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Arizona gardeners! 5 Replies

Started by Kris AZ. Last reply by Douglas Plotkin Aug 16, 2010.

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Comment by Grant, Scottsdale,Arizona Zone 9 on May 18, 2013 at 11:43am

Hiya Deborah and all, yup, I bring in special geraniums for summer, like 'Mr. Wren' below.  For the common easily available types, like no-name reds or whatever purchased for winter, I usually just let them fade and remove them for summer, but Mr. Wren will come inside when he's getting stressed.  I can't say about the pets, I suppose it depends on them, hah!

Here's a fun 'Sorceress' Echinopsis in bloom in the garden, plus a neat bright yellow spider on some nigella (great winter/spring flowering annuals here) in the garden.  Plenty of other pics in my May 2013 garden photo album.  Happy gardening everyone!

Comment by Deborah Hamel (Z9a-9b Arizona) on May 16, 2013 at 6:18pm

Grant, you bring geraniums inside your home through the summer? I hadn't thought of doing such a thing. Good thinking. I wonder if the pets, both cat and dogs, would leave the plants alone?

Beautiful images, as usual. Thank you for posting them.

Comment by Grant, Scottsdale,Arizona Zone 9 on May 16, 2013 at 9:10am

Hi everyone, I hope everyone is well!  I don't know about you, but I am loving the weather still:  toasty days with absolutely gorgeous mornings and evenings.  It STILL hasn't hit 100 F at the house, so this has been a very easy, gentle start to summer/end of spring.  I know, I know it won't be long till I hit 100F!  In any case, here are some blooms from the garden this week:  pink hollyhocks, 'Mr. Wren' geranium (he'll be coming indoors soon to survive summer's heat), and a mile-a-minute vine bloom (aka "Alamo vine", Merremia dissecta).  Happy gardening!  

Comment by Grant, Scottsdale,Arizona Zone 9 on May 11, 2013 at 9:47am

Hi everyone, sorry for being offline for so long, but I had a work trip to Las Vegas and was not online much.  In any case, I'm slowly catching up on the garden and online.  Fun!  

Thanks for the nice comments on the Miracle-Gro commercial, Deborah.  It really was fun, and quite a big production.  In any case, I'm a huge fan of their fertilizers.  I use their water-soluble tomato fertilizer on just about everything:  veggies, cacti, succulents, citrus, and I also use their bloom booster on flowery fluffy stuff too (and on cacti a month or so before their usual bloom period).  I like the powdery/crystally water soluble stuff and always have it on hand.  Great stuff.  I usually do two plain-waterings and then one fertilizer-watering with my plants.  Fun stuff!  I'll definitely post a link when they've got one for either tv or online banner ads.  

Your 'Pink Butterflies' variegated Kalancho is super easy to keep happy.  Just give it partial shade and water when quite dry to keep it happy.  The plantlets are 99.9% albino and won't survive when they fall off the plant so they're not as aggressive of spreaders as the non-variegated types.  Just remember any stem that blooms dies, so it's good to keep a couple of stem cuttings going so you can make new plants.  

I am loving the weather the last couple of days.  Turned the a/c off mid-week and loving it!  Just for fun here's a flower in the garden this morning, a "turk's cap mallow" (Malvaviscus drummondii), a close relative of the hibiscus blooming in the garden.  Great, large-growing semi-woody shrubs here that bloom all spring, summer and autumn.  Reliably perennial too.  They look best when cut back hard in late winter.  The flowers never open more than in this pic, but they're still very pretty and attract lots of bees and hummingbirds.  Also available in pink and white, but I love me some color so I always go with the red.  Happy gardening! 

Comment by Deborah Hamel (Z9a-9b Arizona) on May 4, 2013 at 7:09pm

Congratulations on the Miracle Grow ad. When you see it, please let us know so we can see, too! Can you tell us which Miracle Grow product you used and what you would recommend for those of us growing in Arizona? Which product would you recommend for container gardening of tomatoes and eggplant? I don't mean to put you on the spot, just hoping for a hint or two.

Thank you again for the encouragement with respect to Karen's Memorial Trough Garden.

