Friday, May 6, 2011

The Cultivated Sonoran Desert in Late April

I spent a few days in Scottsdale, Arizona in late April. The Sonoran desert is wonderfully delightful at this time of year. 
White Argentine Giant cactus flower ~ Amazing!
This is my Native Air, and I am forever enchanted with the atmosphere of the desert, especially in spring, when, as my daughter says, the desert seems to overcompensate for its normally neutral colors with its brilliant flowers.
The White Argentine Giant cactus is remarkably lovely. Huge, fragrant white flowers open for only a day, and are startling in their beauty. 

White Argentine Giant in Bloom
 The creosote bushes are what give the desert its signature fragrance after a rain. In cultivation or in the wild, creosote bushes are colorful and fresh.

A creosote bush wears its grooming as naturally as the nursery plants that it has joined in this landscaped yard.

A native creosote bush hangs over the wall, as beautiful as the cultivated ornamentals.

Though the saguaro cactus were the tall trees of my youth, I never loose the sense of  being in the presence of something great and exotic when I am with them.

The wonderful view out the window during my morning shower.

A friendly giant with buds that will bloom in a few weeks.
A regiment of saguaro soldiers marching up the mountain.
An early morning desert scene including creosote and mesquite.
The waxy texture and often hot colors of cactus flowers are amazing.

A lovely blending of colors. Any decorator would certainly approve.
Golden Barrel Cactus.
Palo Verde, creosote and mesquite silhouetted in the sunset, with contrails which, I am told, are created by military jets.
The contrails in the sunset, while strikingly beautiful, are a sobering reminder that with all its natural delights, the earth is not yet a paradise.
You may click to enlarge the above photos.


  1. Beautiful! Thank you for these wonderful pictures. I liked the tall cacti against the sky - majestic. Beautiful sunset picture too.

  2. Thank you, Masha. The Sonoran desert is forever fascinating to me.

  3. What wonderful pictures of your part of this country. A real delight to see, as it is so different than where we live.

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

  4. Thank you so much, FlowerLady. I actually live over 300 miles NE of Scottsdale. I grew up in the low Sonoran desert, but I have lived in Northern Arizona for over 30 years. The high desert where I now live is a very different desert, with winter temperatures reaching -24 F, and no saguaro cactus!

  5. Sandra
    Oh, how lovely ! Very enchanting pictures. Lovely to see a garden in a climate so different from my. Very beautiful and unusual !
    Your blog is inspiring ! Thank you for sharing.

  6. Thanks for the glimpse in the Sonoran Desert. I love all the cacti with their flowers. It never fails to amaze me how the evolution came up with such a diversity of plants in the different climate zones.

  7. Thank you, Christina. There are delights in every corner of the earth!