Archive for Home & Garden

Dying Tree Removal

Landscape Crew Working

One of the Palo Verde trees on our property was suffering from root poisoning according to our neighbor, Tim. Apparently, an adjacent cats paw tree was emitting something into the soil that was slowly killing the big tree next to it. If you click on the image to enlarge, you can see one of the crew standing under the diseased tree. Note how some of the green wood on that tree has turned brown.

The tree is now gone, thanks to the landscape guys who took it and the adjacent cats paw down. Click here to see the after photo.

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Cherry Red Cactus Flower

Cherry Red Cactus Flower

Technically, it’s still spring here in Sonoran Arizona, even though the temperature has been above 110° the last week or so (today 112°). In spite of the warmer temperatures, our Cherry Red Cactus is producing new flowers and is likely to do so into the summer in a few days time.

This flower opened today and is the third one this season. The first two I posted on our other blog. These are gorgeous and I will try to post more photos as the flowers open. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Mule Deer

Western Mule Deer

I went out to the courtyard to water my little flower bed at just about dusk last evening. I looked up and saw that there was a deer in the back yard. I hurried back into the house to get my camera, went back out and took several images of the deer. This is one of the best ones I got. Click on the image to enlarge.

We don’t often see deer although there is evidence they come here frequently. Several of them (I assume) stripped our lemon tree of most of its leaves this past winter.

Don’t worry about the lemon tree, though. All new leaves have already filled in and we’re seeing little green lemons growing all over the tree. Harvest is not until next December but we expect to have another good crop of lemons then.

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Lemon Harvesting

Before and AfterJust about every year since we got our dwarf lemon tree in 2011, we have had to harvest the fruit when it’s nearly ripe in December. Today was the day we selected to start the harvest. It usually takes a couple of sessions on different days to pick all the lemons. Some of the lemons are still a little green, so we leave those.

Image: Before and After Photos of the Tree – Click on the image to enlarge.

The before image was actually taken after I picked the low-hanging first 2020 lemon from the tree. Verna came out shortly afterward to help and we made quick work of filling up the wheelbarrow with lemons.

As for the remainder of the lemons, we will delve into the interior of the tree next time to get all of the fruit left. The image below shows just a small quantity of the dozens of lemons remaining on the tree. Note that there are more lemons lurking behind those immediately seen in the image. Click to enlarge.

Small Quantity of Remaining Lemons

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Our Ocotillos Like The Rain

Green Ocotillo

In spite of the warm temperature, the ocotillo next to the RV drive is sporting a nice green coat of its tiny leaves. We credit the recent rainfall and the timed irrigation feed for the greening.

This ocotillo, not a true cactus, grows wild in the desert and can sometimes look like they’re lifeless (and leafless) until after a rainfall; then they come to life again. We have a couple of them that have been transplanted into our xeriscape here on the property. The one in the photo came from our neighbor who got it while cleaning up a construction site. We planted it and Verna babied it until it became this magnificent specimen.

The other ocotillo near the courtyard is also green and happy after the recent rainfall.

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June Flowers

Saguaro Flowers Red Bird of Paradise Flower
Bishop’s Cap Cactus Flowers Fishhook Cactus Flowers

June is another colorful month here in our Arizona abode in which we have many late spring flowers opening. Upper left above is the Arizona State Flower of the Saguaro Cactus. Our big saguaro had many of these since May and there are a few late comers yet to open. Upper right is the showy and colorful Red Bird of Paradise flower. This is a close up of one of many, many currently open in the courtyard. Lower Left is our reliable old Bishop’s Cap cactus with too many open flowers to count, which is a regular thing for this little barrel cactus, even in the other months of the year. Finally, at lower right is the little rescued Fish Hook Cactus in a pot out back with two open flowers. There will be several more to come as June continues. Click on any of the images to enlarge.

Even though the Fish Hook and Saguaro Cactus Flowers will disappear soon, the Red Birds will continue to adorn our courtyard throughout the entire Summer and into the Second Spring months of Fall. The Bishop’s Cap will produce flowers on and off when it feels like doing so.

Update: 16 June – Some of our Cherry Red Cactus Flowers opened today:

Cherry Red Cactus Flower

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Fragrant Gardenia Flowers

Fragrant Gardenia

I have been babying a gardenia bush that we bought a couple of years ago at one of the garden shops locally. This year, I moved it from the courtyard where it gets a lot of abusive sun to a nook in the back patio where it gets some sun, but not too much. Pictured above is one of several (6 maybe) open flowers on the bush today.

This is the first year since we bought the bush that it has produced many flowers and buds. They might all open soon and I’m hoping that second spring will bring more on October or so. Click on the image to enlarge.

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