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.
Photo: Blue Palo Verde (Parkinsonia florida)
Photo: Foothills (Littleaf) Palo Verde (Parkinsonia microphylla)
Photo: ‘Desert Museum’ Palo Verde (Parkinsonia hybrid ‘Desert Museum’)
Photo: Palo Brea (Parkinsonia praecox)
Every year, the arrival of the yellow flowers is 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, is a 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.
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.
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).
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.
My favorite picture is one of the entryways 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?