Category Archives: Flowers

Pencil Tree Flowers

Out on the back porch are some succulents planted in huge clay pots that I somehow haven’t managed to kill. (I’m famous for this.)

The most vibrant and healthy of these is a pencil tree that started out the size of my hand and is now the size of a suitcase. This weekend it decided to bloom, which I hadn’t seen before.

These things are somewhat popular in gardens and drought resistant gardens – they also can grow huge, up to tree sized, with a trunk that’s three feet around and growing up to thirty feet tall.

They also can be a bit nasty. If you break one open (or try to cut down one of those tree-sized ones) be aware that the sap is toxic and can cause serious skin irritation and blindness if it gets into your eyes.

I would probably be getting rid of this one if we had pets or small children, but we don’t, so I won’t.

I just thought it was neat to see the small flowers, and how the ones that had bloomed first looked like they had literally burnt out.

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Ides Of March

It’s been a very long, weird weekend. Dealing with empty shelves, way too much work on way too many fronts with way too much exhaustion, and then watching the “Extreme Makeover” episode from when the two Palmdale homes were built last August while I was still with Homes For Families. It was a bit surreal.

Even through my PTSD and stress, I noticed that the fruit trees in the back yard aren’t caring a whit about COVID-19, or the old job, or the new job, or anything else. There might be a lesson there.

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Wait! I Wasn’t Done Yet!

Toward the end of May there was an explosion of color in the rose bushes that line our driveway. (Here, here, here, here, here, and you can take it from here, right?) And that was pretty much it I assumed, since we didn’t see much rose activity last year when we moved in at about that same time of year.

But way, way down by the street (okay, it’s a matter of perspective – it’s not like this guy’s a mile away down at the end of the driveway from the Beverly Hillbillies) this week I saw this one, lone, bright yellow rose:

See him way, way down there? “Wait, wait! Why aren’t the rest of you blooming along with me? I wasn’t ready! I WASN’T DONE YET!!

So, brave little soldier that he was, despite being abandoned and left behind by the rest of the roses, he just…BURST!

(Is this picture sideways? The metadata says no, but my eyeballs say yes. Needs a 90° flip clockwise? Worth fiddling around with WordPress to try to figure out how to add a poll? Ermm…….no.)

So I won’t presume to state for the record that THIS was the last rose of the season. They’re doing just out of spite now. But I would note that the neighbor’s snapdragons are coming in nicely. Time to move along and share the stage, roses!

Thanks for all of the glorious colors!

 

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Ferns

Not Boston ferns, actually from about 150 miles northwest of there.

Free-range ferns. Not contained to any pot hanging in a T.G.I.Friday’s!


Update – feeling fine, just still can’t speak. It’s incredibly frustrating, like fighting with both hands tied behind my back.

Some progress on that front tonight when I found that if I basically try to shout as loud as I can, actual vocal sounds come out. Good to know, I was starting to wonder. I can only do it for a few words at a time and folks start to wonder why you’re shouting at them like some Monty Python character in what should be a normal conversation. In addition, I suspect it’s damaging and slows down the actual healing.

But any little bit of progress is welcome.

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Drought Resistant & Somewhat More Common

In addition to the new (at least, to me) and unusual drought resistant plants that are popping up, some have been around for a few years. These are out in front of our office building.

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Drought Resistant & Unusual

At our office they’ve planted a big section of “drought resistant” plants (we’re seeing a lot of that in the area as we’ve had multiple drought years and water prices shooting through the roof) and while many of them are fairly common, there are a couple that I’m seeing for the first time.

Like this fuzzy, velvet red colored thing.

The bulbs on the end are trying to burst open with little flowers and pistles and stamens and possibly some tiny Alien xenomorph type things in there. (Look at how that thing on the left is peeling back and opening up. Did we not see this happening when Ash leaned over that pod?)

So even if it’s not full of xenomorph seeds, can this at least be a baby Triffid?

Something to drive away today’s gremlins would be appreciated. I’m not picky at this point. Apocalyptic horrors don’t seem that much worse than what we’re already chin-deep in every day.

Meh. They’re probably just odd little tough bright red desert flowers that went from having a range of a few miles out in Death Valley to being in every nursery in SoCal because of the luck of the draw.

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Two More Yellow Roses

I don’t know if they got here late because they came from Texas…

Actually, on closer examination, these have a delicious combination of yellow in the middle with pinks on the outside!

I think there might have been some horticultural hanky-panky going on here. I think “cross pollination” is what the kids are calling it these days.

Yep, that’s where it happened! Lovely result!

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