I first visited Phoenix on a business trip in, oh...1994-ish, and then again the following year. I fell deeply in love with the desert. In 2000 my brother, Darin, had the nerve to up and move there — several visits followed and I fell deeper in love. While not a gardener per se, my brother has an above average interest in plants, and the landscape in general, especially around his home. His garden became my desert garden and I still have many Agave pups that he gifted me over the years.
Well, that was then. He and his family moved in 2015 and it was killing me that over a year went by and I still hadn't seen their new home and garden. Finally this last October I had a chance to visit. It took me by surprise just how much space they had. A huge home and spacious lot for not much more than our small home and tiny lot in Portland. Yes, this has sent my mind to thinking about a move...unfortunately Andrew doesn't feel the same.
The Pygmy Date Palms (Phoenix roebelenii), are not reliably hardy in Phoenix but since they're up against the house and under a significant overhang they're fine.
And quite lovely..
Tecoma capensis, I believe? They have several.
And the first of many Mesquite trees.
This little guy is another Mesquite they planted.
I asked why not a Palo Verde and was told they make too much of a mess. Whatever... (eye roll...).
Oh my, those are beauties!
But before we look at the mature specimens how about those small Agaves? They're all transplants from his previous garden.
This picture made me laugh. I was focusing on the plants but got myself with the camera to my face, and my brother, probably touching the bill of his baseball cap — in between us the Saguaro shadow. On the far left is my nephew.
This bad boy is the Saguaro, also a transplant from his previous garden. Not an easy thing to do, but he'd planted it as a tiny baby and now it's over 5-ft tall.
The monster Ocotillo and purple Opuntia were already there, when they moved in.
What a beauty!
An old flower...
And fresh foliage.
Oh and a few small pieces came home with me. I'm still trying to root them.
Another old Mesquite.
Their front yard was completely open to the street, when they moved in. Darin, and my sister-in-law Nellie, had the low stucco wall added for delineation. I'm standing in the street to take this photo.
He's planted several Hesperaloe between the wall and the street.
Now we've moved into to their backyard. Lawn! Yes even in Phoenix. That's another huge mature Mesquite. In the corner is a lemon tree, we'll see it again in just a bit.
Closer to the house is their shade pavilion (look familiar?) Darin built it last summer, and yes, he's a BBQ'er.
I don't remember the name of this handsome flowering shrub...
But the flowers look very much like a Solanum, don't you think?
This beautiful tree is an orange, inherited as an overgrown mess, Darin has done quite a bit of pruning to bring it back to a proper tree form.
Love those spikes!
And especially the fruit. He had a delicious grapefruit in the garden of his previous home, I'll miss its amazing fruit! I hope to visit when these are ripe...
Bougainvillea! It wouldn't be the desert without Bougainvillea.
Thankfully there's an Aloe too, also inherited.
The lemon tree, in the process of being pruned into shape...I think it's looking quite nice.
And as I see all over Phoenix there were also several palm seedlings. It boggles my mind.
Looking back towards the house, and the shade pavilion...
And this! Purple Fountain Grass, Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' — it's not an annual in Phoenix.
What a visit! It was only 4 days but it was a wonderful experience. In addition to the Desert Botanical Garden and Arcosanti I also managed to visit a few nurseries, one of them with my brother and family, the Cactus Farm, where we bought a few new plants for their garden. I'll share images from that visit tomorrow. In the meantime here's a fabulous old wheelbarrow my sister in law bought at a yard sale while I was there. I must admit I was jealous and wanted to take it home with me.
My nephew however, he had other ideas...
Weather Diary, January 18: Hi 46, Low 32/ Precip .75(?)
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