Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

marguerite daisy, argyranthemum, small sunny garden, amy myers, photography, desert garden
Argyranthemum frutescens
Happy New Year!

From the Valley of the Sun...
marguerite daisy, argyranthemum, small sunny garden, amy myers, photography, desert garden
Argyranthemum frutescens
marguerite daisy, argyranthemum, small sunny garden, amy myers, photography, desert garden
Argyranthemum frutescens
...a few fireworks...
leonotis, lions tail, small sunny garden, amy myers, photography, desert garden
Leonotis leonurus
...and lots of confetti!
violas, small sunny garden, amy myers, photography, desert garden, winter annuals
Violas
violas, small sunny garden, amy myers, photography, desert garden, winter annuals
Violas
violas, small sunny garden, amy myers, photography, desert garden, winter annuals
Violas
Wishing all of you a wonderful new year, full of things that make you smile!
violas, small sunny garden, amy myers, photography, desert garden, winter annuals
Viola

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Gaura in December

gaura, lindheimeri, oenothera, small sunny garden, desert garden, amy myers, photography
 The lovely pink Gaura (Oenothera lindheimeri, sadly, noID) continues to bloom in the Central Bed, where its long, wiry stems throw the remaining blossoms about among all the neighboring plants.  The individual flowers are delicately beautiful against the pink glow created by the deep wine-coloured stems...
gaura, lindheimeri, oenothera, small sunny garden, desert garden, amy myers, photography
...or against the December sky. 
gaura, lindheimeri, oenothera, small sunny garden, desert garden, amy myers, photography
Weather Diary: Sunny, and the cold weather is finally beginning to break; High: 57 F (14 C)/Low: 37 F (3 C)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Monday Vase: Ruffles

small sunny garden, desert garden, amy myers, monday vase meme, cyclamen, flower arrangement
Today's vase was made principally from cyclamen flowers in pink and white.  These have been blooming on the patio - blooming more or less continuously for weeks.  We are keeping them in pots since there is little chance of their surviving summer in the open garden, but at least a reasonable one for keeping them going indoors through the difficult months.

They are certainly in their glory now!
small sunny garden, desert garden, amy myers, monday vase meme, cyclamen, flower arrangement
As you can see, some Dianthus also slipped into the mix.
small sunny garden, desert garden, amy myers, monday vase meme, cyclamen, flower arrangement
One little red "Daniela" rosebud did as well...
small sunny garden, desert garden, amy myers, monday vase meme, cyclamen, flower arrangement
...along with a stem of Russelia equisetiformis "Big Red".
small sunny garden, desert garden, amy myers, monday vase meme, cyclamen, flower arrangement
This made for a slender arrangement in a little pot that I originally used to test a new glaze recipe.  I used the wrong firing cycle for the test, however, resulting in an unusally blistered glaze - and little helpful information!  At any rate, the size and shape were right for today's material so it was pressed into service.

Thanks, as always, to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, the home of the Monday Vase meme.

Happy Monday!
small sunny garden, desert garden, amy myers, monday vase meme, cyclamen, flower arrangement
Weather Diary; Sunny and cold! High: 56 F (13 C)/Low: 32 F (0 C)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Garden Foliage: Purple

calliandra californica baja red, desert plant, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers
It's roughly time for the monthly look at foliage in the garden; and despite being in the midst of final preparations for Christmas, I wanted to share some leaves today.  I have been admiring the assortment of purple-foliaged plants that increase the colour range even when out of bloom.

With some, this seems to be a response to cooler weather.  Penstemon parryi has turned a luscious metallic purple.
penstemon parryi, desert plant, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers
Some leaves are greener than others, but the whole effect is striking and makes this single plant fairly spectacular during the cooler months.
penstemon parryi, desert plant, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers
The nearby Eremophila maculata "Valentine" is more purple than it was, though the myriad of tiny red flowerbuds may be creating much of the colour change.  Still, its leaves run to smoky purple during winter and make an excellent foil to those little buds, which grow much larger before they burst into brilliant bloom.  This is one of the Australian shrubs which has proven its value here in the Sonoran desert, taking well to the soil and minimal water, and not flinching in the overpowering sun and heat of summer.
eremophila maculata valentine, emu bush, australian shrub, flowering shrub, desert plant, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers
Mine has grown a good deal since it was planted late last year, and it now forms a respectable shrub, seen here with Penstemon parryi in the background.
eremophila maculata valentine, desert plant, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers, emu bush, australian plants
Pennisetum rubrum is named for its maroon-purple leaves, now very strongly coloured.
pennisetum rubrum, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers, ornamental grass
On other plants, the purple and red leaves are new growth, the brightly coloured bursts of young foliage.

