Tag Archive for: yellow

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.

Blue Palo Verde (Parkinsonia florida)

Photo: Blue Palo Verde (Parkinsonia florida)

Foothills (Littleaf) Palo Verde (Parkinsonia microphylla)

Photo: Foothills (Littleaf) Palo Verde (Parkinsonia microphylla)

'Desert Museum' Palo Verde (Parkinsonia hybrid 'Desert Museum')

Photo: ‘Desert Museum’ Palo Verde (Parkinsonia hybrid ‘Desert Museum’)

Palo Brea (Parkinsonia praecox)

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.

summer blooms are beginning to appear

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.

summer blooms are beginning to appear

Summer Blooms

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).

summer blooms are beginning to appear

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.

Victoria agave

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?  

Do you like red yucca (Hesperaloe parvifolia)?

red yucca (Hesperaloe parvifolia)

Landscapes throughout the desert southwest come alive in spring and early summer as the coral-colored blooms of red yucca burst forth.

There are a few reasons that this succulent is a popular plant.

For one, its grass-like foliage add texture to the garden, even when not in flower.

Second, it needs little maintenance – simply prune off the flowers when they fade.

red yucca

The flowers are quite beautiful.

While the most common flower color for this fuss-free plant is coral, there are two other colors that I would like to introduce you to.  

Hesperaloe parvifolia

While not a new color, there is a yellow variety of “Hesperaloe parviflora” available.

It is the same as regular red yucca, except for the color.

Imagine the creamy yellow flowers against a dark-painted wall such as brown, green or purple?

Gorgeous!

Here is a color of “Hesperaloe parviflora” that is relatively new…  

Brakelights

This is a new variety of red yucca called ‘Brakelights’.  Its flowers are a darker red then the normal coral flowers.

I am always interested in differently colored varieties of my favorite plants.  It is an easy to add interest to your garden when people see a different color then they expect.

What color of “Hesperaloe parviflora” is your favorite?

Shared Love for Gardening….

Last month, I asked you on my Facebook page, which plant I should profile in my upcoming article for Houzz.com  (Every month, I write a plant profile on plants that grow well in the Southwest.)  

My blogger friend, Becky, who lives in Tucson, mentioned that Feathery Cassia (Senna artemisoides) would be a good choice.

Surprisingly, I hadn’t thought to feature this great shrub considering that I have used it in landscape designs in the past.

Feathery Cassia (Senna artemisoides)

In 2012, I was asked to design the plantings along a street in Rio Verde, AZ.

In addition to succulents, trees, perennials and other shrubs – Feathery Cassia was one shrub that I wanted to be sure to include due to its low-maintenance, drought-tolerance and gorgeous winter color.

Valentine (Eremophila maculata 'Valentine')

In just over a year, Feathery Cassia has a good start, but will grow much larger.

I love pairing this shrub with Valentine (Eremophila maculata ‘Valentine’) with its red flowers.

Feathery Cassia (Senna artemisoides)

I like this shrub so much, that I have planted 5 of them along in my own garden, along a long block wall.  I can’t wait until they start growing.

If you want to learn more about Feathery Cassia, like why do people call it ‘feathery’ or learn about the surprise the flowers harbor – check out my latest article from Houzz…

 

Architecture, interior design, and more ∨

Before you throw your next party, browse a wide selection of bar ware, bar glassware and serving platters.
For small bathroom ideas, browse photos of space-saving bathroom cabinetry and clever hidden mirrored medicine cabinets.

*************************

I hope you are all enjoying your week.  I am getting ready to head to Florida next week in order to participate in a fun gardening project.  I’ll let you know more soon…