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May 05, 2009
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DESERT BLOOM: Flowering Plants

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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.

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Archives

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.

NormApr 22, 2014 | The Right Plants
Our current warm spell gives the impression that some plants can thrive when they aren't really suited to our desert. Norm Schilling has some examples.

NormMar 24, 2014 | Spring Garden Party
Spring is here and the garden is blooming . . . so invite some friends to enjoy the rewards of gardening!

AngelaMar 10, 2014 | Lady Banks
If you love roses, but don't care for thorns, you may want to call on 'Lady Banks.' Here's Angela O'Callaghan with Desert Bloom.

NormFeb 26, 2014 | Signs of Spring
It may be February, but if you are paying attention, signs of Spring are visible. Dwarf peach and Mexican plum trees are in bloom. Vibrant Red Spraxis can be seen among the falling Almond blossom. Watch gardening expert Norm Schilling transplant an offshoot. Check out the slide show of photos taken from his backyard.

AngelaFeb 18, 2014 | Mulch is for Winter
Rewards for using mulch in your landscape can be had year-round. Mulch is about mulch more than just "good looks" according to Angela O' Callaghan. In any climate, and certainly in a desert, mulch is an ecologically sound way to conserve our limited soil moisture and to control weeds.

NormFeb 4, 2014 | Investing for Spring
Temperatures are scheduled to stay cool this week, but Norm Schilling finds his yard is ready for Spring. He reflects on techniques to keep older trees healthy even as the surrounding yard may change. Bigger, older trees may need more water.

AngelaJan 13, 2014 | Freezing Temps
If your garden looks like it's been zapped by Jack Frost, there's still a chance that all is not lost. Delicate desert plants can suffer chill damage even when the temperature stays above freezing. Well-established plants should survive.

NormDec 31, 2013 | Leave the Leaves
Just because most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, it doesn't mean you have to rake them all up. Norm Schilling says it's better to use the leaves as mulch to protect the plants and make rich soil. Some woody plants can be pruned now, while others should wait another month or two.

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