Desert Fountains

One expects the desert to have little water. Of course that’s true. Try driving the back roads from California to Nevada if you need proof. However people who own property in the Palm Springs area seem obsessed with water. Small houses will frequently have fountains and large resorts have many water features from large fountains on golf courses to small little ones in gardens. Here are a couple from our recent trip.

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Desert Fountains

Desert Fountains

The Miniature Trains at The Living Desert

One of the great surprises of The Living Desert in Palm Springs was the extensive miniature railroad exhibit. I have always loved miniature railroads. I have a great set as a kid and have seen some amazing exhibits. The exhibits at the Barnum Museum in Sarasota, at The Science Center in Pittsburgh and The science and Industry Museum in Chicago are unbelievable However, the one at The Living Desert in Palm Desert California is truly unique.

The exhibit is outdoors and is almost an acre large It consists of more than 3,300 feet of track, six different loops and a variety of trains in different gauges. There are all sorts of surprises in this exhibit including Most Rushmore. I imagine the fact that it is outdoors creates all sorts of maintenance costs. Throughout the exhibits are miniature road signs of the corporate sponsors.

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Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Desert Textures

Some people think the desert is ugly. It looks dry and lifeless. Some of it is pretty rough. We drove from Palm Desert to Nevada and the lan truly looked dead. It is one of the most desolate drives I have ever taken. Truly no country for old me. It is surprising though when you stop you notice all kinds of life. Even when we stopped in the Mohave desert we saw lots of life. Not dead but a different type of beauty.

This image was taken in The Living Desert and the textures of the desert plants provide a different sort of beauty.

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Desert Textures

Desert Textures

A Special Christmas Bloom and Pittsburgh Glass Brick Window

A lot of people in Pittsburgh buy poinsettia plants for Christmas. They are beautiful although poisonous and people tend to throw them away after Christmas. Another choice is a Christmas Cactus which is called that even though it is not actually a cactus.

They grow well as house plants in our area and if treated properly will bloom year after year. This one is in our bathroom in front of typical Pittsburgh glass brick.

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Pittsburgh Glass Brick

Summer at The Phipps

Its still not to late to see the Summer Garden at The Phipps Conservatory. In addition to all your summer favorites, there are some less flashy yet interesting plants to see.

I especially like plants that look like other things. This bromeliad looks like a star. And the plant below that almost looks like lace. The Phipps is one of Pittsburgh’s cultural treasures and deserves at least a couple of visits each year.

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Bromeliad

Lace Plant

Our Pittsburgh Garden–Rembrandt Tulip

Our garden in Regent Square is starting to look good after three years of work. Each year the deer have come up from Frick Park and eaten our tulips. A few have survived their evil appetite. The trick is to plant them surrounded by Daffodils.

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Rembrandt Tulip

Rain Rain Go AWAY!

I look forward to this time of year. It is my birthday month and usually the weather has broken and the flowers are rising. However here in Pittsburgh it refuses to stop raining. I don’t know who is taking this worse me or my dog.

I look outside and see all the daffodils beaten into submission by the rain. I really shouldn’t complain, some people have had their houses slide way. I will take solace by looking at old images of flowers until the weather breaks…sigh.

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Glass Brick