Tag Archive for: Baja Ruellia

What a wonderful, busy weekend we had.  I always enjoy the coming of Easter and what it signifies – rebirth.  

When I first started this blog, I promised myself that I would not create a post solely about my family – I didn’t want to bore anyone and although my family is wonderful, we aren’t terribly interesting.  

And so, I will keep my promise and show you a garden, sandwiched between two separate family Easter celebrations.  That way, you can skip over the family photos and just look at the garden if you like.

family Easter celebrations

 You can see my two youngest with their cousin, planning their strategy on how to get the golden egg in the middle of the field.

Saturday morning found me with the kids at the Sun Lakes Annual Easter Egg Hunt.  It is a fun event for the kids and they always look forward to it.  I love to watch the joy on their faces as they anticipate the hunt and plan their strategy.  I don’t particularly like having to get up really early on a Saturday though.

family Easter celebrations

Easter celebrations

They both did pretty well and got quite a few eggs, but alas….the golden egg was found by someone else.

After the hunt for eggs was over, we settled ourselves to watch the Easter parade, which consists of golf carts decorated for Easter.  

Easter celebrations

I will not show all of the entries, but I will show you the one that the kids selected as the best one.

After the parade was over, we went back to my in-law’s home.  I am very fortunate that I have very wonderful in-law’s – (and they occasionally read my blog 😉  My favorite thing about their home is their landscape.  It is a wonderful mixture of succulents, shrubs and perennials.

family Easter celebrations

I was fortunate to have been asked by my father-in-law to design their front and back landscape when they had their home built.  Prickly Pear Cacti, Agave, Golden Barrel Cactus, Pygmy Date Palm, Palo Brea Tree, Baja Ruellia, Katie Ruellia, Damianita and Firecracker Penstemon are all part of the front garden.

family Easter celebrations

My father-in-law has a green thumb, especially when it comes to growing annuals, like these geraniums.

geraniums

Our gardening styles differ in that he is more of a formal gardener.  His plants are carefully pruned and his garden is the ‘cleanest’ garden I have ever seen.  I am a more carefree gardener and prefer more naturally shaped plants and I do not mind loose leaves in the garden.

Desert Spoon

Last fall, my father-in-law asked me to re-design the corners of the backyard.  The new Firecracker Penstemon and Blackfoot Daisy are growing in nicely.  The original Desert Spoon (Dasylirion wheeleri), were kept in the background as they offer texture and a great color contrast.

After a wonderful Easter lunch of my mother-in-law’s lasagna and the ice-box cake that I made, I was ready to go home and take a nap, which I did.

The next morning, we went to church and then prepared to go to my mother and sister’s home on Double S Farms.  My brother and his wife, my cousin and her family were to join us all there for Easter lunch and another Easter egg hunt.  As my son put it, you can never have enough Easter egg hunts.

family Easter celebrations

My two oldest daughters.

my cousin and her daughters

I had a great time catching up with my cousin and her daughters.

We had a great lunch and then it was time for the hunt.  Tradition in our family holds that the men of the family hide the eggs.

hide the eggs

The vegetable garden at Double S Farms made a great place to hid eggs, along with the fruit trees and the chicken coop.

Easter egg hunt

Little & Littlest Farmers got a head start on the Easter egg hunt with assistance from their mother, Chicken Farmer.  Little Farmer, figured that since he was hunting for eggs with candy that his Halloween pumpkin would work just fine.

family Easter celebrations

Easter celebrations

I think this is the cutest Easter bunny I have ever seen 🙂

Easter egg hunt

There were a lot of places to hide eggs, but the kids soon found them all.

youngest daughter

Including my youngest daughter, who was so happy because she absolutely LOVES chocolate candy.

Well, I hope I have not bored you with our exploits over Easter weekend, but we had a wonderful time being outdoors enjoying the springtime weather and being with family.  I do hope that you all had a very blessed Easter.

My next post will be a guest post by my sister, Chicken Farmer.  You don’t want to miss it….

All Dressed Up For Easter….

I love color in the garden.  My garden is full of flowering shrubs and perennials.  I am blessed to live in an area where it is possible to have flowers in my garden 12 months of the year.  My favorite way to accomplish this is to include plants that flower most, if not all year long.

Today, I would like to share with you some of my favorites….

full of flowering

Full of flowering, Angelita Daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) Flowers year-long with heaviest bloom occurring in spring and fall.

full of flowering

Red Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica) This shrub has beautiful flowers 12 months of the year.  Blooming does slow down in winter, but flowers are still present.

full of flowering

Pink Bower Vine (Pandorea jasminoides) Two of these vines grace the front entry to my house.  They produce flowers all year, but do slow during the hot summer months.

full of flowering

‘Blue Bells’ (Eremophila hygrophana) Resembles Texas sage, yet stays compact at 3 feet tall and wide.  Purple flowers are produced all 12 months of the year.

Baja Ruellia

Baja Ruellia (Ruellia peninsularis) One of my absolute favorite shrubs.  Purple flowers are present all year, but blooming slows down in winter.

Cape Honeysuckle

Cape Honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis) Reliable bloomer throughout the year.  Hummingbirds flock to the beautiful orange flowers.  Winter temperatures slow down blooming.

Mexican Bird-of-Paradise

Mexican Bird-of-Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana) This versatile shrub can be trained as a small tree.  I have 4 in my landscape.  Yellow flowers are produced off and on all year.

Purple Trailing Lantana

Purple Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis) In a protected area (under an overhang or underneath a tree), this groundcover can bloom all year long.  The lantana pictured above, was located underneath an overhang which is why is still looked wonderful in January when I took this photo. 

I live and work in zone 9a and so the plants bloom times are affected by our highest and lowest temperatures.  As a result, many of the plants that do flower all year long will slow down in the winter and fewer blooms will be produced.  But, in my experience, there are still flowers even in January.  

Plants such as the lantana and cape honeysuckle will produce more blooms in the cold winter months if planted in protected area.  Examples of protected areas are up against a house, underneath the eaves or underneath a tree.  I have a bougainvillea that has stayed green all winter and still has flowers on it because it is located underneath a tree.

I hope you will try some of my favorite flowering plants.  For those of you who live in different climates, look for plants that will provide you with color for as long as possible.  If you cannot have blooming flowers year-long, then try incorporating plants with beautiful foliage and textures so that there is always something beautiful to see in your garden every single month of the year.

**For more suggestions for colorful plants for your arid garden, I recommend Arizona Gardener’s Guide, which lists hundreds of trees, shrubs and perennials that add beauty while thriving in our often challenging climate.