The purpose of our travels was to visit my in-laws, we hadn’t seen them since last January and my father-in-law was recently admitted to the New Mexico Veterans Center. We weren't sure what to expect from the Vets home but were pleasantly surprised. Are you wondering how I’m going to bring this around to tie into a garden blog? And what’s with the "turtle courtyard" mentioned in the title? Well, there was a courtyard…and there were turtles!
Lots of turtles! And a fountain too, with turtles!
Built in 1936 this building used to house a children’s hospital, the fountain must have been a source of some delight for the kids. I wonder if there were real live turtles back then? We counted more than a dozen and they all had such unique expressions.
I almost stepped on this guy, not seeing him in the tall grass.
Did I mention it was wet?
I was pleased to see there were raised planters for the residents to garden in.
And crops of tomatoes…
Plus more creatures to discover!
Out front the building took on a southern feel what with the plantation style porch.
I stopped to admire this graceful Desert Willow (I think)…
And was joined by a beautiful
Later that afternoon the rain let up and I went for a walk around my in-laws neighborhood, hoping to scavenge a few opuntia pads from a vacant lot. Naturally I couldn’t help but snap more photos as things caught my eye.
Here was an example of the kind of flooding you could find all around town. Not anything like what they were experiencing in Colorado at the time, but there were local evacuations and sadly a couple of deaths.
All that debris is just washed out across the street…
Here the water is on path through someone’s side yard. Can you imagine having this dedicated stream bed in your garden year round?
So did I find anything worth bringing home? Of course! You don’t usually find Opuntia linguiformis here in Portland, so when I discovered a plant growing in an empty lot I snipped off a couple of pads (I brought one back a couple of years ago which has finally grown a new pad). Then I did a little weeding at the in-laws place and ended up with a few Yucca seedlings (Y. elata and Y. glauca I believe).
One of the Y. elata has already found a home.
All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.