Arizona & A Wonderful Welcome Home!

Full_Bloom(z5 IL)May 5, 2006

Well, Ive been meaning to get these posted for the last few days, but it has been hectic here. There is always so much catching up to do whenever you go away, even if itÂs just for a short time.

Thought I would share a few pics from the trip:

That is in AnitaÂs backyard. I love the walled garden and just about everyone there has them. Anita says they were built to keep the critters out like Javelinas (wild hogs) and Coyotes...Yikes! Of course AnitaÂs area is an older established neighborhood, so not much worry about those kinds of creatures. And, although Anita assured me she hasnÂt seen any in years, I did check my bedcovers every night, looking for scorpions. I have an inordinate fear of them. They just look so *evil* to me. Some of the wildlife creatures I did enjoy seeing at AnitaÂs were all the cute little geckos and unusual lizards. The gamble quails were adorable and just as they look in photos, with the momma leading the pack and all the babies following behind in a straight line. I love that little plume on the top of their heads :-) and it was a riot to see them marching across the top of AnitaÂs walled garden. The neatest treat, however, was spotting a pair of gorgeous peach faced lovebirds that had made a nest in a cavity of a huge, old Saguaro cactus in AnitaÂs front yard. There were actually several cavities in the Saguaro and all types of birds built nests there  it was a busy Saguaro and lots of fun to watch, as it was like a cactus condominium building...LOL!

Anyway, back to the pic...I love this little vignette. The pink flowers are oenothera, theresÂs a cypress, the vines are called Cat Claws, and the rest are cactuses (howÂs that for being specific?...LOL)!

Do you see the magical fairy castle in the background itÂs teal and pink and the pink *exactly* matches the color of the oenotheras. The castle was done by her oldest daughter who is a wonderful artist (mostly oils in the past) and now a sculptor as well. She made Anita the most *gorgeous* heron sculpture too and IÂm mad at myself for not taking a picture of it. You would have loved it!

She has several bougainvilleas growing against her walls and come in the most scrumptious colors! Anita has red, pink, coral, white and purple...wish they were hardy here:

This is one of her Agaves getting ready to bloom. After it blooms it will die. Can you believe that flower stalk?!?

Here is Anita and DH at Bartlett Lake. ItÂs a gorgeous man-made lake. Dammed, but I canÂt remember...LOL! I mean it is dammed...but I canÂt remember from whence the water source came. Anyway it was lovely and very clean and the view of the mountains in the background was just awe inspiring!

Lots of gorgeous sunsets while visiting Anita:

Here we are at The Desert Botanical Gardens. The tree behind us is a Pallo brea. A gorgeous tree! Anita has one at home and it was in full bloom with pretty yellow flowers. But what really makes this tree special is the bark, which is a lovely verdigris color and the bark looks like silk:

Paul & I still at the DBG. Can you believe the size of the cactuses or is that cacti?

Anita & me next to one of the many sculptures by Manolo Valdes at the DBG. I was trying to imitate the sculpture, which only goes to prove that imitation is *not* always the sincerest form of flattery...LOL!

Me & Anita again! Paul made us stand next to another Manolo sculpture so you could get a sense of the size of it:

They also had a lovely butterfly exhibit at the DBG. Unfortunately most of my pictures did not come out:

I'm still waiting to turn into a butterfly! :-)

Yes, IÂm a cornball and itÂs so wonderful to have a friend who lets me be me and will even join me in my silliness...LOL!

As you can probably tell from the pictures...I had a ball. The mini vacation was a wonderful respite for me. We also went to a neat restaurant/club where AnitaÂs hubby Hank was playing. He is a wonderful sax player & piano player and I also found out that night that heÂs a brilliant clarinetist as well! Anita is mailing me some pics of that night cause my pics didnÂt come out. If they come soon, IÂll add them here. We also went to the "old" Tucson area and did a little tourist shopping and stopped to have lunch at a funky little place, whose name, unfortunately, I canÂt remember anymore. It was mostly filled with locals and lots of funny characters! We had a lot of laughs and I had the best Shrimp Caesar Salad of my life there. Also went to this gorgeous Mexican Restaurant with a courtyard, where we sat and ate our lunch. There was a huge pond in the courtyard filled with ducks, turtles and fish. Birds were flying all around us and there were gorgeous hand painted tile wall murals. The food was just okay (the Margaritas much better) but the scenery was what I enjoyed most!

