03 February 2015

Garden Photos







Agave










This poor old cactus took a beating last year. It rained so much it collapsed under it's own weight. We had to hire someone to remove half of it, but they hacked it. 

























Hopefully, in a year or two it will recover. It is growing some new limbs! That purple thing will be a limb.








This is aloe vera and it grows wild back in this yard.










In the spring it always blooms around the fountain. It must get just the right amount of moisture in this spot.



















When I photograph the backyard, I take photos of the raised beds that we built or of the older established yard, because that's the pretty part. I prefer it half-wild and shabby. I don't like it prim and proper. After all, it's desert, and I cannot get a more tamed, lush look of a cottage garden. If it is trimmed into balls, it looks hot and the flowering plants take forever to come back.
We trim and prune here and there trying to get a natural desert look.

Most of the yard is empty or empty now, except for this section and the beds. This past week we had a demolition man with a small Bobcat remove all the concrete blocks, bricks, pavers, the rest of the patio and an extra wall on the back.  Demolition is the key word if you want people to remove something. No jackhammering required. We had the utilities marked before he came.
We had been trying to get the old bricks and concrete out of here for months. People don't want them and they charge a mint to pick them up by hand and move them. I did not know about demolition until the wall guy told us. Six hours later the double wall was gone and all the piles and piles of mismatched concrete, pavers, and bricks.  
Four dump truck loads fill! That doesn't count all the previous dump loads!

We are getting ready to have someone grade the yard, and place crushed rock down. We also have someone building a wall on the side yard of the backyard to replace an old chain link fence. I don't care for walls, because they radiate heat, but it's the only thing besides metal that endures the weather here,but we have plans to make it work.







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66 comments:

  1. Our landscapes couldn't beoe different. The Aloe Vera is gorgeous - I've only ever seen it in a tiny pot. I like walls, but I don't have the challenge of extreme heat. Good luck with the garden reno!

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    1. Thank you, Pondside. I don't like the summers either. I much prefer California weather, but this is a better place to be for a lot of reasons. Fortunately, we only have to put up with it June through the beginning of September. And last summer, I was fortunate to get close to your beautiful part of the world.

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  2. I also have aloe vera which is really growing much faster and getting much larger than I anticipated, but never mind.

    Diana

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    1. Thank you, Diana. It sends shoots underground, and I guess the soil must be perfect for that, but not so much for some other things that grew in our previous desert garden.

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  3. I love the beauty of the desert. What a lovely garden! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Carmen. I love your Dawn doll collection and the pretty handmade ornaments you made. I just can not figure out where the comment is on your blog. I follow you by Bloglovin. xoox

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  4. Poor cactus! I hope it recovers well. What a lovely sleek cat :-)

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    1. Thank you, Sarah. We both cried when we saw it. But the cactus pro was well over one thousand dollars and we had to hire someone to haul it. It was dangerous because it could fall on us or our neighbors. So we hired the guy who happens to do our palm trees beautifully. Needless to "see", he does not know cactus. We paid little and he hauled it away. What a mess! Next time we know. The cat is "Blackie" also goes by Le Gato a play on the music term leggato and Spanish for The Cat.

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  5. It looks beautiful to me. Of course, it's so different here. I like the wall as well. But you probably don't need extra heat. Your kitty is a cutie. Good luck. Can't wait to see the changes.

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    1. Thank you, Debby, for your sweet visit. You are right. We don't need extra heat. In the winter we only turn the heat for maybe an hour usually only in the morning. By noon the house is usually at least 72 on it's own.

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  6. Good Morning.
    The difference couldn't be bigger!!! You have a cactus and I have snow! Wonderful garden. Just had a winter breake there!
    All my best
    Elisabeth

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    1. Thank you, Elisabeth. It's always wonderful in the winter here.

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  7. I'ts interesting to see the abundant growth of the aloe vera and the other plants in your garden. I'm glad the cactus is recovering. I'm looking forward to seeing mimosa when we go to Italy in March when the flowers are out over there. Looking forward to seeing more of your garden when the makeover is done.

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    1. Thank you, Linda. Italy is so beautiful. I really loved it.

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  8. Your photos of the aloe and cactus are beautiful. Looking forward to seeing the beginnings of your new garden.

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    1. Thank you, Cathy. I wonder how it will be, because it won't be grass. We tried that, and though it works in some parts of our city, even with enrichment it didn't work here.