Some of the plants that have been gifted to the garden are new to me, like the Kalanchoe. I don't know that I have ever seen this plant before. Any suggestions on keeping it alive and healthy would be greatly appreciated.

I remember seeing wild, blue colored larkspur growing in the Camas Prarie in the spring with the Camas lilies. They also share the spring flowers in southern Idaho around Fairfield and Hagerman. My mother used to spread Cosmos seeds each year along with Dianthus and Sweet Williams. She had the most beautiful color beneath the trees, mostly weeping willow and ash trees. The day lilies were planted beneath the catalpa and maple tree. Ahh, remembering childhood is a gift. Thank you.

I love the blue colors in your gardens! Thank you for posting them.

Comment by Grant, Scottsdale,Arizona Zone 9 on May 4, 2013 at 4:59pm

Thanks for the nice words on the Apple of Sodom, Deborah, I appreciate it.  I hope it makes those large, inflated pods soon.  Such a fun plant.  Karen's memorial garden looks absolutely spectacular!  I love it and am sure she is looking down and smiling at it too.  I love the larkspur/vinca combination too, very very nice!  The variegated Kalanchoe is fun too.  I grow it as well and love the fact that the albino plantlet's can't self-sow all over the garden.  Yours in the memorial garden look muuuuuuch better than mine EVER have.  Great stuff, thanks so much for posting them!  

I had a fun day today as Miracle-Gro, the fertilizer, reached out to me a few months ago to film a southwest-themed commercial in my garden.  It took four hours but it was so fun.  Look for it on t.v. and online.  I'll be one of those silly banner ads, soon, hah!  Happy gardening all!  Just for fun, here's the last bearded iris in the garden, and one of MANY blue gillias blooming in the garden, this one in front of a nice blue skinned cardon cactus.  All the best!

Comment by Deborah Hamel (Z9a-9b Arizona) on April 30, 2013 at 10:27am

Wonderful photos Grant! I have never seen the Apple of Sodom flower before. Thank you for the treat!

Here is an update on Karen's Memorial Trough Garden:

Bill and Jeannie's gift tomato plant planted on the day we set the troughs, has green fruit. Last week, another friend of Karen's brought 4 plants for the garden. The white larkspur fit as if it belonged with the red vinca and tomato plant.

The black tie plant is thriving in on the west end of the trough. Every plant is thriving as if Karen were tending to them.

The Butterfly Plant is beautiful, almost iridescent salmon color. This was one of the plants gifted last week.

Enjoy the weather!

Comment by Grant, Scottsdale,Arizona Zone 9 on April 28, 2013 at 11:53am

Great pic of your onions and cabbages, Deborah!  You're such a skilled gardener!  They look delicious!  I'm so glad things are also thriving in the memorial garden you set up, that's great!

Here are some random pics from my garden this weekend:

Hippeastrum striatum blooming away like it does each spring, and then it produces random flowers all summer and autumn too:

'Grapetizer' bearded iris:

Apple of Sodom (Calotropis procera) flowers:

And finally, some hollyhocks:

I am loving the weather this week, nice toasty warm days and still-lovely evenings.  I haven't even thought about turning on the A/C yet.  Happy gardening all!


Comment by Deborah Hamel (Z9a-9b Arizona) on April 21, 2013 at 2:40pm

Thank you, Grant.

The blooms are now 6 days old and remain as fresh-looking as they are in the photo.

Plants in Karen's Memorial Trough Garden are thriving!

All the cabbages were harvested yesterday. They will go into salt cabbage and other stir fry dishes. The heads this year are small, half the size, weight and nearly 2 months later maturing. The weather is getting too warm for the plants to remain bug-free, so time to harvest. Here are a couple of white cabbages harvested, they are 3.6 lbs and 4.8 lbs. Other gardeners here in Gilbert are seeing less yield, too. They think it was the weather, those last 2 cold snaps that retarded the plant growth.

Comment by Grant, Scottsdale,Arizona Zone 9 on April 21, 2013 at 2:07pm

Beautiful, Deborah, beautiful!  Great job on making it happy enough to re-bloom!  Thanks for taking the time/effort to share it with us.  Happy gardening all! 


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