So after a whirlwind trip, it was time to come home. Much as I hated to leave Anita, I had the most wonderful welcome home! We had rain while I was away (apparently a lot) and in just that short time my whole garden woke up! The tulips are in bloom and the grass is a gorgeous green! Spring has always been my favorite season and this spring has not been a disappointment (though I want more rain...LOL...IÂm *so* greedy!). Anyway, wanted to share a few pics of what I came home to...The Tulips Are In Full Bloom! :-)

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose

I would always greet it in a garden.

- Ruth Stout Â

Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer

 Georffry B. Charlesworth Â

May & June. Soft syllables, gentle names for the two best months of the garden year; cool, misty mornings gently burned away with a warming spring sun, followed by breezy afternoons and chill nights. The discussion of philosophy is over; itÂs time for work to begin.

 Peter Loewer Â

I *love* Parrot Tulips. This white is so old fashioned and blowsy looking. She is almost done, however, hence the flop! :-)

Here is another favorite Parrot Tulip..the color is deep and sensual, with an air of mystery! (LOL Â do you get the feeling IÂm a little gaga about tulips?)

Spring! An experience in immortality.

- Henry D. Thoreau Â

I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in natureÂs rebirth? Â Edward Giobbi

Okay, enough of the tulips...LOL!

The lilacs are just blooming and their heady perfume is wafting through the air. This is

ÂMarie Francis (A Father Fiala introduction)

And what is so rare as a day in June?

Then if ever, come pefect days;

Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,

And over it softly her warm ear lays. Â James Russell Lowell

ÂAlbert Holden (another Father Fiala introduction)

Beauty of Moscow (a French hybrid):

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.

 Nadine Stair Â

(My only crabapple is in full bloom ÂSnowdriftÂ. It is recommended for its disease resistance and though I have seen a few black spotted leaves on this one in bad springs, for the most part it is pretty resistant)

My Fothergilla has made a turn around after a couple of years of abuse from my husband. Still looking rather weak, but IÂm just grateful she is still alive:

My geum ÂMrs. Bradshaw is in bloom. A diminutive plant, but I love the color and am always tickled when she comes into bloom!

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. Â Margaret Atwood

Finally a pic of my little vignette, the froggy mudhole! :-)

There is nothing like the first hot days of spring when the gardener stops wondering if it is too soon to plant the dahlias and starts wondering if itÂs too late. Even the most beautiful weather will not allay the gardenerÂs notion (well founded actually) that he is somehow too late, too soon, or that he has too much stuff going on or not enough. For the garden is the stage which the gardener exults and agonizes out every crest and chasm of the heart.

 Henry Mitchell-

Well, thatÂs the end of my hoggy show...hope you enjoyed it! :-) Now I really have to hurry and get some plants in the ground...IÂm so late! :-) Ei

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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Oh boy, oh boy and WOOHOO!!!!! What a fabu-fabu treat for eyes and brain. Love all the quotes and adore all the photographs. How very special that your goldfish echo the color of the geum! LOL

I love the Tucson area and the Sonoran Dessert Museum is a fabulous place. Did you get a chance to visit the hummingbird aviary there??? So fantastic, all those little flying jewels flitting about.

