Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wolverine Ginger, Flowers, and Feedback requests

I've been surprised at how many people have asked about Ginger and how she's doing. It's so nice of everyone. Here's the update. I think she's part wolverine or has mutant healing powers. A few years ago she was jumping on a trampoline, goofed up, and was cut by a spring. The hook completely pierced her ankle and hooked her Achilles tendon. She healed up from that super quick, no scar even. The picture below shows the side that was worse with her recent javelina run in. It's already healed. She doesn't care about stitches, the cone, anything. All she wants is to have someone throw the ball and take her for walks and let her swim again. Stitches come out Friday. Not soon enough for her.
It's not Ginger without a tennis ball.

It's not dangerously hot now, and things are starting to grow or bloom again.
 Desert senna, senna covesii.

The canna lilies are blooming again, although the heat has taken the beauty out of their foliage and just turned them green without the striations that make canna leaves so amazing.

I love this little cactus. It's so ambitious! It's an opuntia microdasys. New River jasper is a stone that can be found in the seasonally dry New River bed and downstream. Near our house I've collected a few while out walking. The whole of my collection is in this pot and the next. Along with some white quartz.

Paper spine cactus, tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus. It's has started to add two new segments rather quickly recently.

A friend of mine had a birthday recently and the most thoughtful thing I could think to give was a plant arrangement.  
This is an agave parryi var. truncata, an artichoke agave. Along with collecting jasper when out wandering the desert, I also will pick up tumbled quartz. These are all peach colored. I think it turned out pretty good (despite breaking all sorts of plant show staging rules).

I finally decided where to place the Whale's Tongue Agave, agave ovatifolia. For those worrying about my poor planting job and exposed roots, I fixed that since the photo was taken. Yes I know this is going to be an enormous agave, yes it's close to the justicia.

Everyday I drive by this amazing agave. It's the only one I've seen like it anywhere around here. I have to think some agave loving landscaper put it in the middle of a major road, right next to an intersection of another major road. I'm not sure of the species, if you have any ideas, please comment. My guess is agave havardiana.

Finally, I'd be interested if anyone has any suggestions on plantings off to the side of the house. We have a gravel driveway leading back to an RV gate. We have neither RV or boat, and no intention of having them. The arrows below illustrate how one could still have use of the gate and where I'm debating planting a large tree. For now I've decided on a Desert Museum Palo Verde, but am still thinking. In fact, I've created a work-in-progress page off to the right with all my tree thoughts and research.
A couple things here to mention. The hesperaloe is recent and not well thought out. I just wanted to get them in the ground somewhere out front. They are probably too close together. If I wanted to use the gate, I could removed the red yuccas without a problem. The idea behind the tree is to add some shade to this north facing side of the house, and some more green and life to this side. 

So please feel free to comment on tree suggestions, placement suggestions, planting ideas, etc. Also, thoughts on the agave species.


  1. Good rock finds to topdress with...great stuff in arroyos and desert.

    Front project - maybe relocate red yuccas line at driveway 2' or so further to left (away from drive edge), and towards street no less than 3-4' off rolled curb top (keep same spacing). Add palo verde or other tree in area you show it, but 7-8' back from top of rolled curb (won't overgrow street and can be pruned high for traffic to clear)...that's 4-5' between mature red yuccas and garage, to access back yard gate w/ wheelbarrow or small bobcat, a nice planting along the drive (just tight to get out of car there, but not overgrown). Pass tree location and reasoning to HOA via a sketch?

    Just put the check in the mail :-)

    And after reading more Danger Garden posts, that palo verde will grow and you'll have room to tuck in some dry shade plants (if you abhor a vacuum). Good luck.

    1. Oh, and create a broad, shallow basin to slow down runoff and benefit tree...check out harvesting rainwater website by Brad Lancaster.

    2. Thanks for the ideas, my apologies for not replying sooner! I read the Harvesting Rainwater book last month by Lancaster. It was a really amazing book. A few months so I looked at rainwater capacity of my house. During a storm I collected 300 gallons off 1/4 of the roof, and may have had more. I looked at my water bill, realized I had saved $1.00 of water. In most of the Phoenix area, water is unbelievably cheap, $3 per 1,000 gallons. Habits will never change in that paradigm.

      Thanks for the input again!