Saguaro Lake is located 20 miles Northeast of Mesa, AZ. It’s has a marina and several boat ramps. And three roads into the area. There are marked trails for hiking, atv’s and horses. This is part of Tonto Forest area and daily passes are sold off site year round in places like Ft McDowell, Mesa, and Jake’s Corners
And being there at the beginning of March, there are wildflowers. The area is loaded with cacti and cholla.
The end of my best guesses at what iis growing as a tree or shrub. There have been 53 so far. I keep forgetting some shrubs are tender vegetation and get carried inside. Which means pot bound. Some take forever to bloom or show fruit.
Rose of Sharon, a glorious weed by any other name surely would not smell as sweet. Ok, that maybe a bit harsh. I hated these things when I had a small yard. You have a thousand seedlings every year it seems. They with take over easily. But they can be kept as a hedge. They will bloom continuously from July til frost. Every year I cut them back to about two feet tall and they come back really thick. Left alone they could reach about 6-7 feet tall. They are a favorite of Japanese Beetles, and may require spaying.
Hibiscus are a tropical breed. Hardy ones do exist and require luck this far North. We have ones that go in for the winter. These are braided as “trees”. They need feed well to stay pretty. If you let them go dry, It takes awhile to talk them back to blooming. Once they start they will bloom most of the summer.
The Bay Tree is a Mediterranean staple. Here it’s a basement plant and acts like it will melt in the Sunshine for the first month its back outside. This is about four weeks later. The leaves are usable for seasoning. Even can be dried and sprinkled around the counter/floor to repeal ants. This can get seven feet tall and if you leave side branches it’ll look a lot better. It’ll look much better in another month!
Another Florida native, Lantana is at home in sand and loose soils. But with enough water, it’ll grow in hard soil. In nature they are 3-4 feet tall, in a pot or the ground 2-3 feet is big. This is another spend winter inside plant. The blooms have multiple colors on most. Combinations can be red, orange, & yellow, or pink, purple, & cream. Even solid white or yellow are common. It’s a nice compact shrub. If you take care of it, all summer it blooms.
The Sargeant Crabapple is another Arbor Day tree. It had a decent growth rate. There are male and female trees. The females bear fruit. Not edible type for people though. The tall one is almost ten feet tall, the shorter one six feet. The foliage is dense enough for a nest or two. They prefer soil with drainage but can stand wet soil for part of the year. Just make sure it’s in the Sun.
The Black Locust is the main stay of the front yard. It’s a tree that looks more dead than alive most of the year. These are signs of poor soil. They grew in places with standing water, hard compacted clay and will grow with little light. They tend to cluster, partially become they were others won’t. They do actually look good in May because they bloom for a few days or until it rains. The blooms are very fragile.
The Peony is very common shrub. It had really nice blooms that look good for than a week. The plant then proceeds to fall face first to the ground. This one is tied up. It has topped out at less than 3 feet tall.
This Bush Fushia is a tender plant. It’s more plant than shrub. It will get as large as six feet if I lived in Hawaii. Here in Ohio, it lives in the basement for half the year. The flowers are magnets for hummingbirds. They bloom all year. Like the hanging plant relative,this needs lot of water and fertilizer to stay happy.
The Rug Juniper is a spreading evergreen. It will never be more than six inches tall but can stretch out 3-5 feet in two directions. Usually they are long and about a foot wide. They make great accents to demarcate a bed from the yard. This one has a future job doing that!
The Florida Weigela is the most common Weigela. It had red flowers that may have stopped for an unknown reason. It’s battling day lilies for space in a bed. Although, it should be 5-6 feet tall and wide, this one is a bit small. At 2 feet tall, it’s been buried alive for the first couple months is good weather.