What's looking good May 2012?

grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)May 1, 2012

Hi everyone,

Can you BELIEVE this amazingly gorgeous weather this week? It's absolutely perfect out there. I love it and hope you and your garden are enjoying it as much as I am. Love it!

The month has started off nicely with some blooms on some Matucana madisoniorum cacti. I got the white flowered one three years ago (along with several of its siblings) in a plant trade. It was the size of a PEA but has made slow, steady progress and is making its very first blooms ever. I love it. It and its siblings are from a red-white cross pollination experiment from a friend so I'm curious to see what they produce as well. The orange-red one is a purchased plant, but also really fun too.

Here's another fun plant I've been growing for a long time: Jatropha gossypifolia (the species name means "cotton like foliage" and if you've seen cotton (Gossypium) foliage you'll quickly see the resemblance in terms of shape). Easy plants for half a day or full sun, and water twice a week when it's hot (none when they're dormant in winter). They keep their neat foliage color from spring through late autumn. The blooms are small and not super noticeable, but they're pretty when you get up close to them. Each leaf is about the size of a cocktail napkin.

I hope you'll take a look and enjoy AND that you'll post lots of pics and updates about what's looking good, or awful (hey, we've all got something, LOL) in your garden.

Take care and happy gardening,


Here is a link that might be useful: Pics (so far) from my garden May 2012

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scausey(z6/7 MD)

Just bought a house in Phoenix and am excited to learn how to garden here - your pictures are inspiring!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 12:05AM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

Welcome to the forum scausey! I hope you will be a regular participant here.

Grant, re: your Adenium picture from last month's WLG post, really neat plant. I have wanted to grow some of these (or at least one) for the longest time. Such an interesting group of plants and amazing flowers.

What looks terrible in my garden is the shelling peas. Yeah, they're done. I'm pulling them today. But my sweet pea is still doing fine. No blooms yet though, haha! Would it be a bad idea to direct sow some cowpeas where I had the English peas?

Yesterday, I took a picture of a blossom from my Kermit. He's as happy as can be and so am I.

Here is a link that might be useful: I made a blog :)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 6:32PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Welcome to the AZ forum scausey, we hope you'll post often! Glad you like the pics, that's always nice to hear.

I'm glad you like that Adenium obesum, haname, they're just so easy here. I give them tons of sun, regular water (three times a week) and regular fertilizer spring through late summer, and then water once a month in autumn and then none in winter when they're dormant. I do bring the one indoors if a rare frost is forecast, but this past winter it just sat outside all winter long and was totally happy.

I think it's fine to plant the cowpeas where you had the others, as long as the others were happy and healthy through the bitter end. I wouldn't do it over and over and over, but once is probably fine. Thanks to the link to your blog, too, I'll go check it out!

Keep the fun pics and updates coming all.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 10:09PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Here's a fun Shirley poppy (Papaver rhoeas) blooming away under my 'Meyer Improved' lemon tree. Easy, fun, self-sowing late spring/early summer annuals. Really good cut flowers too.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 12:17AM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

Nice shot of the poppy Grant. I love the crinkled paper look of these poppy petals. My wildflower seeds had a few poppies in there too, really enjoy them.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:15PM
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Grant, your cacti are adorable (can you call something with lethal spikes adorable?) and I just love your Shirley poppy. If I ever finish tearing up my back yard, I really hope to have a spot for poppies -- I have a total soft spot for them. My grandma always had poppies growing around her back step, and seeing them reminds me of her :)

This is my first year trying a summer garden, and my first time growing eggplant. Neither my husband nor I is (am?) a huge fan of eggplant, but we do love baba ganoush, and I'm trying to expand my eggplant repertoire so that maybe I'll like it more. Anyway, I've started getting blossoms, and I'm thrilled with how pretty they are.

I'm also growing tomatillos for the first time. What fun, grow like crazy plants! I've started getting some fruit formation, and I just love how fun the little "hanging lanterns" are.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 10:08PM
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It's fun seeing everyone's pictures. There are so many varieties of plants and designs.

Hesperaloe (Brake Lights) and Lantana (Dallas Red)

Tecomastans (Yellow Bells) (Apricot)

Succulents, Geranium (Martha Washington), Cineraria

Palo Brea flowers on the ground, with Geranium, Chihuahuan Sage, and Organ Pipe Cactus

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:04PM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

Very nice, thanks for sharing. :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:40PM
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What a beautiful yard you have dlg42l, so many interesting shapes and textures and colors! I'm green with envy. Is that mycoporum (sp?) growing as a groundcover along the fence? If so, how do you like it? I've heard it can die out in spots as it ages, but yours is lovely and full.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 11:40PM
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Thanks for the compliments.

