My Place in the World is in the Garden with my camera!
The best part about living part time in Arizona is that I get to experience spring twice! In April, when Alberta might still be experiencing snow storms, our Arizona home is at the height of spring blooming!
We have a large old Ironwood tree on our property. It is estimated that these trees can live for hundreds and hundreds of years. It sheds its leaves annually just before it blooms. The flowers are pea like (because it is a member of that family) and the entire tree becomes a dusky pink colour during full bloom.
The Ironwood often serves as a backdrop to the giant Saguaro cactus. The Saguaro can live for 150 to 200 years and it can grow 40 to 60 ft tall (12 to 18 meters). It is very slow growing and can be decades old before it sprouts arms or blooms.
The Prickly Pear cactus is the ‘rat’ of the neighbourhood for the simple reason that the resident rodents live in holes under the prickly shelter of this plant. We have a large specimen that isn’t actually on our property, but it thinks it should be. We have to carefully ‘prune’ it off our property every few years.
My favourite cactus is the Argentine Giant. It is a common enough looking cactus with multiple stems up to 24 inches (60 cm) tall. The wow factor is when it blooms. The white flowers can be 6 to 8 inches across (15 to 20 cm). The flowers come out at night, and only last about 24 hours.
A week after my Argentine Giant bloomed, I was back in Alberta where an extremely long and cold winter had finally ended. The last of the snow had just melted, and the earth quickly exploded with greenery.
The first flower to bloom was the Striped Squill, a starry pale blue and white flower that is only about 4 inches (10 cm) tall.
Another squill, the Siberian Squill, mingles with the Striped ones. Neither Squill seem anxious to expand their territory much, but they might simply be unable to compete with the other residents in that location – the prolific Grape hyacinths (Muscari).
The only other flower blooming right now is a bush – the Forsythia Northern Gold. I’m expecting great things from this fast growing bush. In addition to spectacular early blooms, it should help a lot with the task of masking the silvery wall of The Car Guy’s new quonset metal garage.
These photos are also at my Almost Artistic blog – but altered with filters in Topaz Studio.
This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Place in the World.
What blooms in your part of the world each spring?