Posts tagged: Sunday Garden Tour

Sunday Garden Photo

By , September 2, 2007 2:52 pm

A trumpet vine against a brilliant blue New Mexico sky.

(We are spending the holiday weekend at my husband’s house in Albuquerque.)


This post is part of The Sunday Garden Tour at A Wrung Sponge.

A Pretty Garden

By , August 26, 2007 10:23 am

So many wonderful things are happening in my garden right now. While gardens in other parts of the country begin to tire at this time of year, gardens in the Southwestern US take off. Monsoon rains bring the much-needed “real” water to the garden. Hose water simply does not produce the same results.

Here are some pictures:

A Hollyhock


Wave Petunias in a flower box…and Pipsqueak


My mixed border finally takes off


Sexy Rexy roses by the front door (surrounded by scented geranium foliage)


California Poppies


The weeds are loving life too


At least many of the weeds are actually lovely wildflowers such as this wild penstemon!

This post is part of The Sunday Garden Tour at A Wrung Sponge.

Strangeness in my Garden

By , August 12, 2007 12:40 pm

It is always exciting to return from a long trip to see what has developed in the garden. While I was away, there was A LOT of rain which caused much growth, and also a few unexpected oddities.

There was so much rain that the dropped seeds from my bird feeders have sprouted in the crevices of the deck (there is no soil in there!):

Strange alien mushrooms that look like they could have descended from outer space have begun their world invasion by taking over my garden. Here is one trying to swallow up a lavender:

A few plants grew so much that I hardly recognized them at all. Look at this Mme. Alfred Carriere climbing rose. I planted it at the end of May as a bare root rose, much like this one:

On June 24th it looked like this:

I returned home after one month away to find this monster:

It is supposed to be able to grow to 15 feet tall. I found that a little hard to believe judging by its humble beginnings, but I am a believer now! I guess I’d better find a spot in the ground for it…and fast!

This post is part of The Sunday Garden Tour at A Wrung Sponge. Head over there to find more participants, or to add your own garden-related post. Happy Sunday!

The Garden I Dream of…

By , August 5, 2007 7:51 am

Here it is, the garden of my dreams. A difficult garden for Arizona, even in the more temperate area where I live.

This is the garden bordering the path to my step-sister’s Upstate New York home.

Look at those happy flowers!! Look at all that lush GREEN!!!!!!

Her complaints are 1) Flowers so happy that they are taking over and need dividing, and 2) A huge infestation of Japanese Beetles dining on her roses. I would suffer with problem number one any day (she can keep number two though).
She doesn’t want to use pesticides on her lawn. Does anyone have any natural solutions for combating Japanese Beetles? I read somewhere that planting garlic keeps them away. My step-sister is of Italian descent and is a great cook, but I don’t think even she wants a lawn full of garlic!
Please share any ideas you may have. Thanks!

This post is part of The Sunday Garden Tour at A Wrung Sponge.

Project: Make Your Yard a Certified Wildlife Habitat

By , July 5, 2007 11:10 am


A really neat project to get kids involved with nature (and help wildlife) is to certify your yard as a Wildlife Habitat. The National Wildlife Federation has a certification program that is fun to do with kids. So far there are over 70,000 certified backyard habitats.

You do not need a big, fancy yard to get certified. What you do need however, are four basic habitat elements: food, water, cover, and places to raise young. Click on the links to each element for examples, as well as projects for incorporating these elements into your yard.

Sit down with your kids and evaluate your yard. Decide together what you can do to make sure that the four elements are present. Create a plan and carry it out. When you are done, complete the online certification questionnaire.

If you are still lacking in any area, the website will tell you what you need to improve. If you have the basic elements, then you will get a certification number. You will also get a one-year membership to the National Wildlife Federation which includes a subscription to National Wildlife magazine. They will send you a certificate and a press-release for your local paper to help spread the word about this program. Plus, you can order ($25) a cool, weather-proof sign like mine in the photo to really let the world know about the importance of gardening for wildlife.

Here are some examples of each element from our yard:

Bird feeders are an obvious choice for FOOD. Include many different varieties of seeds (sunflower is the favorite here, but we also have millet, thistle, and cracked corn), suets, and a hummingbird feeder of sugar water. We put peanuts out for the squirrels and chipmunks too (although quite a few birds enjoy the peanuts as well). Also, diversify your feeder types. Some birds like perches, some prefer to cling, some like platform feeders like the one on the left. We also have a birdseed block on the ground for ground feeders.


Other, less obvious FOOD sources are native plants, bushes with berries, and flowers that produce dried seed heads such as these Purple Coneflowers:

If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a pond or other natural water source on your property, birdbaths are essential for providing WATER. This is one of our three bird baths. One of them is heated so water is available in the winter also. Even the squirrels drink out of them! This photo also shows a FOOD source: the Cosmos flowers around the birdbath produce nice seeds.

This birdbath is near a tree so drinking birds have an easy escape if necessary. Our birdseed block is in the foreground.


Examples of COVER in our yard:






PLACES TO RAISE YOUNG can be man made such as nest boxes or bird houses, or natural: trees, shrubs, dead trees. Even a woodpile, like our messy one above, provides great nesting opportunities for chipmunks and other small rodents.

We are fortunate enough to have this lightning damaged, partially dead tree (a “snag“) behind the house which, as you can see from the photo below, has become a bird condo! In fact there is a very noisy family of Lewis’ Woodpeckers currently nesting in one of those holes.



We hung some roosting pockets under the eaves (near a window so we could watch the action), but there have been no interested birds so far.


Here are some book suggestions to help you too. The Backyard Naturalist is a great resource, but you will only find it used:

Native Plants for High Elevation Western Gardens is a great guide to native plant species in my region. Obviously, if you don’t have a high elevation western garden it won’t do for you. But check your library, bookstore, or Amazon for similar regional guides to get native plant ideas:

The National Wildlife Federation also offers garden reference books for sale online that you might want to look at as well.

This post is part of The Sunday Garden Tour at A Wrung Sponge. Head over there to find more participants, or to add your own garden-related post. Happy Sunday!

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