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Have you ever had the experience of receiving an unexpected bouquet?

I’ve been blessed to have gotten bouquets throughout my life from my wonderful husband, my children, and in the past – from a boyfriend or two.

But recently, I was presented with a bouquet from an unlikely source.

If you look up the definition of the word, ‘bouquet’, it states “an attractively arranged bunch of flowers, especially one presented as a gift or carried at a ceremony.”

This spring, I was delighted to see that my garden had presented me with an unexpected bunch of flowers – in other words, a bouquet.

This area in my front garden has a lovely Sandpaper Verbena (Glandularia rigida), which is a ground cover with vibrant purple flowers. It blooms spring through fall and thrives in full sun.

I planted the Sandpaper Verbena, however, I didn’t add the other flowers in this area.

Last year, I noticed the white flowers of Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) growing up in the middle of the Verbena. It came from a seed from a nearby plant that alighted in this area and grew in the presence of irrigation.

I liked the look and as the plants were doing well together, I left them to their own devices.

Well evidently, someone else wanted to join the party. Enter, Angelita Daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) that came up on its own. I have several throughout the landscape and they do self-seed sometimes.

I absolutely adore colorful plants and I must say, I am so happy with this bouquet growing in my garden. As long as they play nice and one doesn’t try to take over the other, they can remain.

Who knows who will show up in my living bouquet next year?

Globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

Living in the desert southwest has many advantages, including being able to have a landscape filled with blooming plants all winter long when gardens throughout much of the country are brown or covered in a layer of snow.

Over the weekend, I stepped out into my garden to see how my plants were doing and took photos of those that were flowering.

**I’ve provided links to earlier blog posts where you can learn more about these plants and see if they deserve a home in your landscape.

First, were the globe mallow, which are just beginning to produce their colorful blooms. While the most common type produces orange flowers, they do come in other colors as well. I have red, pink, and white ones in my garden. You can learn more about this plant in an earlier blog post.

Angelita Daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis)

Despite its small size, angelita daisy is a small powerhouse in the landscape that blooms off and on all year long. They thrive in full sun and look great when grouped next to boulders. During my walk through the garden, I discovered that this one has a volunteer Parry’s penstemon (Penstemon parryi) growing next to it. I’ll leave it alone as they will look great together.

Firecracker Penstemon (Penstemon eatonii)

This perennial delights hummingbirds with its red-orange blooms that appear in January and last well into spring. There are many different kinds of penstemon, which thrive in drought-tolerant gardens and firecracker penstemon is by far, my favorite. 

Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum)

The delicate flowers of this ground cover don’t look like they can survive the intense heat of the desert garden, but blackfoot daisy thrives all year long with little fuss. I have mine growing alongside boulders and at the base of cactuses. I haven’t been able to determine exactly when they are supposed to bloom because mine always seem to be flowering. 

Purple/White Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis ‘Purple’ and ‘Alba’)

This groundcover form of lantana is a popular staple in the drought-tolerant landscape, but you seldom see it with two different colors. In winter, it is usually touched by some frost damage, but our weather has been unusually warm, so it is still flowering. Normally, you see all white or all purple, but not both together. While there is a variety called ‘Lavender Swirl’; it can be hard to find and somewhat expensive. I’ve replicated the same look in my garden, which I share in this earlier blog post.

‘Sparky’ Tecoma

Here is the newest addition to the front garden. It shouldn’t be blooming this time of year, but again, with the mild winter, it is getting a head start on spring. ‘Sparky’ tecoma is a new plant that is a cross between yellow bells and orange bells. The flowers are apricot in color with deep maroon centers. This shrub was created by an ASU professor, who named it after the school’s mascot. I am very excited to see it reveal its lovely flowers on either side of our large front window.

Do you have any plants that bloom in winter? Inside or outside, please share what is happening in your garden this month.

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For those of you who have read my blog for a while, you have probably heard me talk about the epidemic of over-pruning.


But, that doesn’t mean that you should never prune.  


The other day, I was driving down a street in our neighborhood when I saw one of my favorite perennials, Angelita Daisies.


The problem was, that they didn’t look very attractive…



They looked like tufts of green grass with dead sticks.

