I just got home from a few days in California, which always seems like the Garden of Eden for this desert girl. Things GROW there. And they grow without hundreds of dollars of irrigation systems and daily MiracleGro doses. Amazing.
Among my favorite sites:
This garden lined the sidewalk of the condo where my family stayed in Carpinteria. The only creatures who loved it more than me were the butterflies - they flitted happily from one plant to the next all hours of the day.
Many yards used thick, green groundcovers as borders around gorgeous lawns. The double-layer effect was beautiful.
The colors everywhere were amazing!
I brought home a part of the gorgeousness by purchasing a "small" hanging plant from a farmers market on the first day of the trip. The small plant wasn't so small once I started carrying it back to the condo, but it was worth it - it's the same kind of plant as my mom and dad had in their first home together. Their plant was named Wanda so mine, of course, is Wanda II. Wanda II had quite an adventure, which began with a couple of days in the beautiful garden at the condo.
Her Arizona existence can be credited solely to my dad, who patiently loaded her into the overcrowded car and made sure she had shade and water for the rest of the long trip home.
He even created a metal hanging system for the plant (after more than seven hours of driving, I'll add - impressive! I slept the whole way and was still tired).
Eventually I decided that I wanted to hang the plant lower, so I relied on the plant stand I bought at Home Depot (read about that adventure here).
Now both Wanda and I are trying to get back into the routine of regular life after a wonderful California escape.
P.S. Check out this adorable elephant hedge that I saw at the Reagan Presidential Library. Isn't it wonderful? I'd love to have both an elephant and a donkey hedge in my backyard someday...