Friday, February 24, 2006

Juan Angel

We adopted Juan Angel (Johnny Angel) several years ago in Cabo San Lucas. He is from Guanajuato in mainland Mexico and is made of recycled cans and other metal junk. He has become a good friend.

More Weeds

I now have a keen eye for seedlings. My rule of thumb for weeding, is "if I don't know what it is, then don't pull it". I recognized the seedling in the middle as an orange-flowered native, Dogweed (Dyssodia speciosa) and have transplanted it to a more desireable location. The blue-leafed groundcover is Sesuvium verrucosum, another native, that has become a favorite. It has nice pink flowers year round. Now, when I'm cruising through the garden, I'm also looking for interesting seedlings.


An old tacklebox makes a great organizer for drip irrigation supplies.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Seeing Differently

When a plant is done flowering, my instinct is to tidy it up by cutting all dried flower stems. One recent day, I looked with a fresh eye and decided that the old dried flowers and stems were actually interesting and should stay. See the dried up pinkish Kalanchoe flowers in the center of the photo and the tall dried Aloe vera flower stalks at the top.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Queen Butterfly Caterpillar

I'm trying to figure out what the larval host plants are for the different butterflies so I can have them in my garden to attract more butterflies. This is a Queen butterfly caterpillar munching on Jumete (Asclepias subulata) flower buds. Queens are related to Monarchs and the caterpillars look somewhat similar. Jumete is in the Milkweed plant family (Asclepiadaceae) and Monarchs like Milkweeds too. A couple of hours after taking this photo, I walked by the plant and the caterpillar was gone--maybe one of the birds ate it for breakfast.


Two of the lime trees are dripping with blossoms and wafting their heavenly fragrance for all to enjoy. These are Mexican limes--the same as Key Limes. What many people don't realize, is that they are juiciest and sweetest (and make the best margaritas and Key Lime Pie) when the skins are yellow--not green. When fully mature, they drop and you can harvest from the ground. Prune the lower branches to avoid serious thorns.

Another Weed.....

This is Justicia insolita, a wonderful perennial native I've grown for several years. It blooms almost year-round and flowers best in full sun. There is so much potential here for gardening with natives. I feel a sense of discovery when I get another native with horticultural potential established in my garden.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


This morning I saw two roadrunners in the garden at the same time. I've been seeing at least one every other day lately, and they are letting me get closer. This photo was taken from my art studio window. I just moved the birdbath so I can see it through the window. Makes it hard to get any work done. Once I saw a roadrunner near our birdbath trotting away victoriously with an oriole in its mouth!

Thornproof Gloves

I swear by these thornproof gloves-- a must for desert gardeners. This is probably my third or fouth pair. I get them at Home Depot in California.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Perfect Morning

A Book for All Desert Gardeners

I'm pretty sure I would be embarrassed if I ever actually counted the hours I have spent poring over this book. I know every photo, just like you know every song on a favorite CD. I know where the photographer was standing to take each photo......

It definitely inspired my gardening and photography. Highly recommended.


I can tell that Vinorama (Acacia farnesiana)
is blooming when I get a whiff of its lovely fragrance. It is a super-prickly native tree that provides a bit of shade, but is dangerous to prune with truly wicked thorns.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What's a Weed?

This little annual yellow daisy (Pectis multiseta var. multiseta) is one of my favorite native groundcovers. I can now identify the seedlings so I don't pull them as if they were weeds. The orange flowers are Dogweed (Dyssodia speciosa), another favorite native which is flowering beautifully now.

Baby Lettuce

Lettuce seedlings finally starting to look like something. Hopefully we can start harvesting in a couple of weeks.

Bird Show - Hooded Oriole

These guys are so photogenic I can't put the camera down.

Orange-crowned Warbler

This morning, this Orange-crowned Warbler took an accidental detour into the house and had a hard time finding the way out.

Bird Show -- Hooded Oriole

Male Hooded Oriole drinking nectar from Aloe rivae flowers.

Bird Show

This Scott's Oriole could not tear himself away from the Aloe ferox flowers this morning--providing many photo ops. Seee all of the pollen he got on his face as he dove into the blossoms for nectar.

If You Feed Them, They Will Come

We put seed out every morning and watch the bird show.