plstqd - yes that is myoporum. That has been there for over 20 years. I like it very much as it is low maintenance and a low water user. I have found that with too much water it grows rampantly and needs constant trimming or it will smother the lower portions eventually resulting in bare spots.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 10:48AM
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ernie85017, zn 9, phx

dig421: How did you get the kangaroo paw to grow so well?
I am in the beginning stages of killing my second one. It's in the sun, not too much water, but flowering has stopped and the leaves have not grown. It's been in the ground for a month.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 10:49PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Great new pics and posts, all, thanks for sharing them! Sorry for the delay in replying as I just got back last night from ten days in Hawaii (my favorite vacation destination). In any case, great updates!

plstqd your garden looks really productive. I'm not a huge fan of eggplant either, but like you, I LOVE baba ganoush! Your tomatillos look really nice too. Thanks for the nice words on my little Matucana seedlings, they really ARE cute, aren't they? Lots of them make very few spines, and the spines aren't super sharp and are easy to just snap off, LOL, so they're not as nasty as some of their relatives, LOL.

dlg421, I always love your pics, and your plants and garden style--always inspirational! Great job as always, thanks for sharing the eye candy. I wanted to get a 'Brake Lights' hesperaloe too but just couldn't figure out where to put it. I've got plenty of the open pollinated H. parviflora, but just couldn't figure out where to put another hesperaloe, LOL. I'm still thinking about it though, that variety is so nice!

Keep the fun pics and updates coming all. May is one of my favorite gardening months of the year here in the Valley, so let's enjoy!

Take care,
Grant (ps: I'm happy to report no significant plant losses indoors or out despite being away for ten days, yay).

Here is a link that might be useful: My little blog, just a post or two a month

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 4:44PM
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ernie85017 - my bowl of succulents, including the kangaroo paw, is under a covered pergola which gives 90% shade. It is never in full sun. All of the little plants seem do be doing well after nearly one year there.

Grant - thanks for the compliments. One aspect of the 'Brake Lights' hesperaloe is that it is much more compact than the regular varieties. Therefore I could put it in a spot that would not have been big enough the others.

Organ Pipe Cactus 'Stenocereus thurberi' with Salvia Gregii

A view of the yard

Tropical Hibiscus and Salvia Gregii 'Heatwave Glitter'

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 10:22PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Wow, dlg421, great new pics! You have great, healthy plants, and your garden design is wonderful! How did you decide to do that little island bed/planting with the organ pipe? It's just perfect and adds a really neat, dynamic aspect to your wonderful garden. I love the carpet of yellow blooms, too. Great great stuff!

Keep the updates and pics coming, all.
Take care and happy gardening!

Here is a link that might be useful: Small album with some plant related pics from my trip to Honolulu last week

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 10:50AM
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ernie85017, zn 9, phx

Dig421, Maybe I called it the wrong thing. It's in the ground, in front o the red lantana.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

How's everyone's vegetable garden doing?

I've been harvesting tomatoes since last week. Mostly the smaller type 'Red Reisentraube' but I've been getting some ripe 'Pink Brandy Wine' and some 'Gold Medal'

I have a few watermelons as well that are starting to get big :D

This one grew between the plastic fencing that I have around the plants LOL

Biggest tomato that I've grown so far. It's a 'Gold Medal'. There's a quite a few more big ones still green.

One of my watermelons. This one's a yellow flesh type.

So has anyone been putting up any shade yet on their vegies? I kind of want to put mine up now but I don't want to slow down their growth :\

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 7:16PM
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I have tomatoes ripening, but absolutely nothing the size of yours! And judging by your fruits, I planted my watermelon way too late.

I have a couple of eggplants forming (wOOt!) and I just harvested four lovely bunches of oregano for drying. I've also harvested some small but totally delicious garlic bulbs (note to self: plant more of them, in a sunnier location next year). I have been having my share of troubles with okra...out of 36 seeds planted, I got two plants. Maybe I'm just not meant to grow okra! I've tried again with new seeds (I was impatient the first time, and I think the soil was too cold; the birds and insects got them the second time).

I'm totally bummed about my tomatillos. The plants are vigorous and thriving, and even though the stems split in the storm we had last week, they're totally unfazed. They are not, however, producing tomatillos. I have a total of 7 fruits on two plants -- all of them on a single plant. They're full of buzzing bees, so it's not a lack of pollinators, and I made sure to get two plants because I knew they needed more than one plant for pollination, but there's not a lot of joy in Mudville.

