Wednesday, July 23, 2008


There are probably not too many things that would induce a visit to Phoenix in the height of summer. For us it was the arrival of our fourth grandchild.
So although this is not my patch I can't resist posting a few photographs of the gardens in the neighborhood. In the brutal temperatures at the moment it is amazing to see so much in flower. The monsoon rains have brought little relief to the summer heat but the plants have come to life. The red bird of paradise, Caesalpinia pulcherrima, with its vibrant red and orange flowers is a good match for the blast furnace temperatures.

All over town the Texas sage is in full bloom although some bushes look better than others!
Texas chain saw massacre.

There is a variety of landscape style, but of course the one for me would always be the xeriscape look with dry creek. I wonder why?

Some choose to provide some shade with Acacia or desert willow trees.
Others have the true desert landscape with cacti and agave.

This strip between wall and sidewalk has a healthy planting of Opuntia and they were sporting some pretty impressive tuna.

Some just have to have a patch of grass and this one needs no mowing!


  1. Thanks for showing us what Phoenix looks like on a neighborhood stroll. They seem to be using our toughest, dry-loving plants. And a lot of rock.

    That plastic lawn just doesn't fit in, though.

    And congrats on your newest grandchild!

  2. These are great pictures. I am planning something similar under my Desert Willow, rocks, boulders and Agaves etc, so this artical really interested me.

  3. What a lovely reason to make a trip, Jenny - and what good grandparents you are to go to Phoenix in summer!

    I'm still not used to Austin - can't imagine living in that desert, even though your photos make it appear quite beautiful.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  4. Pam- I just can't get enough of the walks round the neighborhood and the dogs are loving it. I have to do it very early in the morning.
    esp-There are so many great ideas here. Look out for more.
    Annie-This is the hottest I have ever known. I have never ever spent so much time indoors and it is killing me. I did a little gardening but it is just unbearable. So, it's back to genealogy and blogging between cooking and burping!

  5. Phoenix is so foreign to me, so many plants I don't know. But it has its own beauty, thank for braving the heat and sharing it with us.

    And congratulations on your new grandbaby!

  6. This is fascinating to me. For some reason, I assumed that Phoenix landscaping was like every other bad cookie-cutter water-hogging landscaping I've seen in suburbia.

    My favorite thing, I think, is how three-dimensional all of these landscapes are, with sculptural changes in elevation. I'm so sick of flat, boring lawn! The contrast of textures between the agaves and the pebbles and large rocks is incredibly satisfying as well.

    Thanks for sharing! :D

  7. I'm picturing those people ShopVacing their lawn once a month. I'd have a hard time resisting sticking a pink flamingo or a putting green in the middle of that expanse!

    Did you see much fake lawn around town?

  8. I agree with you that flat is not the best for any garden. Recently someone re landscaped in our neighborhood and as part of the job they brought in soil to create berms. It improved their garden no end.
    We did see a few lawns with the fake grass. Some were better than thers but my son told me there are drawbacks-very hot and have to be sanitized if dogs "go " on them. Better to just have gravel.