Unlike in so many places, the weather has been simply lovely here lately. Sunshine and pleasant temperatures have followed our little rain (more please!), and yesterday I kept my Monday vase (thank you, Cathy!) outdoors for pictures.
It was, of course, Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, and though I had hopes of getting both posts up in the same day, I didn't quite manage. But I did make up the vase, just as the sun turned golden in the late afternoon.
It is January in the desert garden...
It is just the end of winter, with the first hints of spring.
Perhaps it is the extremely dry atmosphere of the desert that creates the quick response as the sun begins its return. The air seems to lighten so quickly once the solstice is past. While there is probably still the chance of a sudden drop to freezing weather, it has become difficult to imagine as the mornings come ever so little earlier and the evenings grow more golden.
Already the garden seems to have sensed that the great orb is on its return path. Within the first week of the year, the buds began to show.
Here in the desert, 2018 has arrived with a rather drastic swing between daytime and nighttime temperatures. Most days reach shirt sleeve warmth with nights a good deal colder, a few (to the hearty disgust of my tropicals) near freezing: a differential of thirty degrees (Fahrenheit) and more.
So it is the hardy, winter sun-lovers that are in bloom right now: Senna nemophila and lavenders, Tagetes and desert milkweed. And a handful of narcissus. Combined, they make up the first vase of the new year.
This post is a sort of visual fireworks from the small, sunny garden.
There is no doubt that Hamelia patens is spectacular in December. The show starts late as there is no frost to trigger it (fortunately, as this is a true tropical shrub); but when the leaves do turn, they are delightful - a rich, mahogany red that shows well in our strong sunlight.