.

As the weather begins to cool, blossoms begin to lessen, but one of the many benefits of living in the Southwest is that there are always some plants showing off their flowers.

Today, I’d like to share with you just a few of the flowering plants that I saw during the past couple of weeks, which are decorating the fall landscape.

Pink Fairy Duster (Calliandra eriophylla) flowers in spring and fall, is extremely drought tolerant, thrives in full sun and is hardy to 10 degrees F. Still in bloom in November

Pink Fairy Duster (Calliandra eriophylla) flowers in spring and fall, is extremely drought tolerant, thrives in full sun and is hardy to 10 degrees F.

Creeping Indigo Bush (Dalea greggii) is a groundcover, which flowers in spring and fall, is drought tolerant, thrives in full sun and is hardy to 10 degrees F. Still in bloom in November

Creeping Indigo Bush (Dalea greggii) is a groundcover, which flowers in spring and fall, is drought tolerant, thrives in full sun and is hardy to 10 degrees F.

The Cascalote tree (Caesalpinia cacalaco) flowers in fall and on into early winter, is drought tolerant, thrives in full sun and is hardy to 20 degrees F.  While thorny, there is a new variety with a smooth trunk, called 'Smoothie'.  Still in bloom in November

The Cascalote tree (Caesalpinia cacalaco) flowers in fall and on into early winter, is drought tolerant, thrives in full sun and is hardy to 20 degrees F.  While thorny, there is a new variety with a smooth trunk, called ‘Smoothie’.

 Pink Muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is an ornamental grass that flowers in fall, is drought tolerant, thrives in full sun to filtered shade and is hardy to 0 degrees F. Still in bloom in November

Pink Muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is an ornamental grass that flowers in fall, is drought tolerant, thrives in full sun to filtered shade and is hardy to 0 degrees F.

Blue Bells (Eremophila hygrophana) flowers all year long, is drought tolerant, thrives in full sun to filtered shade and is hardy to 17 degrees F. Still in bloom in November

Blue Bells (Eremophila hygrophana) flowers all year long, is drought tolerant, thrives in full sun to filtered shade and is hardy to 17 degrees F. Still in bloom in November

These are but a few plants that are still in bloom in November in my zone 9 climate.

How about you?  What is blooming in your garden or neighborhood?

A Beautiful Centerpiece for November’s MGB