Category Archives: plants

Nature Reveals the Answers

Sometimes you have a question about a plant that is growing in your garden.

Take for example our luffas. This is the first time we had grown them. We were surprised by the big, bright yellow flowers with the faintly ruffled edges.

We know the plants produce separate male and female flowers. All the first flowers we saw were males. We wondered what a female luffa flower would look like.

A few weeks ago we finally saw the first female flower.

Then we wondered what the fruit would look like.

Slowly the fruit has been growing.

Right now the fruit resemble a zucchini squash. We are now wondering when it will be ready to harvest.

The whole process has been a mystery where nature has slowly revealed the answers. Sometimes it pays to wait.

Garlic Chive Bouquet

My mother likes to take photographs of wildflowers along rural roadsides. She calls them “roadside bouquets.”

I have a lot of trouble taking photographs of groups of flowers.

Take this bed of garlic chives. I decided to try capturing them in the shade because at times of day the bed is half in the sun and half in the shade, and the light and dark contrasted too much.

Just seems too bland to me.

So, I watched until it was in full sun.

Seems a bit better.

I still like close, however.

Guess I’m just a macro girl at heart.

What do you think?

Tendrils

Aren’t plant tendrils fascinating?


These are from a luffa vine, and the photographs don’t do them justice. Maybe I’ll try again.
What do you think of tendrils?

Matilija Poppy

Not much new in my garden this week, so I thought I’d share a few photographs from the archives.

This beautiful plant caught my eye at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum last year.

It looks a bit like a common plant found in Arizona called the prickly poppy, but the flowers are bigger and bolder.


These are Coulter’s Matilija poppies, Romneya coulteri. It is from California.

I guess these are what put the “pop” in eye-popping.

Summer Luffas

August can be a tough time for plants, but our luffas seem to love the heat.

We have two kinds.

The sponge gourd, Luffa aegyptica, has big leaves

and big yellow flowers that resemble squash blossoms, only more open and flat.

Here’s a beauty in the morning sun.

Our ball luffas, Luffa operculata, have smaller, more cut in leaves.

The flowers are much smaller, too. They are more like watermelon flowers.

The fruit are just adorable.

Have you ever grown luffas? What species did you grow?

Cyclamen Blooming Again

Most things I have read have suggested that cyclamen plants go dormant for the summer.

ImageImage

 

Ours must not be able to read :-)

Rain Lilies Respond

Who has time to pamper fussy plants?

When my son wanted to buy rain lilies to grow in the desert, I had my doubts. They looked fragile. The name rain lily seemed to invoke a tropical plant, or at least one that thrived on rain.

Boy, have my ideas changed! These little beauties are so easy to grow and hardy, I don’t know why I had doubts.

They do bloom more profusely after a rain, hence the name.

Just gives us one more reason to look forward to rain here in the desert.

Have you ever tried to grow rain lilies?