I was hoping you'd post some photos of your tulips and spring gardens as you've one of the most beautiful spring shows I know of. Thanks very much for sharing your gardens and your trip with us. I loved every bit of it.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 11:05AM
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Ei, loved seeing all of these beautiful photos. Thank you for taking us along!! :OD


    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 11:34AM
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Wow, wow, wow, where do I begin? What fun you seemed to have on your trip. Arizona seems like a different country doesn't it? I'm glad that you had such a fun, relaxing vacation. What a treat to return home and have your own garden looking so fabulous. I enjoyed the pictures and the quotes were so cool too. I liked the one about smelling like dirt :o)
Thanks for sharing your trip and your garden.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 11:43AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

What a marvelous post! Great job......all of it.
How nice that you had such a good visit with your dear friend, and even nicer that you came home to such beauty!

More! More!


    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 12:59PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL) are such a sweetheart...Thank you! I really do love spring *and* tulips...maybe I should move to Holland...LOL! You cracked me up about the goldfish...I didn't even notice that, but it really is rather clever...isn't it? LOL! Wish I could take credit for it. Maybe I should build on that idea though and add some other orange flowers to the bed! :-) I didn't see the hummingbird aviary...I'm going to have to ask Anita about that. We did see lots of hummingbirds though, both at the DBG and at Anita's house too. Was it you or was it Babs who had that great photo op of a hummingbird last year? I tried to take their pics, but in all my photos they were either too far away to notice, moved to fast, or the pics came out blurry. I am definitely *not* a photographer, but I really do enjoy having the camera, it has made gardening so much easier for me.

Yes Michelle, I am fascinated with nature in Arizona it is *so* different than here. Still, while I think it is very beautiful, I don't think I could live there. I'm too fond of the four seasons (well, maybe not so crazy about winter) and what would I do without tulips!?! Paul has talked about moving there though, but the only thing that would even make me consider it is the fact that Anita is there.

Thanks are so sweet and so kind and encouraging. I wish you could meet Anita, I know you would like her right off.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 8:03PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Bravo! Ei, no one does a garden photo journal like you. I agree...the Arizona landscape sure is interesting and different but you can't beat the four season allure of the good old colder zone climates.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 8:43PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh what fun! Thanks for taking me along! :-)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 8:49PM
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Hi Ei, Somehow I missed this thread earlier. I love how you put together your photo essays! It's nice to see you and Anita and be able to put a name with her face. She has a beautiful garden there in Arizona. It looks like you all had a wonderful time and it's so good you could get away for some r&r. Your garden is just exquisite with all of it's spring blooms. Your tulip collection is so nice. I've been researching spring bulbs to add to mine. I just got a catalog from Old House Gardens. Have you heard of them? They have some nice antique bulbs. The broken tulips they offer are really cool. Thanks for taking the time to show us all of this. I enjoyed seeing what you've been up to.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 8:53PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Wonderful Arizona photos, especially of the sunset! I love your spring garden shots also-what spectacular fresh color!


    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 9:02PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Thanks guys! Sue...I think I know someone who does a pretty fantastic photo journal! I *still* remember your journal/ of the best I've ever seen and loved the music too!

Eden - Yes! I really like Old House all those old bulbs. I usually try to order at least one thing from them every year. I would order more, but can't afford to! Anyway, everything I've ever received from them has always been healthy and strong. Last fall I forgot to dig up my little 'Atom' glads from them and then it was too late to order them this spring, when I finally remembered. I *love* that little glad; short, so it doesn't need staking, but a really show off, with rich red flowers trimmed with tiny white lines...a favorite! I'm a big fan of the broken tulips too (I think they call them Rembrandt tulips as well). They are *hard* to find. Hmm...going to have to remember to order some of those in the fall...LOL!

BTW, I'm taking these pics off tonight, as I've run out of disk space at PT.

Thanks again everyone for sharing in my fun time!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 10:20AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hi, Ei - I did manage to see your pics before you took them off but didnt have time to comment - last week was a blur to me - but your photos stood out!! so lovely - thanks so much - I loved seeing the "strange" in AZ but your spring garden is fantastic! Can't be beat!! I too love tulips and just love seeing all your groupings. Truly great combos.
Thanks for the inspiration.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 1:10PM
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