04/26/17
gardening challenge

Gardening Challenge Coming

Gardening Challenge Coming

A gardening challenge in the way of a very late and possibly hard freeze this weekend is headed to the Albuquerque area. The “average frost free date” for much of the time I have been here has hovered around April 15. Late freezes are not entirely unknown, however. We had a hard freeze in May of 2005. An Arrangement School was held at the same time as the Albuquerque Rose Show at the end of May. I still smile at the number of “Betty Boop” roses featured in rose arrangements that year, as well as in the show itself. That happened before we had rose photography in our rose shows. Floral photography does allow shows to thrive even with all the challenges of gardening.

This year, many of my roses have bloomed earlier than usual. However, I have a couple that I have babied that will be damaged by a hard freeze now. I’m also a little worried about the developing peaches and pears in my yard. I’ll keep an eye on the forecast and see what I can do to protect some of the plants.

Tim and Laurie, whom many of you know, face more difficult and frequent challenges in their gardening in Corrales, along the banks of the Rio Grande. However, once the freezes end in the spring, their property is full of lush floral growth.

These following images are from their yard in mid-May of 2016.

gardening challenge

Beautiful Climbing Roses

gardening challenge

Iris

gardening challenge

More Iris

gardening challenge

Even More Iris

gardening challenge

Even More Beautiful Iris

For those in the Albuquerque area, watch the weather forecasts. Good luck with your tender plants if the late hard freeze really happens.

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09/12/16

Late Summer Flowers

Late Summer Flowers

The Earth Laughs with Flowers ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Late summer flowers in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico are magnificent.

late summer flowers

Cosmos in Corrales

Visiting with friends Tim and Laurie is always fun. Visits usually include Tim and I photographing, and Laurie sketching. This weekend was no different. Our “photographic expeditions and excursions” are on temporary hold. However, we make the most of what is locally available. Their property always has great photo ops, but their Lively Meadow is especially lively in late summer.

A forest of sunflowers greets the arriving visitor. As I was driving into Corrales, I almost stopped to photograph some sunflowers growing along the highway. I laughed at myself as I drove into their property. I was also glad I did not stop along the highway!

late summer flowers

Sunflowers

The tall sunflowers provide a natural backdrop for the cosmos.

late summer flowers

Sunflowers and Cosmos

Cosmos are a riot of color. The little blue flowers are morning glories.

late summer flowers

Colorful Cosmos

Laurie sketched while Tim and I photographed.

late summer flowers

Laurie Sketching

Later, as we always do, we went back to the house and deck.

Tim and Spunk:

man and cat

Tim and Spunk

On the deck and outdoor kitchen:

man hat coffee

Tim Relaxing

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Laurie

I don’t know how or why, but something a little special and always unpredictable seems to appear at just the right time. I love this beautiful, sparkly little damsel fly that visited the butterfly bush as we were enjoying conversation on the deck.

damsel fly

Damsel Fly

A beautiful late summer day with friends and flowers.

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06/27/16
gardens friends

Gardens and Friends

Gardens and Friends: A Day in Corrales with Friends and Family and Friends of Friends

Gardens and friends – gardens are such a wonderful gathering spot for family and friends in the summer. Regular readers here know how much I love to visit with the Price family in their Corrales garden, as well as our “photographic expeditions” to various places. We frequently end those travels back at their home and garden. I have rarely shown all the socializing that goes on in that garden and on the deck. Yesterday was a day for being in the garden and visiting with friends and with friends and family of friends. It ended, as it always does, with wonderful food, drink, and conversation in the outdoor garden kitchen.

I always love driving down the little lane to Tim and Laurie’s home – it is so Corrales!

gardens and friends

Trumpet Vine on the Lane to Tim and Laurie’s

Once there, it was a time for friendships in the garden and at the table. Nothing more needs be said.

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05/18/16

Dr Huey, 2016

Dr Huey, 2016: The 3rd Annual Corrales Rose Society Dr Huey Tour

Dr Huey, know best among most rosarians as a common root-stock for grafted roses such as hybrid teas, floribundas, and many other classes of roses, may be seen in all of its own glory all over the Village of Corrales, New Mexico, for approximately one week in May. The Corrales Rose Society held its 3rd Annual Dr Huey Tour on May 15 this year, and the blooms were truly at their peak; the best overall I have ever seen them.

You may wonder why Corrales has so many of this hybrid wichurana, not usually planted for its own good qualities. Corrales sits on the river, here in the Middle Rio Grande Valley. You may recall from elementary school that “hot air rises, cold air sinks.” When I’m visiting friends in Corrales, even in the summer, if I am going to be there in the evening, I always take a jacket. Winter nights can get 10°-15°F colder than my location in Albuquerque. Corrales could be considered a “cold sink” and is just another example of one of many micro environments in the high desert.

People buy and plant grafted roses, and enjoy them as such while they are in that form. But many winters have killing freezes, often prolonged. In a desert area where winterizing of roses is rarely, if ever done, the grafted portion dies. In spring, the very hardy, alkaline-soil-thriving root-stock appears. The blooms are not at all unattractive, as you will see. People in the high desert tend to appreciate what grows and thrives, and most of these are kept. Some people keep them trimmed; some allow them to grown into their natural fountain shape; many allow them to cascade beautifully over walls; and one in particular has gotten quite huge!!!