This is what Angelita Daisies should look like…


So, what went wrong with my neighbor’s Angelitas?

They didn’t remove the dead flowers.

Dead-heading doesn’t have to be done to them all the time, but once every 4 – 8 weeks will make a huge difference in their appearance.

In general, dead-heading spent flowers stimulates the plant to produce more flowers.  The reason for this is that the goal of flowers is to produce seed.  So, if dead flowers are allowed to remain on your plants, they figure that they have done their job and will stop flowering.

Of course, if you want to collect seeds from some of your favorite plants, then allow the flowers to dry and then collect the seeds (this doesn’t work that well with hybrids).

But, if you want colorful flowers – then take a couple of minutes a month and clip off the dead flowers.

Would you like to know why Angelita Daisies are one of my favorite perennials?  Check out my post about this wonderful plant…

I wrote earlier this month about the extreme cold temperatures that we had been dealing with.  Well, we are now experiencing warmer then normal temperatures with highs hitting about 78 degrees F.  While I do love this weather, I am NOT liking how my allergies have flared up.  I am writing this with swollen, itchy and watery eyes……definitely not a pretty sight.  So, I will stay indoors, hoping that my allergy medication decides to kick in sometime soon 😉


On another note, I have enjoyed sharing with you some of the wonderful plants that are ‘lesser-known’ in the garden.


Basically, lesser-known plants are those that are underused in the garden.  I think the reason is, is that most people are so used to using the more common landscape plants, that they do not know what other alternatives are out there.  

So, if you are tired of your front landscape, looking like everyone else, then you should definitely try out some of these plants in your landscape.  So far, we have showcased Valentine, Chaparral Sage and Coral Fountain.



Today’s star is one that I have used quite a bit in the past 10 years.  Although I have seen it used in commercial plantings, it is still not seen too often in residential landscapes, which is a shame.



Angelita Daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis formerly Hymenoxys acualis), is a must have for the garden.  I love the bright, daisy-like flowers and the little grass-like leaves.

This pretty little perennial is native to the high desert areas of the United States, but also thrives in the low desert as well.



They look great when massed together.  I normally use 3 planted about 1 ft. apart.  Alternatively, they can be planted alone as well and look great when placed next to boulders or in containers.

Angelita Daisies make a great alternative for Gold Lantana and does not suffer frost damage in both the low and high deserts.

**In fact, Angelita Daisy is hardy to -20 degrees F.  So it is perfect for those who live in colder climates as well!

Here are some other reasons to use this wonderful little perennial in your garden:
Thrives in full sun.

Is not picky about soil, as long as it is well-drained.
Does not require fertilizer.

Is fairly low-maintenance.  Occasional deadheading of flowers is all.
In low desert areas, Angelita Daisy blooms off an on all year long, with the strongest bloom occurring in spring.

It’s mature size of 1 ft. high and wide, makes it perfect for any size garden. 


  
Angelita Daisies are not all that impressive when viewed in their containers, but as soon as they are planted and their roots have a chance to grow, you will be rewarded with a showy display of yellow flowers.

As the plants age, you may prune them back if needed and they do spread by seed.

I think I will use some in my summer containers this year.

How about you?

Where will you use Angelita Daisy in your garden?

Angelita Daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) syn. Hymenoxys acaulis

Angelita daisy is a beautiful, small perennial that is a reliable producer of yellow daisy-like flowers throughout the year. The heaviest blooms occur in winter and spring, which makes this little plant an asset to the landscape. They grow to approximately 10″ high and up to 18″ wide. 

Plant angelita daisy in full sun for best appearance and in well-drained soils.  Add compost to the planting hole so that resulting mixture is 1 part native soil to 1 part compost. 

Periodic pruning of the flowers helps to promote additional flowering.  No supplemental fertilizer is needed.

I have used angelita daisy many times in landscapes that I have managed, and they are very low-maintenance. They are among my top ten favorite plants and I use them often when designing new landscape areas. Angelita looks best when planted in groups of 3 – 5. Their yellow color accent purple and red flowering plants. They especially look nice when planted next to boulders in the landscape.

For more information on how to grow this attractive, flowering perennial, check out my Houzz article: