Patio Surprise

Returning from a 4 day trip – part-work, part-use-those-Southwest-Rapid-Rewards-Points – and what greeted me?

A good sign on what I thought might die, only a month ago –

see anything new?

On the way home, I washed my car (it’s been months), but a thundershower hit from this year’s early start to the monsoon season. That soaking rain washed the grit off the roads and dirtied my car some, but never reached my patio planters. Its covered and only open to the north, so I water every few days like on the evening before my trip.

native Tecoma stans var. angustata put on 2 blooms, plus a flower bud
container #1…growing nicely

Agave parryi var. truncata / Artichoke Agave looks good, and they are each growing wider leaves, as I’d hoped in only indirect light. The smaller trio are pups liberated from my San Diego aunt’s plants.

Agave bracteosa / Squid Agave is happy in this spot, and even its pup survived the transplant into this new container. The mother plant was a gift from David in Dallas before I moved from ABQ.

containers #2 and #3 …not much growth, but everything healthy
breakfast time before it gets hot and another workday

I left out the potted aloe clump, as it’s still in that state of, “do I perk up, or do I say ‘no more’?” Also missed was my Agave americana ‘Mediopicta Alba’ in the terra cotta pot; it’s finally spread its leaves out.

– – –

El Paso has cooled at the start of normally the hottest few weeks of the year into the low-mid 90’s. Our humidity has increased with the monsoonal flow – enough to cause my swamp cooler to work less well, but it’s not uncomfortable…and no more 100F+ highs for a while. Patio time!

Do you have a spot to relax before it gets too warm to be outside?

7 Replies to “Patio Surprise”

  1. Temps approaching 100F here in the SoCal foothills, and humid, but since that means rain on the Lake Fire, it’s all good. Even with the heat I’m spending so much time outside. I’m grateful for the patio roof, leaks and all. Need a chaise longue for sleeping :~)

    Smoke from that fire was thick in the Las Vegas area when I was out last week…hope they get more rain. Yes, a sleeping area on a covered patio is almost perfect…how about a hammock? Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Can’t tell you how glad I am that the Esperanza is working out in your situation! The increased humidity certainly has its perks for Southern raised humidity aficionados. I was actually just in Austin for a week, and let me tell you how at home I felt with the humidity… But the dryness is always a welcome home embrace when you step off the plane.

    I was sure it was a goner! I like Esperanza more than Yellow Bells, but I never hear the former here and west. Humidity – dry skin issues vanish in Austin, let alone Mobile when I went last time.


  3. Your containers are looking great – everything seems very happy with its new digs.

    It is humid here, and buggy, all that late rain helping the garden but not so much the gardeners. We have a deck with eastern exposure and a front porch with western exposure so it is possible to sit and sip while dodging the sun as needed so long as you are willing to swat. I lose a lot of wine that way, so I’ve been sticking indoors for the most part.

    I’d rather be outside though…any time the breeze picks up I head right out the door!

    Thanks, that rock topdress helped, too. Since Tecoma is related to Campsis and Chilopsis, my hunch on family Bignonacae’s forgiveness of a quick lapse in planting ability was confirmed! Our humidity has lowered almost to normal for late June, and no 100’s…no swatting (except a fly or two). Above average moisture since Oct, but few bugs – no desert cicadas either – weird.

    May we get breezes and wine glasses that hold their contents.


  4. We had a hot and muggy Fri/Sat but finally on Sunday afternoon the heat seems to have broken for a few days, scheduled to return for the holiday weekend though.

    You know my favorite spot…on the patio! Clifford (the big-leaf magnolia) is finally tall enough to provide a nice amount of shade.

    I saw how hot all the NW was plus some humidity, a combo we rarely get. Guess I never noticed you enjoy your patio, though I do see loads of pics from it. Makes sense…Clifford!


  5. Hi David. Love the Tecoma! I have an angustata that is over 12 ft. tall and is still looking great since being planted 16 years ago.

    As for a cool place to enjoy the outdoors in Phoenix – there isn’t any…

    I just saw the first wild Tecoma blooming on my hike yesterday, but the largest I’ve seen here is 6′ or so – payback for us having (usually) moderately hot summers! Glad it’s OK in shade.


  6. Looking happy and healthy! I saw (i think) native esperanza…is it more vine-like with slightly smaller leaves? Threw me off!

    Right now my comfiest place is the hammock under pecan tree shade…

    Yes, the native one, at least here, has smaller leaves and comes back from the roots each spring, so is vine-like. The other one, T. stans var stans, I think is larger leafed. Hammock…I need one of those again!


  7. Several, but right now it is too humid to enjoy them. We did eat breakfast outside today. I see you are like I am-favoring planting the smaller sizes and willing to accept small gifts for the garden. So glad your T.s has flowered for you and provided you with a homecoming surprise. I had one years ago and think I must rectify that because they put on a beautiful show in the fall and I am always envious.

    Yes you do have choices, I just looked at the pics I took there 4 years ago…wow! Too bad the humidity always makes a return there – we have it good here in that. Smaller sizes are the best, though I wish I could buy more for immediate effect (even 15 gal Nolina would be great). Tecoma stans is tough…


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