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May 05, 2009

DESERT BLOOM: Flowering Plants


Norm Schilling shares blooms from his own garden.

Eremophila hygrophanaAn Eremophila hygrophana blooming its heart out while sitting in a pot waiting to go to a job site.

Strawberry HedgehogA Strawberry Hedgehog (Echinocereus engelmannii) shows of its spectacular purple bloom in front of a sea of Golden Dyssodia (Thymophylla pentachaeta). The Golden Dyssodia is one of my all time favorites. Though it only lives a few years, it reseeds readily and spreads itself around the garden, even to places with no irrigation. It almost never stops blooming and creates little golden swaths in the yard, with little or no effort beyond planting the first plant or two.

Blue FlaxBlue Flax (Linum lewisii) and California poppy (Eschscholtzia californica) are both available as wildflower seeds and will reseed themselves readily.

Blue FlaxBlue Flax (Linum lewisii) has truly remarkably blue flowers. It is available both as a potted plant and can be grown from seed.

OpuntiaThis flower is growing from one of the large genus of cacti called Opuntia, many of which are commonly called "beavertails because of the shape of the pad. All have spectacular, glistening large blooms in the spring, but this one is even showier with both red and yellow in the floral cup.

Century PlantsA panorama of plants ranging from California Poppy in the foreground, through Powis Castle Wormwood, an American Agave and finally, growing on the other side of the wall (without irrigation and only infrequent hand watering) an African Sumac (Rhus lancea). All are very drought tolerant plants.

GazaniaA blanket of Gazania (Gazania sp.) blooms cascades around and over old railroad ties. The flowers are wonderful, but so is the silvery, fuzzy foliage.

Indian Blanket FlowerIndian Blanket Flower (Gaillardia sp.) has a stunning large blossom and a very long bloom season. Some varieties are larger than others (I prefer the smaller ones), and there are also variations in flower color... but how can you beat this stunning yellow/red combination!?

Roses and BulbinesIn this moderate water-use area of the garden, roses and bulbines (Bulbinella "Tiny Tangerine) share space and bloom time in front of a big and old Indian Hawthorne (Rhaphiolepis indica). Bulbines are actually quite drought tolerant, but like many desert plants, can grow in more moist areas as well.

Desert WillowA close-up of flowers of one of our native plants, Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua). Many of these individual plants have volunteered in my garden.

Texas OliveWhat can I say: the happy gardener amongst his flora. At my feet is Trailing Gazania (Gazania sp.) in bloom. The tree to my left is my Texas Ebony (Ebanopsis ebano). Though it is a bit cold sensitive and may freeze to the ground in an especially cold winter, I chose this tree because of its tendency to be a "bird-condo"... currently I count 5 or 6 nests in it and the tree is still not all that large. Included are both nests of Verdin and a hummingbird nest all of 2 inches across.

OxalisOxalis (Oxalis sp.) blooms pink in front of the silver foliage of a variety of Dusty Miller. I inherited this particular species of Dusty Miller when I bought the house 18 years ago. I love it, but can't seem to find this special variety in the nurseries, and I still haven't figured out its botanical name. Sometimes I find seedlings, little baby volunteer plants, in the spring and I transplant them around the yard.

See discussion rules.


AngelaFeb 19, 2015 | Tricky Spring
If you're thinking that our warm weather means your plants are safe from a late frost, you're probably right. But then again, you never know. It only seems that Jack Frost has skipped a visit to Southern Nevada this year. Here's Angela O'Callaghan with Desert Bloom.

NormFeb 14, 2015 | Selective Pruning
Norm Schilling guides gardeners to keep up as Spring approaches. Selective pruning will keep things on track in the yard.

NormJan 21, 2015 | Prepare for Spring Now
Don't look at the calendar. Look at your plants to tell you what do to in the yard right now. Your plants think Spring is near, so use this time to transplant and prune. Desert Gardener Norm Schilling tells us what to look for.

NormDec 30, 2014 | Winter and Citrus
Citrus can thrive in Southern Nevada - even in our cold - when you choose the right varieties. Norm Schilling tells us how.

AngelaDec 13, 2014 | To Prune or Not to Prune
As winter draws near, leaves begin to fall. And the bare view may prompt some excessive pruning. It's tempting, but your plants may appreciate a little restraint. Here's Angela O'Callaghan with Desert Bloom.

NormDec 6, 2014 | Prepare Your Plants for Cold Weather
It's not cold . . . yet, but Norm says be ready and your yard will appreciate it. Don't let a cold snap cost you your investment in plants in your yard. Norm Schilling has some ideas to get ready.

AngelaNov 25, 2014 | Evergreens
As we head into the holiday season, more attention is given to 'evergreens.' Too many cones on a pine tree might be a sign of weakness. Angela O'Callaghan tells us all about evergreens on Desert Bloom.

NormNov 14, 2014 | Fall Colors
Even in the desert, Fall colors can brighten your landscape. Here's Norm Schilling with Desert Bloom.

NormOct 28, 2014 | Fall Colors - Web Only Edition
With glorious weather for our yards to fall back into bloom, Norm has some additional suggestions for color to add to the profusion of blooms for this time of year. (Web-only content)

NormOct 7, 2014 | Second Spring
The call it a "second spring" Norm Schilling has some plan ideas to make Fall colorful in your yard. He has a checklist of plants looking their best, because now is the time to plant in Southern Nevada.

AngelaSep 30, 2014 | Fountain Grass
A weed by any other name is still a weed even if it doesn't look like one. If only everything in our gardens thrived as well as weeds. Here is Angela O'Callaghan.

NormSep 15, 2014 | Desert Heat
Norm describes a significant casualty of the desert heat. There's going to be a big gap in Norm's Yard and a lesson on the reality of our desert landscape.

AngelaAug 12, 2014 | Organic Pesticides
Choosing a method for ridding your garden of an unwanted guest, be it bug or weed, is not always a simple choice. But the more you know, the better it goes. Here's Angela O'Callaghan

NormJul 28, 2014 | Lose that Lawn
We know, it's a desert out there including every place there's a lawn. Norm Schilling reminds us all the ways he wants you to consider losing the lawn... permanently.

AngelaJul 14, 2014 | Protect Fruit Trees from Birds
If you put a good deal of care into growing fruit trees, there are likely some birds who will take advantage of your effort. Here's Angela O'Callaghan.

NormJul 10, 2014 | Palm Care, Part 2
To keep, or not to keep. Norm Schilling ponders his palm trees, on this edition of Desert Bloom.

NormJun 10, 2014 | Palm Care
Norm Schilling has mixed feelings about how we use Palms in our yards. Full grown palm trees transplanted into the entry way of a mall is a common sight that tells Southern Nevadan's "something" is nearly open for business. He reminds us that those palms come with challenges.

AngelaJun 3, 2014 | Hot Weather Plants
As temperatures across the Valley begin to climb, you might be wondering what will survive in your garden in the months ahead and what probably won't. There are some 'sweet' options. Here's Angela O'Callaghan

NormMay 20, 2014 | Desert Color
Norm Schilling just got back from Belize and has some ideas for lush leaves in your desert yard. He reflects on some well suited plants to provide color and variety in this edition of Desert Bloom.

AngelaMay 6, 2014 | Emerald Ash Borer
Raising a healthy shade tree in the Mojave is not always easy. And if one particular insect makes its way here, it could get even harder. Here's Angela O'Callaghan with Desert Bloom.

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