Saturday, August 21, 2010

Santa Fe Chronicles - More Flora (sans Hollyhocks)

Aspens are one of the true delights of high-altitude climates. The interesting bark, beautiful leaves and intensely gold fall color make it one of my favorite trees.

Aromatic juniper is a wonderful evergreen mainstay; it thrives in high desert conditions.

Crabapples also give a long season of beauty, from lush spring bloom to soft green leaves to shiny fruits in late summer, in a conveniently compact size tree!

I love this beautiful, large grass; can't figure out what it is...

Maples by the river...

A large Campsis vine happily strangling a Blue Atlas Cedar.

View from where I'm staying...

And another! Santa Fe has gotten a lot of rainfall this summer; everything is quite lush.

Focus fail makes for an interesting picture anyway; think I'll keep it!

That's better; not sure what these red berries are; maybe Viburnum?

An adopted median with lush plantings of Russian Sage (Perovskia) and Hummingbird Mint (Agastache).

This apricot Agastache is just gorgeous...

A perky, pink penstemon!

Ha, figured this one out: Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa) love the silky seed heads

More Crabapples...

And we wrap up with a really sexy line of agaves in a raised bed between the sidewalk and an adobe wall.


  1. The leaves look like Viburnum. I wonder if they consider the trumpet vine invasive there. It looks great!

  2. I grew up just a few miles from Santa Fe. I do miss the beauty of all those mountains sometimes. Not so much now as Winter is setting in as I will in the Spring.

    I'm curious if you got a chance to smell the Agastache and what they smell like. I have some in my own garden that have a delightful hint of the scent of licorice. I'm not real familiar with them so was wondering if they all smell like that.

    Thanks for the pictures of home.

  3. Steve--I have agastache that smells like bubble gum. I love it as a drought tolerant plant.

    Laura--Thanks for the photos of Santa Fe; I grew up in New Mexico and it always feels like home to see it.

  4. Love the Russian Sage and Agastache combo...perfectly complimentary! I hope you find out what that grass's awesome!

  5. Hi Laura, so glad you're enjoying your visit to Santa Fe---one of my favorites too! The grass you like is Sporobolus wrightii, giant sacaton. I 'm pretty sure - though not positive - that the berries are those of Nanking cherry, Prunus tomemtosa. Great photos!

  6. Beautiful photos, Laura. I followed a link from San Francisco Botanical Gardens Facebook page and I'm very happy I did...this is a lovely blog!

    We have viburnum and the leaves are quite different so Jocelyn is probably right in that yours is a Nanking cherry.

    The Apache Plume reminds me of a native plant that we have here in Minnesota called Prairie Smoke...maybe they're related!

  7. This comment will display my full Santa Fe ignorance, but I'm surprised how lush it is! And that line of agaves is simply perfect. Nice summer digs you've got, Laura!

  8. Everyone, thanks for the wonderful comments!

    And special thanks to Jocelyn for correctly identifying my mystery red berries (Prunus tomentosa 'Nanking Cherry') and the big lovely grass (Sporobolus wrightii 'Giant Sacaton') My readers are the best! I'm back at home in San Jose, but already plotting my next visit...

    @Steve Agastache is also called Hummingbird Mint, I didn't smell it but recall that the foliage is aromatic, like a Nepeta.

    @Cheryl Prairie Smoke does look similar to Apache Plume! Different flowers, and Apache is a big shrubby thing, whereas Prairie looks more like a perennial. Love those wispy seedheads!

    @Denise Summer is the green season for Santa Fe, when the monsoons come. The area I was staying was also along the Santa Fe River, so it is a green belt. But even up in the high desert, summer is lush (as you can see in my pictures of Cool Ranch). It surprised me too the first time I visited, since I live where there is no rain in the summer.

  9. You have a huge garden.

    My garden is just a little square, but one day, I'm hoping I can be able to have something really big.

    I love the penstemons.

    Do junipers have a smell to them?

    I've heard agave is supposed to be really good for you.

  10. Love how the crabapples and the red berries kind of mirror each other.
    Stunning images!