Archive for flowers

May
03

The Amazing Flowers of the Desert

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The flowers of the desert are amazing.  This is my first spring in the Tucson area and I am soaking in all the colors of Spring.  The PaloVerdes trees have been in full bloom for over a month with bright yellow flowers transitioning into lime green new growth.  The intense buzzing of the bees over the canopy of flowers is wonderful!   The color along the highways cannot be missed.  This tree is native to our area.flowers_desert_paloverde_tree_vibrant_yellow

The Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), pronounced sah-WAH-ro, is one of the defining plants of our Sonoran desert. They can grow to be 150-200 years old. During the flowers’ short life (24 hours), they provide food for bees, bats and doves, who in turn pollinate the flowers.  I captured these shots of this Saguaro on my morning walk before I knew the beautiful white flower would not be there tomorrow.

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The next stunning beauty is a Trumpet Cactus (Tricholobivia), a member of the Echinopsis genus.  Its flower is tender but bright. This is a very small specimen but packs a powerful punch of color.  Thanks Roger (our neighborhood expert cactus gardener) for growing this one!

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A very abundant type of cactus is the Prickly Pear Cactus, (Genus Opuntia).  Many different varieties grow in this region.  It can also be found in NC where I was lucky to have a large plant at the end of our drive with bright yellow flowers.  The fruit from the Prickly Pear makes tasty jam and syrup.  Here are two types in bloom now in my area.

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The Fish Hook Barrel Cactus is one of my favorite types of barrel cactus.  Its name is derived from its curved spines.

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Below is the Chain Fruit Cholla (Opuntia Fulfida).  It is also known as the Jumping Cholla, because the 3- to 8-inch joints separate easily and appear, sometimes, to “jump” to attack passersby.  These is a gnarly, prickly plant with a pretty bloom but I only want to look at it in someone else’s landscape, not mine.  I’m having enough of a hard time not being “attacked” by other cacti. 🙂

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I recently spotted the Easter Lily Cactus, (Echinopsis) in a local garden center.  It shoots up this delicate flower resembling a lily from its small, rotund shape.

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There are many more flowers popping out everywhere, not all of them cacti.  It is good to see new life and color in the desert!

Let me hear about your favorite flower spottings!

All the best!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyles!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

 

 

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Apr
01

The Orchid Trail

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As most of my readers know I have a love for all things with flowers…growing them, decorating with them and enjoying them! But I became a real fan of orchids about ten years ago when I was given my first orchid plant by my very good friend and neighbor, Nancy.  The first time it re-bloomed I was ecstatic! This has lead me to this place and time where this orchid trail begins. About a month ago with our good friends, Brenda and Quinn, we made a day trip to the Philadelphia International Flower Show. (Please don’t tell any of Paul’s motorcycle friends that he went to a “flower show”)  All I can say is WOW!  There are so many fabulous things I could tell you about this exhibition.  But I will focus on the magnificent orchid display for this post.  Click on this link to view a short video of the greenhouse: Orchid Greenhouse at the Philadelphia Garden Show

After viewing the fabulous array in Philly I was not satisfied with my few healthy, re-blooming Phalaenopsis orchids and a few other orchids that looked very pitiful.  Local resources for orchids are limited.  So as Paul’s birthday present to me we embarked on an orchid trail.  We already had plans to rendezvous with Paul’s brother in DC for his birthday so we plotted our trail from DC to Lake Gaston.  Somewhere on our way back home we were going to buy my birthday present.  As luck would have it, our first stop  in Vienna, VA was a winner.  Orchids For You,  a cute little orchid showroom, was tucked backed in a retail/commercial  office district, which seemed an unlikely spot for an orchid greenhouse.  As we walked in I was amazed at what was inside.  After discussing my home environment with Tom, the knowledgeable owner, we decided Phalaenopsis (the easiest orchid to grow) was definitely my kind of orchid.  It likes bright light and “semi-attention”, that is, watering only when it is almost dry if it is potted in a bark/moss medium.  Paul and I began to make our selections.  Paul, being color blind, reacts to flowers so differently than I do.  I never dreamed I would be orchid shopping with Paul.  Over the many years of our partnership in life we have each come to respect each other’s interests.  No, I am not ready to travel on the back of his motorcycle but I do enjoy our discussions about his next motorcycle trip or his next motorcycle gadget (to some degree).  As well he has come to appreciate and enjoy my love of flowers and gardening.  So without further ado I present the treasures of our orchid trail adventure.  Needless to say, we never stopped at the other greenhouses on the trail.  We’ll save them for another day. Hope you enjoy!

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Harlequin Phalaenopsis-My First Choice

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Kaleidoscope Pink/Yellow Phalaenopsis-Paul's First Choice

 

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Epidendrum Max Valley-had to try this red one!!!

 

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Lady Slipper, Paphiopedilum Supersuk Eureka Raisin Pie, getting ready to open

 

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My orchid family and a few spring blooms from the garden!!! They look pretty happy so far!

Send me your favorite orchid pictures and stories.  Let’s continue this orchid trail!

Mary Sherwood Lake Living…working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Categories : Gardening, Mary's Raves
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