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  9. Beautiful photos! They were especially delightful to see as one who feels buried under snow with more to come this week. I cannot imagine aloe growing wild in the backyard. It looks so lush and beautiful. Thank you for reminding me of green in the garden.

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  10. I wish I had aloe growing in my garden! Lovely picture of yours especially with the cacti!

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    1. Thank you, so much, Little Treasures. It is a pretty. These are probably almost as high as my hip, but I've seen people grow them in pot on a windowsill. I don't know how it would do though. xoox

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  11. I really enjoyed looking at your amazing photos, love your cat! Enjoyable to see what grows for you, in Philadelphia PA plantings are so different.
    xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Vera, for you sweet visit. That's "Blackie" also called Le Gato which is a play on the term legato. My daughter is great with words like you.

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  12. It looks like a wonderful garden..your agave is my favorite!

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    1. Thank you, Pura Vida. Yes, that aloe vera is something.

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  13. Oh, your garden is so beautiful to look at right now. My yard is covered in heaps of snow and the temps are in the single digits. Thanks for sharing and warming me up a bit! :)

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    1. Thank you, Kim. It's so cold where you are. I can't believe how cold it gets there, because I always think of it being warmer, but it is not.

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  14. Hi Su, we here on the Calif desert have some of the same issues, but you have to plant cactus, and it doesn't grow wild. The Aloe Vera has lots of health benefits , and if you get a burn your first aid kit is right in the yard as snip of the cactus and a little rubbing of it on the burn and you are medicated for healing and scaring.
    The back drop to your raised beds does look wild and lush but ones don't relise the care you guys still have to keep up with in cutting it back because it will take over. My aunt has quite a bit of cactus in her yard and it's has really taken over and they have a job keeping pathways cleared.

    As for rain here on our Southern California desert we just don't get enough of it and wish we got a lot more. Your wild yard looks great, I agree with you, I like a mix or wild over growth with some maintained it adds so much interest in living, and such a natural living style.

    See you soon for more of the beauty you share and inspire us with.

    Xx
    Dore

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    1. Thank you, Dore. Thank you for the aloe vera tips. I agree, the cacti do take over and is a tricky thing to keep it natural, but not overrun. My poor cactus, it will eventually recover. We got so much rain here last year, and California didn't get much. But at least the rain in the northern part of Arizona goes to the Colorado river and supplies the bread basket for the country. Sort of magical in a way. I hope you get more rain this year. California is over due for an El Nino or something!

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  15. Wow! It's hard for me to get my head around four dump truck loads of rubble! You must be feeling much lighter around there. I've never seen an aloe vera in bloom before. Love your photos and hearing about your yard.

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    1. Laurel, thank you. I know! And that was the end of it! The previous owner or owners put a cement patio the length of the house that was higher than the porch, which meant rain could come in. That's the first thing we removed before repairing the sleeping porch, but all over most of the yard except for the one side where there is mature plantings they laid "patios" of all kinds of pavers, bricks, etcetera to cover desert earth. We are having it regraded and covered with crushed desert gold granite or something like that quarried from this state. In the summer if I stepped out there I felt like I would pass out from the heat radiating off all that cement pavers, bricks, and blocks. LOL we probably have lowered the summer temperature of our yard by ten degrees now.

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  16. Love the aloe vera in bloom and love seeing your beautiful garden area. Ohhhhh to see the sweet life growing. We will not see life in our neck of the woods for a few more months. Enjoy that wonderful weather.
    Kris

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    1. Thank you, Kris. We have to enjoy it before it gets too hot to enjoy. We avoid the tough winters, but have the worse summer. xoox

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  17. We don't see those types of plants here in my area of Oregon!!!

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  18. It's a shame when a plant starts to suffer but it looks as though it will recover. You certainly have been busy. I can remember having our garden graded and this poor man chose the hottest day of the year to do it (I thought he was going to die!). Have a wonderful evening x

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    1. Thank you, Chel. That's why we arranged to have them work at this time of year. Summers are too hot and I can't stand to watch them work it horrible heat.

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  19. Your garden imagery is fabulous...such gorgeous plants. TFS and for stopping by my blog. I have joined you on your blog and extend an invite for you to follow me as well. hugs, Gayle.

