Shadow and Light

Although not much is blooming at the moment, the shady side of the courtyard is looking rather nice.

The sunny side, where we recently created a new border, is looking bare. (See below.) The blossoms have fallen off the new Lantana plants, although some buds are forming. I am hoping the plants will put down good roots over the winter and spread out nicely next spring. In October, I will pot up some violas and kale plants to fill in the spaces over the winter.

The evergreen holly tree in the corner has only been in the ground for two seasons. It grows very slowly, but it is covered with green berries that will soon turn red and remain on the branches throughout the winter.

I am still experimenting with Pelargonium cuttings. In the summer heat, my cuttings from the Pelargonium graveolens (Rose Geranium) rooted well in moist soil. Even though they are related, all my efforts with Pelargonium citrosum (Citronella) utterly failed. Undaunted, I took some cuttings again this morning. Perhaps they will root in water during the cooler weather. The fragrance in my studio after I brought in the cuttings was intoxicating.

Citronella (left) and Rose Geranium (right)

Morning Walk

Pecan groves with mistletoe on the ancient trees along the path

One good thing has come about from ‘social distancing’. Every morning my husband and I take a walk together, something we never did in the past. This morning we walked along one of the irrigation canals that meander through the nearby pecan groves. Although spring is apparent in our neighborhood, the pecan trees are still dormant. They won’t come into leaf until May. Soon the canals will be filled with water from the Rio Grande River; the gates into the groves will be lifted; and the trees will be flooded with life-giving water.

Our walk always ends up at the local Post Office. I wait outside while my husband checks our box. We always see someone we know and wave at a distance.

March Mountain Garden

Sierra Blanca (White Mountain)

Earlier this week I drove up to the Sacramento Mountains in Southern New Mexico for a little R & R and ‘social distancing’. For several days, Sierra Blanca disappeared under low-hanging clouds and intermittent rain. I could only admire the trees from my window. At night, pine needles from a nearby branch scratched my roof as it swayed in the wind. This morning, finally, I opened the door to clear sky and crisp mountain air.

A few hours away where my husband and I live at a lower altitude, spring has already appeared in the blooming trees and a multitude of weeds that would like to take up permanent residence in our yard. But here at the higher altitude, spring comes a little later. Yet, on my afternoon walk, I managed to spot a few dandelions, a patch of blooming clover, and the little purple darling pictured below.