On Caesalpinia pulcherrima (Pride of Barbados, among many other names), the hue is blended with copper tones.
caesalpinia pulcherrima, pride of barbados, mexican bird of paradise, desert plant, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers

 On the just-planted Calliandra californica "Baja Red", a young Baja Fairy Duster bush, the colour is quite strong (see also the picture at top of post)...
calliandra californica baja red, baja fairy duster, desert plant, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers
...but still not so bright as the one flower this young plant is sporting!
calliandra californica baja red, baja fairy duster, desert plant, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers
And of course, there is the classic red new growth of roses, best supplied at the moment by miniature rose "Daniela".
rose daniela, desert plant, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers
Aside from the question of whether the plant still qualifies as miniature (it has grown robustly over the last few months), this is a highly successful bush.  Red new growth and bright red blooms...
rose daniela, miniature rose, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers
...and the foliage colours form a quiet blending with the bracts on nearby Salvia greggii "Autumn Moon"...
desert plant, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers, miniature rose, salvia greggii autumn moon
...with its delicate twin flowers.
salvia greggii autumn moon, autumn sage, desert plant, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers
Purple, reddish, smoky hues help create a softer mood in this climate where high contrast is produced automatically by the strong sunlight (not quite so strong over the last few days, but that is a different matter!)
eremophila valentine, australian plant, desert plant, small sunny garden, garden foliage,amy myers
Weather Diary: Partly cloudy; High: 64 F (18 C)/Low: 52 F (11 C)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Monday Vase: A Merry Christmas

rose Olympiad, flower arrangement, small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography
As this will be the last Monday Vase before Christmas Day, I am enjoying some seasonal exuberance today.  I would have loved to have made a wreath, but in the absence of either know-how or time, I've made a vase with a plentiful helping of foliage - foliage that I would have used for a wreath, if only...!  Plus a splash of red.
small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography, pelargonium, geranium, flower arrangement
And a second splash.
rose Olympiad, flower arrangement, small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography
Foliage includes rosemary...
rosemary, small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography
...and Artemisia "Powis Castle".artemisia powis castle, flower arrangement, small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography
There are also sprigs of Eremophila "Valentine"...
eremophila valentine, small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography
...which is just budding out.  Its tiny round buds play somewhat the role that berries might play, shown here next to a single stem of Lavender "Goodwin's Creek Gray".
eremophila valentine, small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography
The first splash of red comes from Geranium "Precision" (seriously!), which has wonderful deep crimson blooms.
pelargonium, geranium, small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography
And I begged the perfect red rose from my sister's container garden.  (Thank you, Sarah!)  This is hybrid tea "Olympiad".
rose Olympiad, small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography, flower arrangement
So, a Christmas vase, rose on one side...
rose Olympiad, flower arrangement, small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography
...geraniums on the other.
geranium, pelargonium, small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography,
There was so much material available that I was able to use one of my larger pots, one with a wide mouth and plenty of room.  It's wonderful to have enough stems from the garden to bulk up!
rose Olympiad, artemisia powis castle, rosemary, small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography
No poinsettias or amaryllis so far (my one amaryllis is still very much in bud), but nevertheless a Christmas vase with which to join Cathy's Monday Vase meme.  Do check the other wonderful vases to be seen there this week!

Hopefully this will not be the last post until Christmas (I am looking forward to posting on the development of the South Border), but just in case, I will wish you all a Merry Christmas now!
perlargonium, geranium, Precision, small sunny garden, desert garden, monday vase meme, amy myers, photography
Weather Diary: Fair; High: 62 F (17 C)/Low: 39 F (4 C)

Thursday, December 17, 2015