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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?

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

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.

'Sierra Star' Fairy Duster (Calliandra 'Sierra Star')

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.

Flowers, Work and Cowboy Boots

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.

Cereus peruvianus with golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii)

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.

Ironwood tree (Olneya tesota)

Photo: Ironwood tree (Olneya tesota)

The property was situated along a golf course and had lovely specimen trees that offered welcome filtered shade.

Fragrant flowers of Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora)

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)

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.

backyard was wall-to-wall grass

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.

'Heavenly Cloud' sage (Leucophyllum langmaniae 'Heavenly Cloud'), yellow bells (Tecoma stans stans) and bougainvillea in my backyard.

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.

beautiful home in the foothills

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.

SRP Water Expo

Saturday morning was spent attending the SRP Water Expo, where I bought my discounted Smart Irrigation Controller.  

SRP Water Expo

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.

getting a pedicure

After such a busy week, I indulged myself with getting a pedicure 🙂

oleander leaf scorch.
oleander leaf scorch.

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.

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.

Gopher plant (Euphorbia rigida) and Parry's penstemon (Penstemon parryi) in my front garden.

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.

Cowboy Boots

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?

I have been enjoying the weather very much this June.  Now for those of you who do not live in the desert, this is not a ‘normal’ statement.  June is a month that is spent indoors, hibernating with the air-conditioning and looking outside at the garden.

But, we have had a cooler then normal June so far.  Saturday’s temperature was 17 degrees below normal.  I was looking forward to this day because I had planned to spend time pruning and weeding.  As I worked outside, the breeze felt cool…..again, NOT normal for this time of year.

Today, the temperatures are about normal for this time of year and I did venture outside to get some work done in my vegetable garden, but once the clock hits 10:00, I tend to go back inside.

Even though it is hot outside in June, there is a riot of color in the garden.  This is normal for this time of year.  So, many desert residents spend their time indoors, viewing the beauty of their gardens through the windows 🙂

 Color in the Garden

Color in the Garden ;This is my first time growing sunflowers. They look so pretty in my vegetable garden.

 Color in the Garden

Color in the Garden, My Bougainvillea is absolutely glorious this time of year.

 Color in the Garden

Pink Bower Vine lines the front entry to my house. They thrive in the afternoon sun.

 Color in the Garden

Gold Lantana also lines the walk up to my front entry. I love their bright blooms.

 Color in the Garden

Warm summer temperatures are perfect for my Texas Sage shrubs.Their purple blooms will come and go through the fall months.

 Color in the Garden

Orange Jubilee takes center stage in my side yard.  I love the lush green foliage, but the flowers are my favorite part.

Orange Jubilee

A relative of Orange Jubilee, is my Yellow Bells shrub.   It is covered in yellow blossoms, which brighten an otherwise boring expanse of a brick wall.

Radiation Lantana

My last submission, Radiation Lantana.Blooms appear March through November…..I am so blessed!

Please visit May Dream Gardens for more GBBD posts.  I love seeing what is blooming around the world.

On another note, life since my son’s surgery has been busier then usual.  Whereas I used to blog 6 times a week, I now feel accomplished if I write 3.  But, I don’t feel too badly about it.  I am enjoying my time with my son, who is wheelchair bound for at least 3 more weeks.

We play cards, watch movies, read books together.  He also has fun playing with his army men, Wii, his Legos and reading books on his own.  We suffered a little bit of a setback yesterday.  Kai was signed up for our church’s Vacation Bible School this week and my husband went with him to help out.  Unfortunately, there was too much physical activity that Kai could not participate in and he was often left on the sidelines.  He hip was also bothering him with the extra activities that he could participate in, so we spoke to him and agreed to not continue with VBS this year.   

The great news is that Kai will start physical therapy in 3 weeks, which means that he can start putting weight on his leg 🙂  Right now though, we are busy keeping him happy when all he can do is sit and lie down.

I am so thankful for the comments that I continue to receive.  I apologize that I have not had the time to respond as much as I would like too.  But, I am trying my best to carve out a little time each day to visit all of you and leave a little note 🙂

June Days….Dry Grass, Sprinklers and a Harvest