Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring blooms 2009

It’s Springtime again, and the flowers are starting to bloom. When I walk around the yard I can smell an assortment of sweet scents, as plants take advantage of this break between the cold and the upcoming heat. Here are some of the ones we have been planting over the years, most are annuals and keep coming back without much effort on our part.

This first one is blooming along the fence by a parking lot at work, I don’t know what it is but the flowers are pretty and very fragrant.

All these others are in my yard. A while back we planted California poppy seeds in our raised beds. These produced a very nice crop, and the seeds from there blew around the yard. Since then we have been getting a strip of poppies along the low area where water drains off the roof when it rains (yes, it rains here once in a while, last year we did have a total of almost three inches of rain (75mm)). These keep reseeding themselves every year and fill in the gravel area where we pulled out grass as part of our water conservation effort. Along the left side are our rosemary plants which are also full of little blue flowers and lots of bees.

Along the pool we put in Mexican poppies. These are low growing flowers like the California ones but in a pale purple instead of the bright butter yellow. B also put in several Mexican bird of paradise, which grow five or six feet tall and have bright yellow flower clusters. We also have a few that have red tinged yellow flowers as well. The low poppies cover the gravel around the edge and the taller birds cover some of the plain block wall. B has painted the wall so it isn’t just the plain concrete color.

There also are some low growing ground cover plants among the Mexican poppies that are covered with yellow flowers. This one here is about two inches high and the top is covered with buds, in a few days it will be just a bright yellow ball.

Here are some more of these yellow ones, on a bush that has been in for a few years and is a little bigger.

Also along the pool is a Banks rose bush that was here when we moved in , and has been doing a lot better since I put in a drip system to water them automatically.

Out front in our desert landscaping we have a varied assortment of low water requirement plants. I think this is called a marsh mallow, starting out with a few orange red flowers which will continue to progress over the next few weeks. These bushes are now about a meter high and wide.

There are also some desert marigolds, which are covered in white flowers, which open in the morning and then close up at night. These are low growing and will stay under a foot tall.

And finally our wisteria; we brought this plant from San Diego and put it in the front courtyard. B trimmed it severely last fall, so there are not many flowers on it, but after we finish getting that cover over the patio we will be training this to grow on top, and in a few years will have a slatted roof with lots of clusters hanging down.

Around town we have been having an assortment of performers come through. The Hard Rock hotel has rebuilt its concert venue, The Joint, which just reopened last week. The big grand opening ceremony was held with the Killers performing, and the next day Paul McCartney was the headliner. Tonight is Elton John’s final show ending his five years alternating at Caesar’s Palace, and Cher announced that she is cutting her three year contract there down and will finish performing in December. Bette Midler is the third in the rotation that has replaced Celine Dion, and has not said anything about leaving.

Over the next month we’ll have Bon Jovi, Boz Scaggs, Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, Billy Ray Cyrus (also known as Hannah Montana’s dad) and BB King in town. This summer we will have Led Zeppelin come through, as well as Carlos Santana, who has signed up with the Hard Rock to perform several times over the next two years, Kenny Chesney, Johnny Mathis, Paul Anka, John Mayer, Cyndi Lauper, The Police (yea Sting!), Tom Jones, Chicago, Air Supply, Peter Paul and Mary, the Smothers Brothers, Gwen Stefani, Tall Out Boys, Herman’s Hermits and lots of others. Music for all tastes.

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