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed seeing the roses in person.

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05/17/16

2016 Corrales Garden Tour

2016 Corrales Garden Tour, Sunday, June 5

The 2016 Corrales Garden Tour is coming up very soon, Sunday, June 5. The information for times, as well as for pre-sale and day of tour sale are on this poster.

2016 Corrales Garden Tour

2016 Corrales Garden Tour

Gardens Fulfill Needs

Gardens answer so many desires. They are places of beauty, offering emotional and physical recharging and introspection, or a chance to share hospitality. Our gardens are the first place to act locally as we think globally about caring for the environment.

The six unique gardens on the Corrales Garden Tour on June 5, from 9AM-4PM, speak to all those needs and yearnings. Some are quietly serene and very private, others capture rain runoff and allow it to return to the soil; some have whimsical elements and a variety of seating areas. You will see gardens in the trees, others in the sandhills, and each has taken our climate and need for water conservation to heart in various ways.

Different gardens are featured each year, and the gardens are always interesting. Here is a post from last year’s tour on water features in the garden.

Six different gardens will be featured this year, and Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions. It will be a very enjoyable day.

Be sure to wear sunscreen, and it is always a good idea to have water with you.

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09/9/15

Cosmos in Corrales

Cosmos in Corrales: The Beauty of a Naturalized Landscape

Cosmos this past Labor Day weekend were spectacular in the Corrales garden of our friends Tim and Laurie. They grow many different plants, with roses being the focal point of the formal part of the garden. But, sunflowers, brown-eyed Susan, echinacea, morning glories, coreopsis, and others, have been allowed to naturalize portions of their land along the Rio Grande. All were spectacular this past weekend.

Cosmos attract many different pollinators as well as hummingbirds, goldfinches, and other birds and butterflies. The entire garden was buzzing with lively critters.

There were so many different colors and combinations in these naturalized, self reseeding annuals . This is a small sample to give a feel for the beauty of even just one kind of flower in the garden.

cosmos

Field of Cosmos

cosmos

Cosmos, Up Close

cosmos

Almost White Cosmos

This is just a very small sample of the cosmos in the landscape. They appear among a wide variety of flowers allowed to naturalize the garden space, which was spectacular in its color and beauty this past weekend.

The prolonged drought has taken its toll among many flowers. One very good adaptation to that appears to be growing a wide variety of plants. More images of different flowers growing in this beautiful space will appear later in different posts.

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07/21/15
garden ornaments

Garden Ornaments

Garden Ornaments from the 2015 Corrales Garden Tour

Garden ornaments can be whimsical, serious, beautiful, colorful – any variety of anything a gardener wishes to have. Here are a few examples from one of the gardens on the 2015 Corrales Garden Tour this past June.

Ever have days like this?

garden ornaments

Ever Have Days Like This?

Some are more serene:

garden ornaments

The serenity of music and angels

Whimsy is always fun:

garden ornaments

Whimsical Bee

When pigs fly…

garden ornaments

When pigs fly…

These are just a few of the ornaments seen in one Corrales garden. They were all interesting, and added a different kind of visual appeal to the setting. All made me wonder what the owner was thinking when they were placed, and what thoughts they continue to bring to mind not only to the owner but to casual visitors.

This was a fun garden to visit on the Corrales Garden Tour.

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06/9/15
water features

Water Features

Water Features in the 2015 Corrales Garden Tour

Water features were surprisingly prominent in the 2015 Corrales Garden Tour, held this past Sunday. I say surprising, only because they were more prominent than I am used to seeing them in Albuquerque proper. In thinking about this, though, perhaps I should not have been so surprised. Corrales is a Village, its own governmental entity. It does not have the tiered water billing system of Albuquerque. It sits right on the Rio Grande River, and many people have wells. That is not to say at all that everyone has unlimited water use, only that water use may be somewhat less regulated than in Albuquerque city limits.

The water features seen were quite refreshing. The three shown in this piece were all different from one another. Each fit the garden it accented. A lot of good landscape planning went into all of these.

This was in the back yard of the first garden we visited. It had a little bit of everything: small waterfall, koi, and water lilies. The home had a covered back porch which looked out toward this pool, along with numerous hummingbird feeders and seed bird feeders. It was all very pleasant, indeed.

water features

Waterfall, Koi, and water lilies

This next home had a variety of different areas within the yard area. The swimming pool was good size, and this waterfall and surrounding rockwork and sculpture were quite appealing.

water features

Waterfall and sculpture at swimming pool

My personal favorite of the water features was this almost hidden pool.A small wooden slide created an almost-waterfall and in addition there was a fountain supplying not only water but the beautiful ripples you can see on the surface. The growth around it was lush.

What made this pool almost hidden was a giant tamarisk tree in front of it. But, it was not the typical tamarisk tree. This one had been carefully trained and trimmed for years, making it into a very beautiful sculptural form. In fact, I was not certain it was a tamarisk. I had to ask the owner!!! Goes to show what creative people can do with something known for being less than desirable.

water features

Almost hidden waterfall and pool

We all enjoyed the 2015 Corrales Garden Tour. I have many more photos, and different aspects of the gardens will be featured in future posts.

I thank all of the garden owners for opening their gardens to us. It was a great day and a great tour.

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