Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Spring Outside

So our spring time here is very different then what I am used to in the Midwest.  We are not enduring snow like most people I know back in Nebraska.  In some weird twisted way I do miss the snow a bit but I am sure I would be sick of it like most people back home are.  I am not sure how to enjoy my favorite part of springtime here in the desert without bulb flowers.  My favorite flower is the tulip and I miss seeing those around, as well as the other bulb flowers.  There is just something about having these green, colorful flowers popping up after everything has been so dreary and bleak from winter.  It just says ah there is life again.  Hmm, any symbolism there since Easter is in the spring.

We have different things blooming here and it has been fascinating to see those things and learn about them.  One of the things that I learned is that an agave plant lives about 5-6 years.  When it finally produces a flower stalk, it will then die.  All of the agave plants in the neighborhood have sprouted their flower stock.  I am curious to see the flower that comes from this stock.

 We have many cacti here as you probably could have guessed.  There are not to many in our part of the city.  I am thinking it is because it is newer over here.  The big huge cactus that you probably have in your head are called sorrel cacti.  They grow wild here and if you get out of town you will see tons of them.  They are really expensive too, up to $100/ft.  We have a neighbor that has a variety of cactus in their yard.  One caught my eye because it looked like it was about to bloom.  I got a picture of it and the next day the blooms were open and then the next they were closed.  So the blooms must open and close but I am not sure when they open and close. 
We started a little garden of raised beds here.  We just put in a couple to try things out.  Plus I don't want to go to crazy since we needed to get other things around here, like window coverings.  We decided to do it on the side of the house so it gets morning sun and then in the afternoon the house shades it a bit.  I definitely wanted tomato plants to start.  I picked a cherry, roma, and beefsteak.  Little did I know that the beefsteak will do nothing.  With that being said it makes me wonder why the stores even sell them.  We have tried a cucumber plant that was already started but that immediately died and then Tim planted seeds and we have seen nothing.  I am thinking that the soil has to much horse poop in it and it has burned it up.  The tomatoes were doing super in the little planters until I put them in the bed.  They have slowed down and not produced much on the cherry plant.  Tim planted onion sets in every empty space imaginable spot around the tomatoes and they look like they are dead now.  So far we have only harvested one lone cherry tomato.  There are others on the plant but waiting for them to turn red.  A little roma has started.  Our jalapeno plant is not doing that hot either, no pun intended there. 
Here is the side of the house where our garden will be.  Our vision is several raised beds with rock all around them and flagstone paths in between the beds. Side note: there are tumble weeds to the left of the beds, they burn great and they are always blowing around on a windy day. 

The bed with tomato plants, one jalapeno plant and the dead onion sets.

The cucumber bed that is not doing anything.

Bad pic but can you see the little roma in the middle of the photo?  

Our first cherry tomato.

 We have some plants in our courtyard that I am really excited about.  They were house warming gifts from Chris and Carol.  One is my favorite plant that I always had back home, a Mandevilla.  This plant had really pretty foliage and red blooms.  It was heat tolerant and just looked great.   I am excited to see if I can keep this alive all year long here.  Back home it would not have made it through a winter.  The other plant is a bougainvillea.  I saw a lot of these when we lived up in the retirement village.  They were huge and just had a ton of flowers in them.  I planted some perennials in pots here in the courtyard but I don't think they are getting enough sun to produce a lot of flowers.  I have some in back and they are going crazy.  Might have to move those to another spot to get more sun. 
Bougainvillea is to the right, mandevilla is in the center and the potted flowers are in the left.  Hopefully it will make for a beautiful entrance.

 That is really the only exciting thing about our back yard.  We do have a little fire pit going on.  The wood we get is just lumber scraps from dumpsters outside new house builds.  Tim and I will go dumpster diving for wood scraps.  Hey it's free and it is going to get thrown away anyways.  So here is a pic of the fire pit and our wood pile.

 To close this out I post some pic of little Charlee.  I am really bad about taking photos of her.  I need to get better with this.  People were not kidding when they say the second child has less photos of them. 
Her head looks way bigger then her body here.  She is wearing her hazel wood necklace to help with her eczema.

Sleepy time

Her serious face.  Check out those ears!  Poor little chapped cheeks.


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