Monday, March 23, 2015

Billy Conn's Garden Spring March 2015 in Logandale, Nevada

Friday, March 20th, 2015 marked the first day of Spring.  That night we packed up for the next three days to go on our family trip to Logandale.  We packed up our sleeping bags and pillows.  We took all of our electronics.  Nicole and I would stay in a trailer while my mom and her boyfriend, Billy, stayed in a nice little house.  We would go Friday-Saturday-Sunday for our fun weekend getaway.

We left Friday night.  The sky grew darker and darker.  Helicopters in the sky were making their way back to the airport.  It wasn't very late, not more than seven o'clock in the evening, but the sky had turned black and the stars were already out.  Numerous cars were all headed Southbound on the I-15 towards Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

For being around two hour drive from Cedar City, Utah, the weather in Logandale is much warmer.  Southern Utah is slightly cold in the Spring.  At night in Cedar, it's as cold as 30 degrees Fahrenheit and not warmer than 65 degrees so it has been a little bit on the chilly side.  In Cedar City, Utah, this time of year, I always have to wear pants, boots and sweater if I go outside.  Logandale is located two hours South of Cedar.  Logandale is only 30 minute drive from Las Vegas so Logandale is located within the desert area near the sand dunes of Valley of Fire.  Logandale ranges from about 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night and early morning; in the day Logandale is about 85 degrees and up.  Logandale has summertime weather year round.  With the exception of chilly nights, Logandale it is perfectly fine to wear shorts, tank top, and sandals all day.  We looked forward to the sunshine and beautiful blue skies.

Not much happened at night.  We settled into the trailer.  It was a nice trailer with air conditioning, and a floor heater that was like a sauna.  It was very comfortable old trailer.  It was fully hooked up to electricity and running water.  All the amenities were nearby.  The refrigerator was stocked full by Billy.  The trailer appeared to be kept very neat and clean.

I didn't get up until later Saturday, but when I did, I got a chance to go through the garden areas and took some pictures.

Nearby the trailer, there are several large bird feeders all around.  Some colorful red bellied finches have taken a liking to the bird seeds.  All morning long, it was a lot of loud chirping as the birds flew back and forth from the trees to the feeder, and back and forth between the multiple bird baths and back to their nests in the trees.

Last night, these grape vines were completely slumped over and dry, and then this morning the irrigation system dripped, and the whole vine lifted up again in the sun.  It actually seemed more vibrant as the day passed.

This is another bird feeding station.  The bricks were laid out for another gardening project.  There were birds flying back and forth to the feeder.  My mom suggested that this would be a nice area for a water fountain, but I think Billy has other plans.  He wants to put more succulents into the brick area for a display.

This is a humming bird feeder.  I didn't see not even one hummingbird, but there were multiple finches and sparrows.  It gets very hot and dry out in the desert, and only certain types of life thrive here.  I imagine there are hummingbirds in the area, just not as many as a person would think.

This extremely tall looking cactus is a Saguaro cactus.  The Saguaro cacti originated from the Sonora Desert.  This Saguaro cactus may not look like much, but the price tag on just one of these extraordinary succulents averages between $7,000 to $15,000 per Saguaro cactus.  Seeing that this cactus is quite tall and mature, it is closer to the end range, and may cost near to $15,000 for a landscaper to place just one in a garden. 

We were reminded to be careful when walking around a cactus garden.  For obvious reasons, we stayed away from the spiny types of cactus.  Many of the cactus needles were several inches long, and extremely sharp.  Just one cactus needle could send a person to the hospital and badly in need of stitches.  In a cactus garden, there is no goofing around.  When a gardener says not to touch the plants, they mean it.

Here is a more distal view.  There are more Sagauros, Oleanders, Mexican Palms, Sago Palms, Yucca, Agave, and other clusters of succulents.

To appreciate the Saguaros, I think it is important to compare it with the beautiful, deep blue of the sky.  In the morning, it was somewhat overcast, and though the sun blazed in, there was a nice cool breeze.  Logandale is ideal climate in the Spring.

This beautiful blue-gray cactus is most likely from the Agave family.  Up close, in the Agave cluster there are ridges of sharp cactus needles.  I believe the Agave is native to Mexico.

This particular cactus is particularly furry, and is called a Teddy Bear Cactus.  Though the cactus needles are so fine and thick, it looks like a fuzzy and cute cactus, I would not recommend hugging it.

My mom really liked these tall climbing Yucatillas (that's what she called them).  I believe they are also native to Mexico.  I'm not a cactus expert, but for it's shape, they are also called a pencil cactus.  Yucatillas are super tall and slim, and are loaded with cactus needles from the top to the bottom.  They branch out like a leafless tree.

These are oleanders.  They have not yet bloomed.  Instead of a fence on the front yard, these oleanders create a wall that provides privacy.  The oleanders grow tall and make a natural fence line.  The oleanders will bloom and look much prettier fully bloomed.

I think most of these trees are either peach trees or apricots.  I think that for whatever reason it is, the really red clay (like in Georgia where the clay is very red) provides excellent nutrients for growing peaches and apricots.  Whatever the case, they flourish in the desert.  Many of the young trees only six years old have already budded out large white blossoms, and some of the trees already have formations of fruit.  It's only March so this should be a good growing season.

This one is a pomegranate tree.  We love pomegranates.  I must confess that pomegranate jam is probably one of the Earth's best.  The problem with growing pomegranates is that it takes all year long for them to ripen.  Once the pomegranates ripen, they have to be picked and harvested immediately.  We do love it when the pomegranates come in season.  The second picture, the big fat red buds are starting to form.

The blossoms below are mainly peaches and apricots.  They will be fully ready in summer.  In Hurricane, Utah, near St. George, they have the "Peach Days" which hosts Washington County Fair.  The peach cobbler is outstanding.  Just about anything with peaches is a hit (peach pie, peach jam, and peaches and cream).  Peaches and apricots are probably some of the most popular trees to grow in the area.

One tree that grows well in the desert are the fig trees.  It's only March, and there are already bulbs of figs that are quickly maturing.  Personally, I really like figs.  We used to grow them in San Diego, and pull them right off the tree and eat them.  I think this tree will be loaded with figs by harvest time.

Behind the figs, in the back by the truck there is a Eucalyptus tree.  It's very fragrant.  I have heard that eucalyptus oil is very effective in healing certain ailments.  We used to have several of these.  I've always liked them.

This is Billy's armored car.  I'm not sure which bank Billy robbed to get this truck from.  It must be an older model.  It still has a non-functional CB radio, and seats.  It's more of an eye piece than anything.  It's for the kids to play in.

There were birds chirping, and this garden was unique and had a sense of peacefulness.  It's satisfying to hear the birds singing and watch all the different plant life change day to day.  These succulent gardens and orchards are unique to the Southwestern United States.  I found myself sitting on the bench amused for hours at all the sights and sounds.

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