Spring Details

Is spring the sight of new, fresh flowers to you? Newly green foliage? Or something else? Or all the above?

While this isn’t a place of long winters suddenly exploding into verdance, the awakening of spring is amazing. Our milder-than-usual winter, with only off/on cold for several weeks, and last September’s deluge, all helped. So did modest drip irrigation! Being in the middle or warm end of USDA Zone 8 is a good thing, too.

Photos from 3/17-18/2014 –

walking a neighborhood street, shooting for another blog post, I spied below…

Texas Mountain Laurel / Sophora secundiflora…USDA Z 8a (arid), Sunset Z 10b…

Old, established and tough; also surrounded by inhospitable paving.

scent of grape bubble gum, but better…

This plant recalls a trip to Carlsbad Caverns on a high school spring break in 1982, that scent wafting through open car windows. I was months from turning 16 and getting a drivers license.

Gopher Plant / Euphorbia rigida…USDA Z 6 (arid) / Sunset Z 3…
singly, nothing special in flowers…but collectively, special

Something so simple as a tough but beautiful plant form and bloom, is always worth being open to.

Torrey Yucca or Spanish Dagger / Yucca torreyi…USDA Z 7a (arid) / Sunset Z 10a…

Yuccas and rock – a powerful pair of the high desert region. Old, interesting apartment architecture, and those mountains looming under a bright blue sky.

golden blooms, fragrance…light and shadow…

To think I was simply picking up some items from an architect client; the front of her office. You know there’s an upcoming post on her little-maintained masterpiece!

a mix of white and yellow Lady Banks’ Rose / Rosa banksiae, dancing…USDA Z 6b (arid) / Sunset Z 3

Both common and fleeting, but worthwhile and tough here on deep, infrequent irrigation. The largest reported Lady Banks’ Rose in the US is 3 hours west of me, in Tombstone AZ. I had one that took 2 years to grow out of bedrock, then covering most of my ramada in under 3 years after.

The white (R. banksiae ‘Alba Plena’) has some thorns and is fragrant; the yellow (R. banksiae ‘Lutea) has no thorns and is rarely fragrant. Hmmm!


4 Replies to “Spring Details”

  1. I’ll add my vote to the pleas for a post on the the architect’s office and home. If her style is your style then I like them both. As to what evokes Spring for me? Bluebonnets.

    Any year I can get a patch of those established anywhere around here I count that as a good start no matter what else happens (or doesn’t happen, as in the case of still-not-enough rain).

    This past Fall I seeded in a few maroon and white varieties. They are just beginning to bloom. Not as sturdy looking as the blues but if they’ll all 3 reseed in place I’ll be one of the happiest gardeners in Central Texas.

    Interesting, is that both are different in style…coming soon, I hope! Bluebonnets – I can see that where you are. Maybe a quick trip E to see is in order… Good luck on all those colors, send pics!


  2. Gorgeous pics – we are totally experiencing the same timing here in San Antone as you are in El Paso….Mountain Laurels and spanish daggers are both blooming here too.

    I CAN’T BELIEVE I am saying this…but I may have to try that rose! It is gorgeous! Does it have months of ugly or bloom often?

    D! Your new clients home reminds me so much of your old place! Holy toledo! I mean, rock desert wall instead of purple…and TX vs AZ….but man….such a similar esthetic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I bet. That rose loves rocky soil, is mostly evergreen, but gets big and needs heavy support – like grape and wisteria vines. Flowering for 1-2 weeks, but nice all year. Ha – I guess we do have a similar garden style, and that’s a home turned into her/another architect’s office. Her house you would like, too…maybe a post soon?


  3. Love the Texas Mountain Laurel. We can’t grow that one here I don’t think. It’s gorgeous!

    Probably not, but a similar bloom on deciduous Wisteria…older neighborhoods prune them into small trees out here!


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