Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who's that Froggy in the Window?

It's been awhile since my last post - work, life and a multitude of other distractions were, needless to say 'distracting.' 

So here we are, finally, in the throes of summer, replete with endless sunshine and muy caliente temps. Oddly enough, we are actually cooler than the Midwest, which of late has been transmogrified into Dante's Inferno...

The garden is now sporting some fab blooms from the more drought tolerant trees & shrubs, AND, the fruits on the 'Scarlet Robe' peach tree are ripening & delish. The highlight of the month, however, has to be the froggy in the window. Really. I was plunking away on the computer last Sunday around 9:30pm when I saw a tiny frog hopping up and down along the window ledge in front of me. What the.....? I didn't even recognize it as an amphibian at first - thought it was some ginormous moth or perchance even a rodent. But a frog? How in tarnation did it scale 3 feet of stuccoed wall to get up to the window? 

7/17/11 Shot from the inside: here he is - all 1 1/2 inches of him...

Shot from the outside.

A slightly better view, courtesy of macro lens & Photo Shop. After perusing the field guides, I think he's a Baja California Tree Frog (Pseudacris hypochondriac). His size, dark stripe through the eye, and ability to scale walls are indicative.

7/16/11 Vine Hill Clarkia 'White Form' (Clarkia imbricata).

7/16/11 California Goldenrod (Solidago californica) and Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis).

'Alpine' Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii). Got this one from Las Pilitas Nursery (hails from the town of Alpine in San Diego County).

7/18/11 California Quail. This fella was scouting for enemy raptors as his extended family feasted on birdseed under the nearby birdfeeder.

7/16/11 'Green Cloud' Texas Sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) next to an Italian Stone Pine. Native to Texas & Mexico. This beautiful shrub is a no-brainer in the Mediterranean/xerispcape landscape. Extremely drought tolerant once established.

7/16/11 Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplidifolia) & 'Coronation Gold' Yarrow adjacent to Thompson Seedless & Zinfandel grapes. Native Laurel Sumac (Malosma laurina), California Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), and Chaparral Mallow (Malacothamnus fasciculatus) in the backdrop.

7/16/11 'Las Pilitas' Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea), growing under one of the AZ Sycamores.

7/16/11 'Scarlet Robe' Peach, in full fruit. 

7/16/11 Fresh picked...

7/16/11 The potted and bare root fruit trees we planted this past winter (pluots, nectarines, Honey Crisp Apple, Comice Pear, Mission Fig, assorted citrus, blueberries & avocados) on the back slope seem to be taking.

7/4/11 Hana, surveying the horizon for her coyote boyfriends.

7/2/11 'Ken Taylor' Fremontodendron off the driveway. A more compact form (8' x 8') of our native Flannel Bush that works really well over a slope.

7/2/11 'Ken Taylor' Fremontodendron. 

7/2/11 Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis). Love, love this smallish native desert tree. It goes deciduous in the winter, but come summer, rejuvenates with magnificent blooms, which the hummers imbibe on with gusto!

7/2/11 Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis).

7/2/11 'White Cloud' Chitalpa. A cross between our native Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) and the eastern Catalpa. We planted four of these trees along the driveway a couple years back. Very floriferous this season.
7/2/11 'White Cloud' Chitalpa next to a very young 'Dara's Gold' Fremontia.


  1. Wow, I can just feel the heat coming off those photos. How wonderful that so much is still blooming - and a frog?

  2. Very cool frog! The only amphibians in my garden are the occasional salamanders that I unearth when digging holes for new plants. Your chilopsis is cool, too. One of my other plants has died in a spot that's perfect for a chilopsis of my own. I've never been so glad to see a plant die...

  3. Town Mouse, isn't it amazing that stuff still blooms in the heat of our summer?

    James, salamanders? Those are cooler than a tree frog! I, too have had death wishes for certain plants in my landscape, especially if I can replace them with infinitely more desirable natives.

  4. That little frog IS cool! Seems we get one! every spring. We hear the single voice calling. haha

    Wow, that 'Green Cloud' Texas Sage is beautiful! What a great plant and looks great with the pine background.

    I wish I could grow the Chilopsis, I've tried twice and my one is still 2 inches tall planted last fall. What does it want?

    Hana is a adorable and looks as huggable as the sunflower. I admire your flourishing orchard greatly!

  5. Hi Sue, I know that Chilopsis is frost tolerant down to about 10F so cold temps don't seem to be a problem. It does need lots of sun and relatively good drainage, so amending your soil with a bit of sand may help. If you've got decomposed granite like I do on anywhere on your property, then they should do well in those spots, as I've got all of mine growing in straight DG. I've also heard that Desert Willows makes for great potted specimens, so that might be worth a shot. And, I think your Maggie is just as adorable as Hana - we so love our pooches, don't we? :)

  6. As with many of us, Hana likes the bad boys.

  7. Yup. Of all the canines in the hood, she's only enamored with the neighbor's casanova mutt and a motley crew of coyotes, who would probably rather eat her than befriend her. Sigh.