Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gardening in the Desert (in November!)

I believe that I have mentioned that I am an iris "fancier". I brought a small number of iris with me to the desert and The Mister built me two "boxes" for them to live in.

The first year, we did not have the watering schedule quite right, but the second year, I had some lovely blooms.

The problem was, though, that I could only see the blooms if I went out the backdoor, around to the side parking area and walked behind whatever was parked there.
This is the view from beside the car trailer looking back between the pick-up camper and the cinder block wall. Not exactly a "garden setting"....

You can see that they look a little neglected. That is because they have been neglected!

The other bed looked worse!

That is because these guys have been eating the rhizomes (the fleshy part of the plant that stores all the energy for next years growth).

After the initial surprise of being thrown out of their comfy flower bed, they are pretty fast!
These two guys were racing back to the dirt.... for a minute...
Anyway, The Mister volunteered to move the boxes to the front yard.
Any gardening in the desert begins with this:
Once I saw an article in the paper about putting in a lawn. It began with, "First dig up your yard and take it to the land fill. Then buy some good dirt."

This is the new location. You can see that there is a large trailer parked cheek by jowl with the flower bed. In order to bring the plants, plant markers,the dirt, shovel, the soil amendments etc, it was necessary to put the ramp of the trailer down and open the side door. Then, I walked through the trailer and out the side door with each load. (The other option was through the kitchen and living room and out the front door.)

After another trip to the garden center for more soil, I got the plants in the ground.

It is still an odd feeling for me to be planting in November. In my Kansas garden, if the plants were not in the ground by Labor Day, or at the very least Columbus Day, it was iffy that they would make it through the winter. Here, they still have a couple of months for the roots to get established before winter.

Another thing that is different is that in my previous garden, I only watered once a week, or so, to get plants established. Then, if they couldn't make do with what mother nature provided, they couldn't stay in my garden.
Now, every plant gets its own little sprinkler!

I am really excited to have my flowers in the front yard where I can see them easily and share them with passers-by! I hope I have some photos of lovely blooms to share next year!


Iron Needles said...

Any idea about the larvae looking critters? Lovely new location for your iris. Can't wait to see them in a few weeks!

BigCat said...

I love irises. I hope yours do really well in their new homes.