Over this past weekend, I found myself overwhelmed with an abundance of new plants.
It all started with a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden’s annual fall plant sale.
I brought my son, Kai with me who was happy to follow me around pushing the cart.
The best place to find great quality plants along with those that can be hard to find is this plant sale. I also like to see the newest plant varieties so that I can stay up to date.
I’ve learned over the years to come to the sale with a list or else a number of unplanned plant purchases make their way home.
This year, I was proud of myself since I stuck to my list other than one extra plant. Coral fountain, damianita, elephant’s food along with purple and white trailing lantana were going to replace plants lost this summer due to a problem with irrigation.
Ironically, I found a picture of me shopping at the plant sale, posted by the Desert Botanical Garden on their Facebook page (I’m the one on the right wearing sunglasses).
The silver lining for my husband was that despite the fact that I came home with 14 plants, most were being replaced, so no new holes or irrigation was needed.
Later that afternoon, two UPS deliverymen showed up at my door with several boxes filled with new plants.
Yep, MORE plants!
These plants were sent to me by Southern Living Plants to test how they will perform in Arizona.
To say that I was happy would be an understatement. Fourteen plants from the plant sale plus 8 of the newest varieties of plants to try out in my garden – I was in heaven.
Saturday morning dawned and we all found ourselves outdoors ready for a morning filled with gardening.
My husband and daughter, Gracie, added a new layer of compost and manure to the vegetable garden in preparation for planting carrots, garlic, leaf lettuce, radishes and Swiss chard. Meanwhile, I got to work opening up the boxes holding my newest plants.
The first new plant variety to test was a Ligustrum ‘Sunshine’ shrub.
I liked the yellow-green color, which would add great color contrast to the garden.
Several new varieties of Nandina including ‘Flirt’, ‘Lemon Lime’, ‘Obsession’ and ‘Pink Blush’ will find a home along the side of my house, which faces south.
Opening each box and discovering a beautiful plant made me feel like it was Christmas Day.
As I was opening up the boxes of plants, the newest addition to our family (a desert tortoise called Aesop) came out to see what we were up to.
He kept walking around the patio, circling around us before he would travel to the grass for a quick snack…
Aesop has grown quite friendly and will venture out when he sees us out and about. He will also let us pet him.
We were pleasantly surprised at how much time he spent with us. Aesop would walk around and around the patio, just watching what we were doing.
As you can see, he can walk quickly (for a tortoise).
Back to the plants, I opened up boxes that contained two new salvias – ‘Killer Cranberry’ and ‘Little Kiss’ which will be located in filtered shade, next to the patio, where they will do best.
The last box that I unpacked revealed a completely new plant to me, which I was anxious to try.
Lomandra ‘Platinum Beauty’, which is a variegated ornamental grass.
Of the new plants, I expect the nandina varieties to do well since regular nandina does. Salvia will also perform well in filtered shade in desert gardens.
However, I am looking forward to seeing how the ligustrum and lomandra will do in an Arizona garden.
I promise to keep you updated as to how they all perform.
Photo: Sonoran Tortoise Adoption Facility – checking out the baby tortoises.
It has been just over a month since we adopted Aesop and we have all been surprised at how much fun it has been seeing him walking to and fro in the backyard or looking outside and seeing him outside our patio door taking a drink of water from his dish.
With the cooling temperatures, he will soon hibernate, but in the meantime, Aesop has been spending more time walking around during the day as the temperatures have begun to cool somewhat.
To find out more about our adoption journey with Aesop, click here.