The South Border

small sunny garden, desert garden, garden photography, photography, amy myers, tuesday view

Having a little rain fall last night was so reassuring.  I think the plants think so too!


The garden is now more or less in slow recovery mode after our well pump fiasco and the difficult dry heat of June.  It all looks quite dissheveled because I haven't put myself out to tidy it up yet.  Perhaps it was just my laziness, but I felt that even dried out plant material might supply a little shade to neighboring plants.  Hopefully the clean-up will begin soon now!


Meantime, here are a few pictures from around the South Border.

small sunny garden, desert garden, garden photography, photography, amy myers, tuesday view
Pennisetum setaceum rubrum takes the weather in stride.
small sunny garden, desert garden, garden photography, photography, amy myers, tuesday view

The miniature roses are beginning to flower lightly again.  They take so little to start a new bloom cycle!

small sunny garden, desert garden, garden photography, photography, amy myers, tuesday view

And Lagerstroemia indica "Rhapsody in Pink" has survived in spite of my fears!  I love the nearly transparent effect of its blooms.

small sunny garden, desert garden, garden photography, photography, amy myers, tuesday view

All in all, it was an encouraging look round, now that the heat has slacked off slightly, the air holds a little more moisture, and the watering problems are solved.  Thanks to Cathy at Words and Herbs for encouraging a weekly look at a particular spot in the garden!

small sunny garden, desert garden, garden photography, photography, amy myers, tuesday view

Weather Diary: Fair; High: 104 F (40 C)/Low: 80 F (27 C)

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And a weather shot from tonight: distant rainfall at sunset...

Write a comment

Comments: 14
  • #1

    Cathy (Wednesday, 12 July 2017 03:27)

    Amy, that last shot is amazing. Such a beautiful sky! Your Pennisetum is as gorgeous as ever. I find it incredible that your roses do so well and look so healthy too. What versatile little plants they are. Have a good week Amy!

  • #2

    Annette (Wednesday, 12 July 2017 04:14)

    Hi Amy
    Your south-facing border looks great and shows how (much more) important foliage is. A beautiful combination. P.s. Rubrum is a fav of mine too but usually doesn't survive the winter. My Lagerstroemia have yet to flower. Interesting to hear that you also had a dry and hot June and that the roses are doing well for you as I'd have thought they need a more continental climate. Are you from that area and if not what took you there? I'd love to do a tour of your garden and wonder if you'd be inclined to devote a post to showing us around, also the wider context. If you've done so already, please let me know the link. Wishing you a fab summer :)

  • #3

    Kris P (Wednesday, 12 July 2017 14:33)

    During the miserably hot summer months, restricting one's time in the garden is prudent, not lazy! That last shot of the pouring rain in the distance is beautiful.

  • #4

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Thursday, 13 July 2017 14:20)

    Cathy - I am amazed by those mini roses too! I'm learning a lot about the ways the different types of roses repeat here where they're not limited by winter cold. Think I should I put together a post... ;-)

  • #5

    Brian Skeys (Thursday, 13 July 2017 15:10)

    I like the colour of the Pennisetum setaceum rubrum .

  • #6

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Friday, 14 July 2017 11:13)

    Hi, Annette - Well, it took me a long time to find the post I was looking for! ;-) Here is the closest I have come to posting a tour of the garden:
    I've been reluctant to show the borders in full as they are still so terribly unfinished, but over this last year it really has filled out quite a bit. So hopefully there will be more complete tours once the garden comes back to life this autumn and winter.

    The question of roses is intriguing, but actually they are quite adaptable here so long as a little extra water is provided. They are not really guzzlers like some plants! I do encourage mine to go semi-dormant in the hottest months, but as our winters are mild, there is a long season of potential bloom on either side of that. I am still learning to work with them, though, since some find it much easier to spring back into life than others. The miniatures are marvelous in that respect.
    In answer to your question, we moved here in 2013. My early childhood was spent in California; then my family moved to the midwest, where my first rather unsuccessful garden was eventually made. But I have loved the desert southwest since I was a child, so when I got the chance to move here, it was a dream come true. I had and still have so much to learn about growing plants in the desert, however! :)

  • #7

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Friday, 14 July 2017 11:15)

    Thanks so much, Kris - sometimes I need to be reminded of that! ;-) The views of distant rain have been fantastic lately, but as you can guess, I'm always willing them to move closer...!

  • #8

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Friday, 14 July 2017 11:18)

    Brian - It's a wonderful color, isn't it?! Even now while it's actually a tad bleached out... I don't find it easy to get a range of good dark-foliaged plants that grow well here - silvers are myriad, of course! ;-)

  • #9

    Marcelo (Saturday, 15 July 2017 13:31)

    Amy, I just discovered your fantastic site and I am impressed by your beautiful garden in the desert, I live in Argentina and my climate is subtropical humid without dry season (precipitation is never never less than 52 inches evenly distributed throughout the year) my garden doesn't know drought but the heat and high humidity pose a major obstacle to my dream of having an english cottage style Garden. I really like the way you have created an English style garden without without relying on temperate climate plants such as peonies,tulips and rhododendrons.. I've been stubbornly trying to stablish these plants for almost 20 years! Thanks for sharing all these inspirational pictures!

  • #10

    David C. (Saturday, 15 July 2017 16:08)

    Those distant rain showers...same here, but today it is much different. Maybe, finally... I especially appreciate Marcelo's comment, as many where I once lived just do not (want to) get that climate key on the best plants to plug in for that look.

  • #11

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 16 July 2017 02:19)

    Marcelo - Thank you so much - I am very happy you enjoyed my blog! As with you, one cannot ask the traditional plants to grow happily in this climate, so I felt that the best thing was to try to make a classic garden design, only fill it with desert-adapted plants. As you see, this has been quite an adventure with many failures and some successes, but I am happy because I have actually found many beautiful plants to use - far more than I expected! And I find that most can grow quite well in cottage style borders. ;-)

  • #12

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 16 July 2017 02:40)

    David C - I hope you are getting that rain...! We got a rare, heavy, blowing downpour yesterday - a bit bad for the horse but bliss for the garden. I'm intrigued by your comment: I've always loved desert plants, long before I got a chance to move here, so it's no hardship to learn and use them - a big learning curve, but it's one that I'm happy to try. But I have only myself to please; it must be very frustrating with clients who have other expectations. By the way, I really appreciated your recent comments on irrigation vs. isolated shrub desert. I've not known a good way to explain that, so I'd pretty much quit trying... Someday I actually want to try a controlled version of pure desert. So many ideas, so little time... ;-)

  • #13

    Elizabeth Kearvell (Sunday, 16 July 2017)

    Beautiful shots dear Amy...everything looks so happy ... :)

  • #14

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Monday, 17 July 2017 20:00)

    Thank you so much dear Lizzie - the garden has been basking in the sudden arrival of moisture :) Thanks for dropping by!