6.21.2010

first day of summer...

Right.  Seriously, for those of us here in the southwest, summer comes long before June 21st, but the calendar says summer starts today and who am I to argue?  I'm nobody that's who. 

Today, for the official first day of summer, I'm going to show you something that is exciting to me.  Something that proves, even though it feels like an oven out there, we haven't had it too bad this year.

It is next to impossible to keep flowers alive in Phoenix during this time of year (for me it is anyway).  Come August, everything is burned to a crisp.  We decided to stop being irresponsible with our water usuage when we moved here to the Pagoda and we planted mostly xeriscape landscaping.  We have a few strips of grass in the backyard for the dog and one pot of flowers by the back door and that's about it.  Everything else is a desert plant.  They still need water, just much less.  I miss my flowers and lush grass but we feel better about this little decision so that's that.  The good news is, one of cactus plants showed me just the sweetest little flower she had to offer last week...


I know it's no ranucula or magnolia.  It offers no sweet scent like the rose or orange blossom.  It's does not have the elegance of a calla lily or orchid, but it is unexpected is it not?  The contrast it brings to the big, some might even say, not so attractive thorn covered cactus, is quite a gift. 

Wait, the Bougainvillea and Mexican Bird of Paradise blooming in my front yard are nothing to sneeze at either.  These plants are displaying this kind of beauty in 100+ degree heat and with very little water. They thrive in the harshest of conditions.


Happy First Day of Summer everyone!

If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere. ~Vincent Van Gogh ~

12 comments:

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

I loved admiring these beautiful beautiful flowers, Jeanette. Wish we had those over here too.
Wishing you a great Summer. Remember, in case it get's too hot, you could always dive into your freezer ;o)

kroney said...

How beautiful! For people who don't live in the Southwest Desert it is probabaly somewhat surprising to see these wonderful plants and their blooms surviving in such heat!

kroney said...

probably!

Beatnheart said...

Beautiful Jeanette and Kudos to you for doing your part with water conservation...We live in a desert...It’s time we behaved like we did and stop trying to fight nature...that being said...Think of our winter rewards. I barely water here now. Just my tomatoes and some potted plants which I have also scaled down. Are you able to grow fruit trees there...?? Lovely garden, fabulous home...unbelievable...

MJM said...

I am preaching to these Northwest folks about the beauty of the desert all the time. I find these flowers all the more beautiful because they are survivors in the harshest of conditions.

Maria said...

Though these are all quite lovely - I think the Mexican Bird of Paradise gets my vote for favorite! We have the Bougainvillea and another variety of the Bird of Paradise here is Florida (where most everything grows), but it is MUCH larger and I don't think quite as vibrantly colored. I think the Mexican variety looks rather like an orchid - another one of my favorites. Fabulous photos! Happy Summer!

Teenage Bride said...

I have one work for you.... Gorgeous!

I just took a botany class last semester and I learned all about plants that thrive in desert regions, it is amazing the sheer beauty that some of these brave plants have to offer.

Silver Strands said...

Oh my WORD those are gorgeous photos!
oxoxo
Denalee

pamela said...

love the desert flowers! and there is nothing better than the smell of the desert after a good rain either. what is that last flower? i swear my neighbor has that and i was going to take a pic. of it, too!
i have a good cactus flower shot of a pink blossom in sedona that i like to look at again and again.
yes, there is more than sand in AZ!

Beach Vintage said...

Such pretty pictures. Thanks for sharing. You have brightened my morning. Thanks for dropping by Beach Vintage and hope to see you again soon.

Henley said...

The Bougainvillea looks like two flowers in one. I agree with Maria, the Mexican Bird one looks like an orchid. I didn't know you had desert plants with such colorful blooms in the summertime.

koralee said...

Your images are amazing! I love those catus flowers..so so pretty. I would love it if I could turn up the heat here...only a bit though. xoxoxo