Saturday, February 2, 2013

Finding Beauty in the Brown

Winter in the desert... To many, it's bliss in comparison to cold snow and icy climates. It gets cold here too. This winter, the Valley of the Sun had day after day of below freezing temps at night. Gardens everywhere are now various shades of brown.
I took a stroll around my garden last weekend looking for any form of beauty in this nastiness of freeze burn. Varigated agave above.
Popcorn plant pods.
The once flame colored fire stick.
Post bloom Dawe's aloe.
Tipu tree leaves. My tree is naked! It's not supposed to be.
Bougainvillea leaves.
San Diego Red Bougainvillea.
And yet, amongst all the brown, the 2nd barrel cactus is sprouting blooms. Hello, color!
This one has me stumped. The ice plant is blooming! It's up to 4 flowers as of yesterday. This poor plant struggles through the summer but I insist in growing them. I'll be hounding every nursery on this side of town again this year for red ones. They've been hard to find the last two seasons due to a hard freeze in California a few years ago. Blooming bunches of Ice plant in the spring are spectacular and not a common sight here. It's my ode to California and years of traveling along those Los Angeles freeways...
Despite all the dead vegetation, the bees and hummingbirds still get their lunch stop over of Mexican Honeysuckle. The two bushes were too big to cover with freeze blankets but I hedged my bets that being against the house, they'd stay warmer than plants left exposed in the garden. All the plants up against the house made it through. Lets hear it for micro climates!
As we inch closer to March, daydreaming of what going to grow in the garden begins. Fertilizing is on the schedule for next weekend. There's going to be a lot of yard clean-up. Pruning must wait! I'll have to keep my itchy fingers busy in the studio instead :)


  1. well, all the pictures are beautiful and of course the colors this season are fabulous

  2. I loved how you managed to find the pretty in the seemingly not-so-pretty. I should try that sometime in my own back yard, although it's pretty much inundated by snow right now, so it'll have to wait :).

    xo, Annie (

  3. I love nature and the pictures are just wonderful.

  4. I love these photos!!! Your garden is beautiful!!

  5. love the pictures! Mother nature did a great job on your garden. Keep it up!

  6. great photos, i love your garden and how you share it with us!! :P

  7. So much beauty even in the ice storm!

  8. Beautiful photography! I've never seen popcorn plant pods!

  9. Great pics! I can't wait to get started on my summer garden!! I love gardening esp. if I can eat the rewards! :)

  10. Gorgeous. You absolutely accomplished your goal of finding beauty where most people don't think there will be any.

    -Desiree, Pop-o-matic Deluxe

  11. Love how you captured the beauty of your winter plants. Looking forward to seeing your upcoming garden! My mom loves gardening. She grows organic herbs and chilies to share with family and use in her cooking as well.

  12. Love the way you capture the beauty of your winter plants. Looking forward to seeing your upcoming garden! My mom enjoys growing organic herbs chilies to give away to family and to use in her cooking.