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Summertime temperatures bring a riot of color to my desert garden and my plants are growing larger and larger.  The combination of warm (okay, hot) temperatures and summer rains means that my garden is going crazy with growth and blooms.

As I walked around the garden taking pictures, I came away with photos of a large number of yellow flowering plants, some recent transplants, and a couple of plants who normally do not flower this time of year (I must have neglected to tell them when they are normally supposed to flower 😉 

 Arizona Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans)
This shrub has now reached a height of 9 ft.  
I will prune it back by about 1/3 in early September.
 A few flowers are still blooming on my Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) even though it is not their typical bloom season.
 I just love the sunny faces of my Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata), which are a perennial that is sometimes treated as an annual.
 I haven’t shown this plant before, but I do love my Eremophila x Summertime Blue.  
They flower off an on throughout the year and I like their bell-shaped flowers.
I transplanted this shrub back in March in order to make room for my vegetable garden.  Thankfully, they survived and now beginning to thrive again.

This pretty little perennial is underused in the landscape in my opinion.  
I love how the spent blooms of my Paperflower (Psilostrophe cooperi) have a ‘papery’ texture, hence the origin of the common name.

 I must admit that this picture of a cluster of Orange Jubilee flowers (Tecoma x Orange Jubilee) is not from my garden, but from the garden of my mother and sister.
However, in my defense….I did design their garden and I do have the same type of plant in my garden, but my flowers do not look as nice as theirs do 😉
I love the tiny clusters of flowers of my Goodding’s Verbena (Glandularia gooddingii).
This one sits in the shade provided by my Green Desert Spoon.
An all yellow variety of Red Bird-of-Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima ‘Phoenix Bird’) proudly shows off it’s flowers in my front garden.



These flowers are not normally found in August, but someone neglected to tell my Desert Museum Palo Verde tree that it can stop flowering now.

All over the Arizona desert, different types of Sages are blooming in response to the summer heat and humidity from our monsoon season.  My Rio Bravo Sage are no exception 🙂

 The flowers of my Rio Bravo Sage (Leucophyllum langmaniae ‘Rio Bravo’) have a light fragrance which just makes this flowering shrub even better.

What is blooming in your garden this month?

To see more blooming gardens, please visit May Dreams Gardens who hosts Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day each month.

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I wanted to thank you all again for your wonderful comments in regards to Gracie’s story.  I promise I will post the third and last installment in a few days 🙂

You know how some people are described as ‘natural beauties’?  They look great without makeup and their hair only pulled up into a ponytail.  Well, I am not describing myself.  It takes some work in front of the mirror before I will venture outside 😉

But, I absolutely love using plants that are what I would call ‘natural beauties’ because they look great without having to fuss over them.  Now, I do love to be out in the garden, but I do not particularly like digging, dividing, pruning and deadheading often – especially in the summer months.  And so, many of the plants in my garden are ‘natural beauties’.  They look fantastic with minimal effort.  

I would like to share with you, periodically, some of my favorite ‘natural beauties’.  Today, I would like to introduce you to Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans var. stans).

 One look at this picture and it is easy to see why I love this shrub so much.  They are covered with gorgeous yellow flowers from April to October.  

Yellow Bells grows into a large shrub (6 ft. high and 4 ft. wide), with beautiful leaves and clusters of yellow, trumpet shaped flowers.


Interestingly, even though hummingbirds usually flock to flowers with red, orange and purple flowers….they can’t get enough of my Yellow Bell flowers.


I do not fertilize my Yellow Bells shrubs or give them any special treatment.  They have not been bothered by pests of any kind.
You can find them growing in many tropical and semi-tropical areas such as the southeastern areas of the United States, Central America and in the Caribbean.


They are somewhat susceptible to frost (hardy to zone 8), and mine suffers damage to the tips of the branches.  As a result, the only maintenance that I perform is an annual pruning in spring, once the threat of frost is over.
 
A plant like this has a prominent place in my garden and provides beautiful color throughout the summer, when I tend to hibernate inside within the comforts of my air-conditioned house.  I do venture out into the garden in the mornings and evenings when the temperatures are cooler to do some work.  I much prefer looking through my window at my ‘natural beauties’.
I hope you enjoyed my first ‘natural beauty’ post.  I will be featuring more in the future.
What ‘natural beauties’ do you have growing in your garden?

One of my favorite flowering shrubs is Arizona Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans stans).  The other day, I spent some time pruning it back with some little hands eager to help.  

Yellow Bells is susceptible to frost damage in the winter and with spring almost here, it was time to prune back the brown tips.

 
My son offered to help me with pruning off the frost damaged tips of our Yellow Bells shrub.  As you can see, the shrub is taller then is.

 
I was happy at how they fared this winter.  Only the tips suffered frost damage.
 

We pruned back the brown, dead growth back to growing buds.

 
I am always happy when any of my children want to help me in the garden, but I particularly enjoyed having my son help me on this day because it is more difficult for him because of his disability.

We adopted our son 5 years ago from China knowing that he had a disability.  He was born with a condition in which some of his joints have limited strength and motion.  In the case of our son, his hands and feet are affected.  
He has had multiple surgeries and it is amazing at what he can do now compared to how limited he was when we adopted him when he was 2 years old.  However, he still struggles with the residual effects of his condition.  He does not always utilize his right hand and quite frankly, favors it while we are repeatedly encouraging him to use it to build up muscle strength.
As a result, I was so happy to see him having to use both hands to prune back our shrub.  He was very committed to doing a good job.
 

How do you think we did?  My son was very proud of the job he did.  I finished up pruning some of the taller branches that he could not reach.
Soon our shrub will be reaching the top of the wall and producing beautiful yellow flowers.