Soft Hues

Although I generally prefer bold colors in the landscape, softer ones can make the reds and yellow pop.  More muted colors can also provide a calm feeling.

desertsageThis year the rains we had in June helped the Desert Sages perform like I’ve never seen them.  This is actually a Cinizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) even though we all call it a Texas Sage or Desert Sage.  It’s not even in the sage family.

Absolutely gorgeous.

desertsage3The two above photos show a Desert Sage bush in one flower bed that has flowers with a pinkish tint.

desertsage2This Desert Sage is in a different place.  It’s color has a more purple hue.  It’s amazing how full it was with blossoms.  That’s why in nature, they burst out in color after a rainstorm.  Then very quickly turn back to a silver green foliage plant.

hdulburgsageHenry Duelburg Purple Salvia (Salvia farinacea ‘Henry Duelberg’) is one reliable plant.  For seven years it has bloomed and spread to fill a 11′ x 5′ bed from two small plants.  It’s a favorite of bees.

dscn2155Speaking of pale colors, this bird that sways in the wind is slowly rusting away.  Note the metal fork that balances in that tiny trough.  Strong wind may twist it around or have it hanging by one prong, but it has never fallen to the ground.

plumbagoIt is confirmed that this plant is a Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata).  I posted an earlier picture and wondered about its correct identify.  But recently I saw one at a nursery and feel sure it’s a Plumbago.  All summer it has bloomed like crazy.

indigoferaThis plant was purchased at an independent nursery in Abilene.  I’ve not seen another one.  It was not labeled.  When I asked for a name, it took a long time before someone came to tell me it was an Indigofera.  I’ve looked at pictures of Indigoferas on the web, but they don’t look like this plant.  So, I don’t know for sure what this plant is.

indigofera2The leaves are tough and feel like a succulent.  It grows low on the ground spreading out.  The flowers that resemble Balloon flowers before they open don’t last long, so it’s difficult to see the whole plant in bloom at once.

russiansage4Another great performer is Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia).  I first saw this bush in Santa Fe at a family gathering.  All my sisters and I were asking everyone what it was.

russiansage2Hey, I figured if it survived in the dry climate of northern New Mexico, it would make it here.  These have flourished and spread over five years.

They even dry well, and the flowers look pretty much the way they look while living.

russiansage3As the stems are moved around, they have a similar scent as other sages, like the popular ones with  small red flowers.  One is shown to the left in the first picture of the Russian Sage.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  But how can one not appreciate the glories of nature.

“Pride is a steamroller.  It’ll clear the path for a while, but sooner or later it’ll shift into reverse, and then…look out.”  The Sea Glass Sisters by Lisa Wingate

Before the Hail

Four inches of rain week before last and six inches last week.  Wow.  What a miracle.  There was also lots of hail that knocked out two windows and damaged trees and plants.

In the garden, some things were shredded by the hail or knocked down.  Usually, there’s a mass of day lilies blooming at this time in two different beds.   Those were beaten down just as their buds were ready to open.

So most of the pictures in this post were taken before the hail.

purplesageHenry Duelberg Salvia (Salvia farinacea “Henry Duelberg’) is one of the hardiest salvias I know about.  It is also called Mealy Sage.  Seven years ago three small plants were put in this raised flowerbed.

This salvia blooms well into the fall.  Swarms of bees buzz around it.  I used to be afraid to pull weeds in the area, but the bees just circle around me, only interested in the plants.

yellowpoppyThis Texas Yellow Primrose (I think) was planted a year ago and continues to bloom and spread out.

yellowflower2

steerA friend watched intently as each photo was snapped.

yellowrosesAll the roses seem to bloom at the same time, no matter what their variety.  It’s like a fairy has sprinkled the flowers on the bushes overnight.  They all die about the same time. Then there is a period of rest before they all are filled with flowers again.

These two bushes with yellow roses are floribundas.

climbingroseThis Madam Norbert De Velleur climbing rose bush has gorgeous clusters of small roses.  Even though I can’t find this particular rose on the internet, I’m reasonably certain its name was copied correctly when it was bought three years ago.

larkspurLarkspur seeds from a friend yielded a great crop.  In fact, they popped up in several flowerbeds around the yard.  That’s okay because they are so cheery.

larkspur2In fact, this is the plant that received the most comments when our Garden Club met here in May.

gladiolasFirst gladiolas of the season just started blooming.  Continuing beauty from such a small investment for bulbs four years ago.

gladiolas2One of the great things about gladiolas is the tall stalk with lots of buds.   The buds start opening from the bottom up.  So as a cut flower, as the bottom flowers wilt, they can be pulled off.  Usually, I cut the stems shorter at that point.  This allows them to last about a week or longer with fresh looking flowers.

The hail is a good reminder to enjoy each day as it happens.  Back to the old adage of taking time to smell the roses.

“When told the reason for Daylight Saving time the old Indian said, ‘Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.'”  Author Unknown