I am not a desert person. Well, not exactly true. I love going to the desert when it is in bloom and being amazed at how the sandy brown and beiges are transformed into brilliant purples, golds and pinks. We are fortunate here in San Diego to be less than an hour away from the desert, terrain so different from our coastal beaches, and our chaparral, foothills and mountains. I am in awe of the wildness and emptiness of the desert; I can appreciate it. One can look at the landscape and see miles and miles of vastness.
But . . . I would never want to live there, and would never—I mean never (oops, Mama said never say never)—buy a desert plant for my yard. I have European roots that like color: roses and daisies for example. But it is now politically correct to plant “drought-tolerant” plants in our yards, pull out the grass and spread stones or bark and sprinkle in these desert-looking plants. I am not impressed. Give me a yard with deep-green grass and plush colorful roses and impatiens—now that makes me smile. That’s beauty to me.
Once again, as I age, I am reminded that I don’t know anything. Last month I took a friend to the Huntington Library and Gardens near the Pasadena area. (Home of the Rose Parade). The gardens are spectacular! Over 200 acres of various plants. I was amazed and I mean amazed at the desert gardens. Because it was March, every cactus you can imagine was in bloom. I had never seen such vibrant and different colors on cacti. I didn’t run out and buy one for my yard, but I have a new appreciation for desert plants and their blooms.
Here are just a few of the hundreds of pictures I took.
Click on the individual pictures to enlarge.