This isn't a veggie, but it's the cutest little succulent (no, I don't know what it is, and yes, I'm hanging my head in shame -- it was in a bulk succulent section at a box store and was unlabeled). This is my first summer with it, and I'm delighted with its blooms. It has the prettiest little coral flowers that are opening one by one up the stalk.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 9:18PM
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Grant - I had some stones that needed a home and I tried different arrangements until I found one that I liked.

ernie85017 - I think you mean the 'Brake Light' hesperaloe. That is just new this spring, but seems to be doing good so far.

raimeiken and plstqd - nice tomatoes, melons and other plants.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 2:11PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Great pics and updates all, keep them coming! This is such a fun time of year to garden here: warm afternoons and still-pleasant mornings. Love it!

plstqd, your new pics are great! Those tomatoes look awesome and your garden looks so tidy and neat and healthy. Your succulent blooms sure look like some type of Echeveria to me (or a hybrid thereof). I've only found one type of Echeveria that loves it here ('Blue Spike'), the rest really struggle in our summer heat. Good luck with yours and keep us posted on it. Great pic, of course!

raimeiken, your tomatoes are AMAZING and the melons look great. Thanks for sharing your super productive garden with us. I'm always envious!

Here's a couple of things looking good right now in my little garden:

'Celadine' plumeria which I've grown outside year round in my garden for four years now. It's done really great and reliably blooms in spring and summer. Even with the record cold (for here, LOL) winter of 2010-2011, it didn't have any damage (nope, I didn't cover it or any of my other plumerias). A monsoon storm *snapped* it in half a couple of years ago, but it's made three branches where the stem broke, and two have buds and blooms so it's probably a better looking plant now because of the old damage, LOL. The scent is absolutely mesmerizing. A sort of floral, sweet, lemony deliciousness, with a touch of warm buttered popcorn. Really nice! Afternoon shade, water and fertilizer when it has leaves, and nothing when it doesn't, are all it requests of me.

Huernia procumbens blooming away in a pot on my covered patio. I've been growing this one for years as well and a bit of afternoon shade and water once a week when it's hot, and once a month when it's not, seems to keep it happy. The species usually makes 5 pointed blooms, but this one specimen almost always produces flowers with extra petals, sometimes as many as nine! Easy, fun, and unscented, but still pollinated by carrion flies who must be able to detect a scent I can't.

One thing that does NOT look good is my California poppies, LOL. They bloomed and looked great all late winter through now, but they're getting tired now that it's getting warm and because I'm letting them set a lot of seed. They were things of beauty a short while ago, but now look like stacks of dry spaghetti noodles jabbed into the ground. This is, of course, pretty typical for them here, so it's time to deal with it. Out they'll go tomorrow!

Keep the pics and updates coming everyone!
Happy gardening,

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 8:16PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hi everyone,

I hope you're enjoying our beautiful morning weather right now. It's so nice to get out in the garden early in the mornings. Even with the occasional hot afternoon the daily maximum spikes and drops quickly, so it's really nice weather to me. And did you see the holiday weekend forecast? Hello, 80's! In any case, just for fun, here are a few plants that are looking pretty good right now.

Echinopsis 'Los Angeles', a very popular classic in this area (and deservedly so since it blooms off and on spring, summer, and autumn).

One of two nice, full bloomscapes on my 'Celandine' plumeria--so fragrant!

'Cancun Dreams' plumeria. I bought it three year ago as a small plant and I'm happy to see these first blooms. They're not super fragrant, and they're not as full as some other varieties, but they ARE pretty and I'm happy to see them.

Mile-a-minute vine (Merremia dissecta) blooming away. Great foliage, and very nice morning-glory-looking blooms that stay open well into afternoon.

Keep your pics and updates coming! Happy gardening!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden May 2012

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 7:57PM
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euqruob(Phoenix, AZ)

Plumeria still putting out flowers, passion is done, no fruit :(. I bought some plumeria starts in Kona a few weeks back, put them in the greenhouse and they started putting out leaves in one week! Got a pile of mexican and hawaiian papayas hitting about a foot tall in the greenhouse, and some starfruit plants coming up as well. No luck on the longan seeds though. Have 3 types of passion fruit growing like crazy that will move out soon, and my kiwanos are starting to adapt to the heat and are putting out tons of leaves. Got some ginger that is also going crazy in the greenhouse, about 3 ft tall in 2 months.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 1:57AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

How's everyone's tomatoes doing?

I've been picking tomatoes pretty much everyday these past two weeks! Lots of big ones too. I've been sharing them with neighbors and family, since I can't possibly eat all of these LOL! Really tasty tomatoes. I just oven-dried a bunch of them yesterday to put on bruchettas and pizzas. sooooo goood!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 10:31AM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Wow, they look *great*!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 11:25PM
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Will try to post more in a few days.

Artichoke Flower taken today with a camera I purchased on eBay for $ 22.49 Monday.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 9:41PM
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Indigo Rose Tomato

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 9:58PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

AMAZING tomato pics and harvests! They're so fun to see! I never really think of this as a GREAT tomato climate since timing seems so critical. I do usually do a few plants of yellow pear, or Sungold (my favorite cherry tomato), or some other small fruited type, but you all are maniacs, I love it! You're definitely making me want to be more dedicated to them next year!

