Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The guard at the gate

To reach the front door of my house, a visitor has to walk through this gate and down the garden path.
I rarely use this entrance and was taken aback yesterday to see how much it had changed this summer. 
A few more weeks and a little more rain and I'll have to hand out machetes to my guests.


This skull has guarded the entrance for many years. 
He looks a little less intimidating now with vines growing out of his sinus cavities.


He looked so lonely B.V. (before vine).


I lost the little ID tag that came with the vine, so I have no idea what it is. 
I do know it's a perennial that thrives on lots of sun, no water, and total neglect – my kind of plant.



It blooms all summer long and the tarantula hawk wasps love it.
You remember the tarantula hawk wasps, don't you? Here's a link to that post in case you missed it.



This pretty plant is another mystery – I didn't put it there, but it and its siblings are happily putting down roots
all over this area. The purple stuff behind it is Russian sage, another drought-resistant perennial 
that I haven't managed to kill...yet.



35 comments:

  1. Wow - that first photo is just amazing. Gives a really good idea of your surrounds. Just beautiful. cheers Wendy

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  2. I love this post! What a lovely first impression one gets when coming through the gate. I actually like the overgrown look better!

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  3. It's remarkable how quickly the desert turns into a riot of color.

    You're right, Vines do a great deal for sinus cavities. LOL

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  4. I see a lot of gardens in my line of work and I must say, that arbor you've created as an entrance for your guests is as charming as any home entrance in Cambridge, although NO ONE on Brattle Street has a cow skull hanging on their gate.
    Don't know the vine, but I'd say that's a kind of Penny Cress with the little white flowers.

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  5. Beautiful entry! Different, but very attractive. Funny about the Russian sage, I can't keep it around from one year to the next (NY)!

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  6. Beautiful. We are trying to landscape our little bit of desert-meets-landscape heaven and we'll take this post to the nursery so we can somewhat reproduce the beauty. And neglect.

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  7. Lovely! It reminds me of a favorite children's book - Too many pumpkins - where an unnoticed front yard grew a bounty. :o)

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  8. You really did yourself proud with the photographs in the posting, especiallly the front gate. Amazing what a little rain will do, too.

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  9. I'm wondering this morning about the status of the exploited donkeys that were going to be tortured in the rodeo...have they been bought/transferred/rescued to a good home yet?

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  10. Beautiful! It shows a side of New Mexico I had not realized - I imagined endless scrub. However, given the tarantula hawk moth post, I don't think I'll move there any time soon. :)

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  11. The monsoon rain does wonders for a southwest garden. Your gate is beautiful. BTW, the vine is Silver Lace Vine - Fallopia baldschuanica - one of our most dorught-hardy vines. The white flowers are Pepperweed- Lepidium alyssoides var. eastwoodiae - a wildflower whose seeds can be used for pepper. Please check out Gene Jercinovic's wonderful on-line book: Wildflowers of the Manzanos http://newmexicoflores.com/manzanos.html to identify any of your wildflowers. His book is the result of years of research i8n Tajique until his home burned down in the big fire a few years ago. he now lives in Deming and he hasd made his book available for anyone to use on-line. It is a treasure!

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  12. How pretty! Your last photo is stunning.

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  13. That first photo gets my vote for a calendar pic!
    Beautiful photographs.

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  14. Don't touch a thing! You have created a breathtaking, beautiful, ambiance - even if by neglect. Actually, you should apply for recognition as a Certified Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Foundation, http://www.nwf.org/Get-Outside/Outdoor-Activities/Garden-for-Wildlife.aspx. We have our Villa certified and it's a really cool thing.

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  15. Vicki, the wildflower book is incredible! Thanks for posting the link.

    Anonymous, the rodeo promoter has not relinquished his herd of donkeys to the rescue that was willing to provide sanctuary.

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  16. That first photo took my breath away!

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  17. Your garden entrace is beautiful! Love the shot of the white flowers/weeds, too.

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  18. You desert garden is glorious. And you are so right about the skull...very nice with the vines growing out of the nasal cavity....you crack me up. The mountains framed in the gateway is so beautiful.

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  19. I'm shocked and amazed by the proliferation of growth by your gate. I think it looks magnificent and really enhances the guard beautifully. It's also very refreshing to read another person describe her plants by the colour of their flowers and not their latin names. *smile*

    I just saw your comment re: the donkey guy...he's a bit of an ass himself, isn't he?

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  20. Carol in N. Colorado7/18/12, 8:33 AM

    Oh wow, what an lovely, unexpected oasis in the desert?!
    I love the skull with vines growing through the sinus cavities. Don't change a thing.

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  21. Beautiful...Love the vine...

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  22. Gorgeous shots. I prefer the skull AV - after vine!

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  23. A perfect welcoming entrance to your home. Great looking sunset there too!

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  24. Beautiful! I am chuckling about the "sinus cavities". The 1st picture is absolutely stunning.

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  25. Don't touch a thing about that gate area - it's gorgeous! I would kill to have my front gate look as good. I guess I'll have to visit NM - you make it look so nice.

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  26. Sage is tough and will bloom its brains out given a chance. Great pics.

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  27. You have a front door?

    Even after walking (in my mind) through that lovely skull-n-vine entryway, I'm still not certain I know where the front door is. :-)

    Gorgeous pictures...and I am astonished at all the green and blooming things you've got!

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  28. My first thought was...no wonder the chickens are looking up the gutter for water! Seriously, you and Mother Nature have created some magic here. Don't change it. Russian sage is one of my favorites. Smells so good. It seems to me the vine skull might be a she.

    If necessary, use it as an emergency exit only and make no apologies.

    Gorgeous photos and thanks to Vicki for the info.

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  29. Carson, these are award winning photos -- I'm not kidding. You could sell a set of notecards or posters for all of them. Although the skull by itself is a little grim, I think there would be people that would like it. I absolutely LOVE that first photo and the skull with the vines...OK, all of them!! Gorgeous!!!

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  30. Amazed at your prolific photo ability...beautiful pictures...keep them coming.

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  31. Love this entry and that first shot is to die for! (see what I did there?)

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  32. The last picture is looking very beautiful.

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  33. I'm back to say that I downloaded that first amazing pic and set it as the desktop background on my work computer. Now I get to see it all day long. It truly is one of the best garden shots I've ever seen. And the person who said you should offer it as note cards or a calendar was right. Actually, do a chicken/garden calendar and you'll get rich!

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  34. I love that gate! Also the plant growing around and through the skull is deeply symbolic - I have a tarot card in one of my decks with basically the same design on it.

    Tarantula Moths (or Pepsis Wasps as I know them) are awesome :D.

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