Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spring, AHHHHhhhhchooo!

YUP, IT'S THAT time of the year when the mucous membranes inside our noses reacts to all those allergens abundantly loading the breathing air and the histamine and other chemicals are released.  This goes on until either a) one takes something to control the histamine and de-sensitizes them self; or b) you suffer thru it until all those little allergens have quit spewing forth into the air.  Such a beautiful time of the year!

The Creeping Forsythia
THE CREEPING forsythia shrubs are now green and doing their creeping thing; the mulberry tree is covered with thousands of green buds driving the hundreds and hundreds of bees crazy. I am assuming it is probably a black mulberry and will produce thousands and thousands of berries to be consumed by the area birds - who will leave their lovely purple marks all over everything!
The fuzzy Mulberry Tree
 Ahhhhchoo, Spring.

I MOVED THE yellow finch feeders over to the now budding pomegranate bush, so Jim can see them out his bedroom window.
Pretty pom red leaves on pomegranate.
I also spread birdseed on the ground for the sparrows, house finches and mourning doves that are in the area. The pom bush is budding forth with the most beautiful pom colored leaves.  I did some trimming and thinning last Fall (only a fifth at a time I was told) and will do some more this Fall.

THE TEXAS SAGE bush is shedding its old leaves and new ones, in that beautiful sage color, are appearing.  The Mormon Tea bush (also known as: Brigham Tea, Cowboy Tea, Whorehouse Tea, Squaw Tea, Canyon Tea Indian names: Tuttumpin (Paiute), Tutupivi (Kawaiisu)) is covered with seeds.

THE DESERT WILLOW tree is just starting to show some leaf buds coming out, I noticed when clearing out the weeds on the street easement section.  I am preparing soil in pots to do some planting in - have nasturtium seeds germinating in an egg carton for now.  

I BOUGHT DOUBLE blooming iris plants last Fall with the idea of getting them put in the ground shortly after moving here.  Well, didn't get that done so they sat wrapped in newspaper in a brown
Soaking the iris plants.
paper bag all winter.  Wondering if they had made it through, I started soaking them in a bucket of water a week or so ago; and, see for yourself:  

Iris are growing, see new roots?
 I know it's not the ideal time to be planting iris, but will be putting them in pots until I decide where they will be placed permanently. Since I have a gravel yard, there is a thick layer of lining membrane under the gravel and not an ideal environment for iris who like to spread out.  The instructions I got with the plants said they need a minimum of 5 hours of sunlight and with the harsh, bright summer sunlight here I am going to experiment with pot placement to see how they do.

 THE DESERT (or Yellow) Bird of Paradise trees are
Ferny leaves of Desert (Yellow) Bird of Paradise.

showing signs of life with their little ferny-looking leaves.  When the morning sun hits them, they are a red color. I really love the flowers they produce.  There is another and smaller tree out close to the street.
AM ATTEMPTING to take root cuttings from the Creeping Forsythias to plant along the alley; but really need to get some rooting compound to help root development.  I may try some home remedies using "willow tea" (if I can find some willow trees around and ask the person permission to cut some stems) or honey, which is a natural antiseptic which aids in sanitation while the roots are forming.
Attempting root cuttings with the Creeping Forsythia.

NOT MUCH activity with the various cacti yet. 
Can you see the new buds?
Although one of the cholla is just beginning to show some activity.

SOME OF MY activities inside include finishing up the window tinting and cleaning of the windows inside and out; I fiddled with various curtain arrangements for Jim in his bedroom and he really likes the long dining room curtains former owner Chuck picked out, so I moved those into Jim's room. They are much easier for him to open and close. I am experimenting with window arrangements for my bedroom; doing some baking and trying out my hand on the grill (never did grill much before).  And reading on my Kindle.


  1. Spring is so glorious in spite of all the allergens. Loved seeing your photos of nature coming alive again!

    I think I will do more planting flowering shrubs in pots this year so I can put them in the greenhouse next winter.

    Once you get used to grilling, you will probably love it. We do a lot of our cooking on the deck in the summer. I especially love grilled veggies. Very healthy and keeps the heat and mess out of the kitchen.

  2. If your forsythia is like mine, it's very easy to root. In fact, I often just stab cuttings from trimming into the damp soil and, voila, I soon have a new shrub!
    Is your creeping forsythia the same as winter jasmine or another shrub?

    1. It's a creeping shrub about 2-3 ft high and it re-roots itself where it touches the ground. I've seen it called a dwarf forsythia too. It does look like a winter jasmine, which I am not familiar with. It acts like forsythia in that the flowers come out first and then the green leaves. It was green thru the winter but really no leaves. Am trying the water route for cuttings, if doesn't work will try other methods. Will have to investigate the winter jasmine.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Lynne, I found an article that explained the difference between forsythias and winter jasmine. One difference is forsythia blooms have 4 petals and winter jasmine have 5 or 6. Forsythia flowers are in clumps while winter jasmine are singular. And based on you asking and me digging for comparisons: I have winter jasmine - singular flower and 6 petals. Thanks, now have something new I have learned.

  3. Still waiting on green here at home. Was sure Spring was on its way a month ago, but the trees and shrubs are still bare. The local area has what is called The Azalea Festival starting this weekend. Not a bloom in sight, and a high of 40* today. :-(

  4. Hey people.. I'm new to the area. I am hunting squaw tea. I have been looking and can't find it. Where dues it grow?