As I mentioned, I splurged on a landscape design to avoid spending more money on things that would slowly - or not so slowly - wither in the Phoenix sun. Some of the suggestions I plan to totally ignore (I will never learn to love Yucca gloriosa in my front yard - though I like them in my neighbor's yard, these fall in my "Looks Like It Belongs in Dr. Seuss" category of landscaping no-nos), but I was thrilled to learn that a Hong Kong Orchid tree was a recommendation. Tropical green leaves? Check. Gorgeous pink flowers? Check. Hummingbird treat? Check. Doesn't leave a mess in the yard? Well you can't have everything.
So armed with a gift certificate and big hopes, I wandered through the trees at Whitfill's nursery. They had a couple of rows of Hong Kong Orchid trees - some were a little taller than the others.
This was one of the few times I wasn't even operating on a stingy decision-making scale: I had this wonderful gift certificate and knew this was a great investment in my home and, eventually, my lower a/c bills...but I still went with the smaller tree ($50+$58 to deliver and plant it). The more expensive ones ($99+$75 to deliver and plant it) had a bigger root base but the branches and leaves were exactly the same, so I went with this gorgeous thing:
The employee managed not to laugh when I stopped to take a picture of this claim of ownership!
Then came the hard part: waiting TWO WEEKS. I couldn't have it delivered during the week because of an unpredictable work schedule, and apparently I'm not the only one since the Whitfill's schedule was so backed up. Finally the day arrived. My support crew came to help me celebrate our own version of Arbor Day.
My tree looked even smaller compared to the many huge trees on the back of that delivery truck!
I couldn't believe how fast these guys had it planted, surrounded by good dirt and watered.
Xavier helped me celebrate by running circles around the new addition.
And in a matter of minutes, my little tree started its new life in my front yard. I'm told Hong Kong Orchid trees grow quickly but I like the tiny version too - the tree will grow with me over the years I call this home!