Monday, September 6, 2021

Bits and Bobs

The first vase from my new home isn't much to look at, but it's a start.  I've combined some flowers I've planted with some stems I've foraged from the yard.

One of the most exciting things about our new property is the wonderful native plants all over it.  It's an older home on mostly undisturbed desert, which means a lot of quality native desert plants instead of the weedy things that colonize disturbed soil.  

In this particular vase, this means daisy-flowered brittlebrush (Encelia farinosa), which is rampant... and lovely.  I had to purchase it for my previous garden, but here it is growing naturally on the hillside and in the garden area.  There is also plenty of desert hackberry (Celtis ehrenbergiana seems to be the currently correct name), with its brilliant orange fruits.

Then there are a couple of things I've planted despite arriving here when temperatures were already in the triple digits.  Or perhaps because of it, since I managed to buy both at discount.  They're a sort of promise of things to come, but they've already supplied some pleasant color to look at from the kitchen window.

These are Salvia farinacea "Victoria Blue", with its tiny, brilliant plumes, and Catharanthus roseus, that reliable, summer-flowering, heat-loving tropical that is so reliable in desert plantings.


It's been a more difficult start than I had hoped here.  Just after we arrived, quite a bit went wrong with the sale of our home in Missouri.  We were forced to find a new real estate agent, restart the listing process, and figure out that the home's entire septic system needed to be replaced with a costly alternative system.  All of this has held up the cash we needed to begin some necessary repairs on this place, plus the horse fencing. Not surprisingly, perhaps, I had migraine headaches for weeks running as we tried to sort everything out.

The house is once more under contract now, and we are hoping everything goes through this time.  Meantime, I am very much falling in love with our new location--up in the high desert overlooking the lower San Pedro River valley.

It's a fantastic place to call home.

This is my first In a Vase on Monday in a long time!  Joining with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, where many other wonderful vases are to be found each week...

Lastly, here is Encelia farinosa, a shot I took some days back since I didn't get a good one for the vase.  This is a delightful plant with silver foliage and yellow daisies and well adapted to extremely xeric conditions.


  1. A lovely little vase Amy, and so good to see you blogging again. I seem to have missed a few posts, so will catch up now. Is it possible to subscribe with E Mail?

    1. Thank you so much, Cathy! I'm muddling my way bit by bit back into blogging here, which feels good. Meantime, Blogger has dropped their old email subscription method. I'll be looking into a replacement and will try to get something up in short order!

    2. Thanks Amy. I got a notification from your substack page, but cannot leave comments on it apparently unless I am a 'paying subscriber'. Good luck with getting back into blogging. I always find it tricky every time something changes!

  2. I am so sorry there have been problems with your house sale, but so relieved it did not impact on the move to where you are now - and pleased that you are falling in love with the location. I am guessing you are still some distance from where your mother lives? I really must consult a map to find where the Sonara desert is. Thanks for sharing your pretty vase (one of your pots) with its mostly native contents. What joy it must bring you, Amy

    1. Cathy--to be honest, I'm grateful we didn't know the worst of the problems before we left, or we'd still be stuck there, and I really don't think it would have facilitated the sale! Our mother is now in California, so we are a long way from her. Our new home is in one of the more unique parts of the Sonoran Desert: what's known as a sky island because it's at a higher altitude. Temperatures are milder in summer if a bit colder in winter, and we expect a little higher rainfall. So far it looks like it will be a desert-garden lover's paradise. We shall see... ;-) I hope to write about the region soon--I'm still learning a lot about it, but that won't end soon!