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  • Writer's picturekaydee777

Rewilding my kerb appeal

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

After around about five years of no herbicides, and hand weeding the invasive goatshead thorns each monsoon season, native wildflowers are slowly finding their way back to the little bit of sandy desert surface on the eastern driveway sidewalk in front of the hacienda.

I did introduce the spineless opuntia (I eat the pads) the driftwood and a scattering of bigger rocks to hold the sand since the area slopes down to the kerb. What I have identified as (correct me if I am wrong) purple Tahoka daisies (Machaeranthera tanacetifolia) turned up first a few years ago.

This year, I am pleased to welcome what I think is Mentzelia multiflora, commonly called Desert Blazingstar or Stickleaf, because the leaves have little hairs which make them stick like Velcro to clothing.

On the other side of the driveway, while the invasive grass is a little unkempt due to my one armed bandit status, the kerbside plantings of red flowering hesperaloe look promising with long bud spears forming.

Last year there were no blooms from these spikey clumps. I was wondering what I was doing wrong.

Hummingbirds seem to love the flowers of hesperaloe.

Outback, I am currently watching another flower spike, of a native of another country, forming.

I grew up seeing Kniphofia (aka Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily) blooming in the wild, and with abandon in gardens.

I am not sure whether this one will be red or yellow. It was introduced to my garden last year in spring, when I purchased both colours from a Santa Fe nursery specializing in waterwise plants. This is the first indication I have that this clump is reasonably happy. I have been unsure until this point, but was just pleased that they did survive a (relatively mild) winter.

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