We’re four days back from spending a long weekend in Palm Springs, and I’ve yet to catch up with myself. My family lured me out of town by giving me the trip as a birthday present. Smart. I’ve a wee tendency to imagine catastrophe and thus inclined to stay close to “home base.” Wouldn’t it be ironic if I was sitting here feeling all snug in my house, and a Fed Ex Plane known for skirting our eaves every evening seriously undershot the airport?
So, I’m glad they got me to go. I had a great time with my kids, son in law, and husband. We all usually get together for a meal each weekend, but having that uninterrupted stretch of 5 days together was great luxury. A swimming pool and hot tub right outside the patio doors wasn’t terrible either.
With mountains so close, it seemed odd that it was so hot. It ain’t like that here in Oregon–generally speaking. I spent the entire time disoriented, but since the sun rose over that a way, this shot is to the southeast.
I kept hoping the palms would bloom on those crazy stalks before we left town. Alas they did not. Is this normal, shooting way off the side/top like that?
Looking the other direction in the back courtyard, west of Palm Springs, the town is border by the San Jacinto Mountains, I’m pretty sure.
I’m still trying to sort out my thoughts on desert gardening. I was glad to see these trees. If it were me, I’d probably want more. It’s so hot, you’d think people would take advantage of the shade they provide. But I guess it’s a different mindset: you just don’t go outside midday.
And then there are the plants. Our yard repeated these, which are cool in and of themselves, but I kept imagining what it could be with more variety.
See, repetition. I think the tree is a Genista aetnensis, but I wouldn’t swear to it.
One evening when it had cooled a bit, Megan, my niece Jill and grand niece Jordan did a walk about in our neighborhood. The plants were impressive. I was so busy gawking, I forgot to take many pictures.
Here’s Jordan for scale.
And here’s Elliot with Jordan, for additional scale. (First cousins once removed, my niece’s daughter. I finally looked it up. It means one generation apart.)
So, the walk about. They have oranges growing right there on the tree.
And this lovely specimen. At first I thought Agave because it was so robust, then Yucca? The little curve at the base of the leaf says Agave, but I’m not positive. I didn’t expect to not be able to tell them apart. Things are different in the desert.
We also did a drive about during the hotter hours. This house is available for $1.5 M. Seems almost a bargain, if you’ve got the money with you.
The gardens were fancier here.
Every time I asked how far away something was, in town, the answer was 5 minutes. And it was true. From the airport: 5 minutes. To the store, Trader Joes–no less: 5 minutes. To the Casino downtown: 5 minutes. (I spent a grand total of $20 the entire time I was there–which was maybe an hour.)
We found a tony neighborhood with fabulous gardens–5 minutes from our place–and these were the street-side gardens. I can only imagine what was behind all those walls.
I got a lot of photos of the top of Megan’s head, but that’s nothing new.
And you can see why she needed to capture this plant. Cool, no?
This tree made me happy. I asked about it at Sunnylands–more on that later–and learned it was a Parkinsonia aculeata aka Palo Verde Tree. I’d want one of these if I lived in the desert. And rumor has it, it’s hardy in Zone 8. If I found one available in Portland, I’d be sorely tempted. I could worry about where to plant it later–like I do with all tree purchases. There’s always room in the Banana Stand.
We also went to Moortens Botantical Gardens. I loved their signage. (The top photo is from Moortens.) These were not your typical Oregon plants, at least not size-wise. I was mesmerized and discombobulated.
And the following day, to Pioneertown in Yucca Valley, then a quick romp through Joshua Tree National Park. I need to go back there and spend some time.
And then Joshua Tree National Park. I had no idea. But that’s a topic for another day.
We also visited the Rim Rock Ranch–a possible wedding venue. It’s only been ten years or so since Megan and Justin’s engagement, so what’s the rush.
There’d been a wedding the day before, so tables and sails were up.
The proprietors got out of the pool to great us, grabbing wine and glasses along the way. It was a fabulous place, albeit a bit out of the way. More on that another day.
I fear I’ve overstayed my welcome with the post, but you can understand I’m sure. It’s hard to sort out the dizzying sights in the few days hence.
But I would be remiss in not showing the main house, because the juxtaposition of modern house with vintage cabins is fabulous. The story goes that the original house was taken out by a fire that swept through a few years ago, but the cabins were unscathed. The owners live on one side of the new house, and the other end is used for the honeymoon suite. I want a honeymoon there!
The moral of the story: it’s good to leave home once in a while. The plane doesn’t always fall out of the sky. And what I didn’t know was a lot.