Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Flower Power

Several days ago my friend Graciela came over and brought this gorgeous bunch of gladiolus (gladioli? gladioluses?).
The long stems loaded with buds promised many more amazing blossoms. But as the blossoms on the bottom began to fade, the weight of the buds bent the stems. So I stripped off the faded blooms and cut about a foot off the bottom of each stem, and here's what we have now, five days later, bent by the weight of their own beauty.
 Still show-stoppers, aren't they?
       Outdoors it's pretty dramatic in the back yard, where, as I think I mentioned before, we let the wild sunflowers grow because the goldfinches love them and we love watching the goldfinches. Some of them are 10 feet tall now (the sunflowers, not the goldfinches). Here's one with a bee in it. I wish we had more bees. Hand pollinating just got to be too much work for too little result, and of course the water bill was ridiculous for a summer vegetable garden that wasn't producing much, so we finally gave up on the squash, melons, and cucumbers. Now I can begin planning and daydreaming about the winter garden.
In addition to the wild sunflowers that are trying to take over a small part of our little world, we planted two varieties of Hopi sunflowers from seeds we got at Native Seed Search. The picture below is the first blossom we've gotten. It's maybe just a wee bit bigger than the wild ones, with narrower petals and more of them.
And that's the news from our little patch of the Sonoran desert, where the high temperature yesterday broke the previous record of 106, and where if we're really lucky and hold our mouths just right, we just may get some rain.

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