Monsoon Wows

4″ of rain fell over the last week. Butterflies, dragon flies, and other fauna are as happy as humans for those showers downpours.

But plants look as good as ever at the UTEP Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, on this mild 85-ish Sunday afternoon. Including some species proven to be bulletproof, yet are uncommon. And it’s pollination time!

Mexican Starleaf Orange / Choisya dumosa forming flower buds, with Turk’s Cap behind it
Mariposas loading up on Mist Flower

8 Replies to “Monsoon Wows”

  1. MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmm mistflowers are starting? Woo-hoo! Mine are not…hmmmm…was I supposed to dead-head?

    I always used to dead-head mine, and most other flowering plants. But part is it’s too hot there. Here, a week of 75-85 highs, rain, and 60’s at night…


  2. I feel so privileged to have seen the NM desert come alive with green. I would never have believed the transformation had I not seen it with my own eyes. Of course the washed out roads and flooding I could have done without.

    I only wish more cacti, yuccas responded to monsoon rains by blooming and growing…but they do plump up! Glad you saw the start of our 2nd spring…


  3. I think Vita would have loved the term Sissingbag! I’m sure she’d be horrified at what’s come of her garden. And I secretly think that the woman who penned Pepita would like that Turk’s cap! We have one measley little Creosote left at Denver Botanic Gardens–I better go sniff it before it up and dies. We’ve had 6″ or so at my house: loverly!

    Very true. I had several creosotes at the old house, and in projects all over…picky to establish, but once there, they take over and reseed too much. Amazing rain we all had!


    1. I have an inkling that ‘Sissingbags’ was Ms S.W, pet name for her extended cottage garden! As for ‘horrified’ i doubt it..she like any other ‘artist’ gardener would be more likely ‘horrified’ that the place has been kept going ‘in aspic’ as it were..All things must pass.

      Ha! You’ll have to tell me more on what this “trendy Sissingbags brigade” does, is into plant and design-wise. The trends in the US vary by place, but too many landscape designers copy without thinking to adapt.


  4. Man I am so jealous. It’s Fall here, leaves are falling everywhere and it’s cold and rainy. At least the post warms my heart. What kind of plant fragrances do you smell after those rains there ?

    Already? We smell creosote bush – intoxicating! In Abq it was fainter w/ less creosote around. Even the rain smells good – fresh, often cool drops.


  5. That ‘Turk’s cap’ has been grown in garden here since the Victorian era and is still to be found in some of the older and bigger gardens untouched by the trendy Sissingbags brigade..for some strange reason it almost never flowers for me but is a tough as old boots! Not a plant that will make a comeback in the fashion stakes but that suits me fine!!

    A classic in some areas. I wonder why it doesn’t flower, since you have a climate it should; here it does best not in full sun, but 1/2 day of sun, with water 1X a week. I must look up Sissingbags!


    1. I grow it in part dry rooty shade and it does quite ok without added water..I get the odd flower and that is enough for me..I like it for its habit and leaves more than anything! I don’t irrigate my garden..even my containers are lucky to get a drink a couple of times a year! We can get 45C.

      Those conditions and high temperatures sound fine, so perhaps it’s water plus season of water? Tell me more about your area or climate…I recall you are a Med. climate near Adelaide?


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