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    1. Hi, Gayle. Thank you for your sweet visit and for following me. I follow you by connect and by Blolovin. xoox

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  20. Wonderful photos of your garden.I' m looking forward to seeing the next.
    Kisses
    Alessandra

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  21. It's really interesting to see and hear about your garden. It's very different to my Irish garden, certainly no cacti. Sounds like you are making lots of improvements to your garden, hope you'll share!

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    1. I will. It's just so much concrete hauled away, ugly fence. But when they get it done, I will with a before. It's a limited budget, so I'm not sure how different it will look. There will be no grass, we tried that, but even with enrichment it did not take.The dirt will be covered and there will be a wall to replace the rusted chain link fence on only one side of the yard with a few plantings. I'm hoping it will look better. A pool would be best in this climate, but college expenses are not too far away.

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  22. I can't view all your pictures on my iPad, but your black Kitty is a real beauty! Good luck with the garden this season!

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    1. Thank you, Misantropia. He's a beauty. I have a new camera, so maybe I need to check the size of the photos. xoox

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  23. The aloe vera is beautiful. I love looking at gardens, so peaceful and pretty.

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    1. Thank you, Linda, for your sweet visit. It really is quite pretty.

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  24. Thank you for the tour. I love your garden. It is very different from my Wisconsin garden. :-))
    I am so excited to see your next project.
    Carla

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    1. Thank you, Carla. They will start in a week or two after the permits clear which is required for property lines.

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  25. No one wanted the brick?? I would have gladly taken it. Next time you need to get rid of something like that, try FreeCycle. You can get rid of pretty much anything on that site.

    You're garden looks pretty :) Right now everything up North is dead LOL

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    1. Rue, Cindy in my comments has tons, and she is in the Phoenix area too. Darn, I've been trying to get rid of it for two years. "Consider it all Joy" is her blog. I don't know if hers all matching.

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  26. Fun to see your garden. It's so different than mine, but I love it! My garden is more cottage style, but I too do not love it super prim and proper. Love randomness and flowers popping up in unexpected places. Glad that you found someone to do demolition.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thank you, Jann. I love your yard. I would love for it to look more cottage, but the weather is not particularly conducive to my likes. I never thought of demolition until the wall guy came out. I was getting estimates by cleanup people and they were charging by the weight.

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  27. You definitely have the best type of desert landscape in your backyard. And, it seems Mr Kitty likes it too! The entire length of my side yard has rows and rows of brick stacked that I just can't afford to have moved, so I guess it will just stay put :) It's amazing what they charge! Anyway, I love your backyard, Su! Blessings, Cindy

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    1. Hi, Cindy. I show the established side, the rest was covered with concrete, concrete pavers, bricks, and more pavers. That was our problem! I have photos of it. My spouse stacked and stacked. Nobody wants the stuff. The demolition guy was the least expensive estimate we got, because he could move it with bobcat. The junk people and cleanup were more expensive because it was by weight.

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  28. I love it when you share your garden, so full of wonderful cactus... They'll be so unhappy with the weather in Brittany, but I enjoy seeing them on your picturres.

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    1. Thank you, Magali. You do get attached to them. The very large ones are quite old.

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  29. It all looks and sound so exotic, Susan. Aloe vera is a little miracle! Good luck!

    Poppy

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  30. It is so nice and refreshing to see green!! I'm surrounded by white right now...this has me hoping for spring already. :) I better be patient though, cause it always takes quite a while to get here in Wisconsin.

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  31. Agreed....wild gardens/yards is my love...I like my garden to reflect my personality....wild and certainly not prim and proper...I think I will include this in a post for the future...I'll mention you of course, with your approval! xoxoxoxo Jen

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    1. You are so sweet, Jen. Yes, gardens are a great place to express your personality. xoox

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  32. How lovey. I can't wait to get my fingers in dirt again!

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    1. Thank you. It will be really nice to garden in Oregon. xoox

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  33. Wow, such a big cactus!
    And a black panther sneaks around... ;-)

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    1. Thank you, Mascha. The cactus was even bigger! It might be original, 71 years old. They called it an organ pipe. I know almost all my cacti, but I'm not certain it is. It does look like pipes to an organ. If it is, it doesn't mature until it is 150 years old. It blooms for only one night. Once I saw a shriveled blossom on it. That's Blackie; there are two others who help keep the pack rats away. We also have one kitty that lives inside our house.

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Thank you for taking time to visit and leave a kind message today. I love to visit your blogs too, and I do when I can link back. xoxo Su