Sometimes they can be the sweetest part of our lives. Some of the volunteers under one of our Palo Verde trees include Oenothera caespitosa / fragrant evening primrose, Penstmon superbus and in a fence pole bermuda grass!
Oenothera! Oh my! It's been years we've planted it by seed and transplant trying to find the perfect spot. Finally it loves the Eastern side of the Palo Verde tree. It is known to be fragrant, hence the common name. And we had sniffed a blossom or two along the way. But to have a whole mound! It's like walking into a kitchen of lemon sugar cookies. Now who wouldn't love that fragrance. It turns out we've even smelled a cologne with that same scent. This photo is of the largest mound whose fragrance can be enjoyed from a standing position. There are mounds scattered all about. and look how nice plump and round they are. Prune happy neat-nics should be able to sit back and relax with their naturally round shape. We love their blossom shape - like a large white 4 leaf clover. And there is a lovely blush tinge to the white. The leaves are serated, in a way that makes them look like a "weed". Weed is in the eye of the beholder. So the plan now is to help the volunteers by drafting some more and plant them bordering a path so they can be enjoyed while moving. Mmm volunteers.
Penstemon superbus. The name says it all. They are big and sturdy and long lasting on the plant and in the vase. No fragrance but they pack plenty of visual punch. At Tre Soli they are the uber volunteer. They just keep multiplying by seed. In the photo below, look to the top center - that little field of penstemon is from one plant 3 years ago. In the foreground you see what came of one more plant. What you can't see is all of the little new volunteers scattered around. Wouldn't these be stunning in big pots? I wonder if they could do well. Another research project. And in the front of Tre Soli we have Penstemon superbus growing from seed. Another fleshy, deeper green penstemon. And then the scarce Penstemon Palmeri, a large, fragrant, pale pink beauty. When they bloom we'll try to remember to put those photos here too. Who says the desert is just about cactus and thorns?! Not me.
Now go out and volunteer yourself. Be the hope that springs eternal. Amaze yourself.