Monday, June 20, 2011


Ah! The retama tree, Parkinsonia aculeata. flowering as though there is no tomorrow.

I hope that isn't the truth. That it is attempting to put on hundreds of flowers in order to make seed because there will be no tomorrow. It's true the leaves are much more stringy and tiny than in the past. I know they tend to drop their leaves under stress and photosynthesize through the green bark. It's a perfect tree for out in our native area which is just parched.

This tree needs plenty of room to grow. Consider that this one grew from a seed which fell upon a pile of rubble at the end of the driveway. By the time it came to remove the pile it was doing so well I just couldn't allow it to be pulled out. Hence the building of a dry stone wall around it. Now another retama has sprouted closer to the road. Wish I had more of them.

This is the Agave desmettiana that was in the pot by the side entry. It was really pot bound and clearly stressed because it never had produced a pup. After David built the new box bed, by the side entry, I still couldn't make my mind up about what I should plant in there. For the time being I planted the agave. It certainly seems a lot happier in there and I see a couple of pups. I had no water until I put the hose on it yesterday. It really needs more shade than it is getting here but for now it stays.

I planted a couple fo 4" pots of agastache in the spring. This one, in the front garden survived. The one in the back, where the watering system failed, died. Looks like it will be on my list for next year. I also said that about Senorita rosalita cleome. Bought 3 this year. All failed.
The Texas fish hook cactus is looking dehydrated but still managed to produce one bloom. I'm hoping that water will plump it up and encourage it to bloom again.

The purple skullcap, Scutellaria wrightii, along the edge of the dry creek is ready for its mid summer pruning. I have been spending the mornings pruning back all the salvias, skullcaps and many more in readiness for a fall blooming. That is, if we have a fall this year.


  1. I'm so envious of your beautiful purple skullcap--I know I sound like a broken record, sorry. My pink skullcap is tough as nails, and I don't even like it much, but I can't seem to keep the purple version alive.

  2. That tree is amazing...I see why you could not move it. I have also been pruning back my salvias in hopes of another bloom. The stones in your dry creek bed are almost as pretty as the plants.

  3. My 'Senorita Rosalita' cleome, replanted as an annual, is doing pretty well out front, though our horrible heat and drought are stressing it a little. I'm sorry yours didn't make it. It seems to be more temperamental than I thought that first glorious year.

    Your retama and Lee's at the Grackle are making me want one.

  4. Another moment when I realise how different climates can be -- your lovely wish-you-had-more retama is a major environmental weed in my country! Given you tree's height and legginess, I'd be a bit concerned that it might be coming to the end of its life too.
    Wishing you a mild summer!

  5. The Retamas are great. Those and the desert willow are really hearty. Blooming in this horrible heat and no rain.

  6. Everything looks really pretty- I love the retamas as well. Always been a favorite.

  7. My Agastache failed as well, as did my Colombine after one little flush of blooms. I love the skullcap - I'm going to have to try that next year.

  8. Well, I've put that agave on my list. I've been hankering for an agastache, too, but glad I didn't do it this year.