Great artichoke pic too! You definitely got your money's worth with the camera. Keep the pics coming!

A variegated form of Hibiscus tileaceus, which I fell in love with on previous trips to Hawaii. It's done great in my garden unprotected for 18 months now. I love how the foliage emerges red/pink and then fades to white/green. It's grown as a mid-sized tree or a trimmed bush in mild climates.

One of several types of annual "soapwort" (Saponaria) that I let self sow around the garden. This type blooms for a couple of months in late spring/early summer. Sure, the color is a little "Barbie Mattel" pink, but hey, it's not too bad and it is very generous with the blooms for very little effort, so why not, right??

A fun double flowered pink hollyhock tossing up some late blooms. I love hollyhocks (especially as my mom forbid me to grow them as a child thanks to some childhood fears she had of dark alleys near her home that also had hollyhocks in them, so she thinks they're scary, LOL). I love them.

Take care and happy gardening, thanks for sharing all of the fun pics and updates!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 8:39PM
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Gorgeous everyone, I am so envious! I hope you can view this, my Picasa album from my May patio gardens, https://plus.google.com/photos/112947199935414266320/albums/5748600178818049153?authkey=CNW09cz59byJAQ

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 3:57AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

Grant, that Hibiscus tileaceus looks interesting! where did you get it? and do you have a photo of your whole plant?

The high is 111f today. Has anyone put out there shade screening yet for your vegies?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:19AM
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Grant I always love you pictures. I have used more than one as a Desktop Background. You make me want to plant pretty things for my wife and for all the pollinators.

raimeiken when it looked like this month was going to be hot. I decided to put up the shade cloth on the 1st of May. My biggest problem right now is that I have more tomatoes and peppers than I can pick. By the way; Nice looking tomatoes.

savorytv nice looking sunflowers. I planted six sunflowers this season but they have already been harvested. Time to plant some more.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

The triple digit temps this May didn't hurt my tomatoes that much, but this coming week with the 110+ temps probably will, so I had to put up the shade now. Hopefully my watermelons won't slow down in growth :(

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 2:12PM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

May is over, can you believe it! It was a gorgeous May if ever there was one and I wish we could repeat it in June. But June will have it's own good things to offer up, even with the heat. Lots of things are still looking great, but I want to just post one picture of one of the Thai basil plants preparing to bloom, before I pinch off the tips to hold off the flowering. The blooms are so pretty but they are going to have to wait just a little bit longer!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:31AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

I am LOVING the new pics and updates. It's just so fun to check in and talk with other local gardeners, fun fun fun.

haname, your basil really IS pretty. I can see why it is hard to cut those buds off. Great looking plants! This year I'm just doing regular old sweet basil and it's doing really well. Few things say "summer!" to me more than the scent of basil. Yours is just picture perfect.

Thanks for the nice words on my pics, I appreciate it. I'm definitely a stand, snap, and move-on kind of photographer, so I appreciate the kind words, and I've definitely enjoyed all the pics and updates here. Here's a quick-and-casual pic of the variegated Hibiscus tileaceus. It's a neat little guy. It's still small, but it's more than tripled in size over the last 18 months. It was a really small cutting when I got it. I *think* I picked it up at the wonderful Roger's Gardens in Corona del Mar, CA.

Okay, see you all over at the June 2012 thread. :)
Take care,

Here is a link that might be useful: Roger's Gardens nursery and extravaganza

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 3:11PM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

Grant, you should know that your many pots were an inspiration to me and I have added considerably to my moveable garden. :) This will pay off soon because I am going to have to move all the varieties of basil into more shade. I see in the pic above, to the left of your Hibiscus tileaceus, in front of what looks like some kind of citrus, an Opuntia sp. that looks a lot like one that I have planted in the ground. Do you know what it is? Mine has plump, smallish pads and sparse thorns with the occasional really long one. Last year I found a pad broken off a plant on the ground, picked it up and stuck it in the ground. I have no idea what the flowers or fruits are like since it hasn't bloomed yet.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 10:44PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hiya haname and all,

Fun! I do like me some containers, LOL. Like you mention, they do allow us to move things around according to light and season, don't they? Plus they help smaller plants not get lost visually, in a busy landscape.

You're good about the background plants, LOL, yes, that's an Opuntia quimilo in front of a small tangerine tree. It's one of my favorite opuntias for sure. Nice and tall growing with deep, rich green pads (with darker areoles) and only the occasional long sharp spine, plus very pretty blooms and persistent fruit.

Take care and happy gardening!

Here is a link that might be useful: What's looking good/awful June 2012

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 1:30PM
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