made in the shade

June 19, 2022  •  4 Comments

As everyone in the Southwest knows and appreciates, the shade of a big tree, even a healthy yucca, calms the eyes and keeps the shaded area from heating further.  Shade trees actually reduce the peak temperatures by 2-9 degrees, and more on some surfaces, through evapotranspiration, according to the EPA.  But like a sturdy wide-brimmed hat, the shade also keeps your brain from baking!

I have never really experienced the joy of having a big shade tree under which shade-loving plants can grow until we returned to Santa Fe and inherited an ash tree.  It opened up all sorts of gardening possibilities, even for a relatively small space.

Although hollyhocks seem to grow in both sun and shade, the ones in the neighborhood and in the vicinity of the ash, are quite happy where they are.  It is always interesting to watch the sun and shadow play on their big flowers, and try to capture them with my cameras.


Although I did plant delphiniums before, these Pacific Giant Summer skies have exceeded all my expectations.  

The delphiniums also held a surprise for me, once I took a closer look.  They are extremely hairy.  And toxic.

Sometimes, plants that are green or variegated can be under appreciated.  Hostas might be in that category but this particular variety, with its white tipped leaves, give the visual feel of being brushed with paint.

Thanks to all of you who voted for the assorted images in last week's blog, including Ann A., Jean & Sam, Debbie S., Connie T., TTT, Charlie, Victoria, Steve, Kay, Marilyn R., Wayne, Stewart, Sara, Ingrid, Pauli, and Gail.  It appears there was a tie between the radishes and the Primary Palette, with the paintbrush in snow and the autumn leaf chosen as close seconds after that.  I will let you know if any of the images tickle the judges fancy.  

Have a terrific week and for those in New Mexico, let's revel in the rain together, and enjoy the longest day of the year, Summer Solstice, on Tuesday!

until next Monday,


a passion for the image©



The single Hollyhock bloom is exquisite and should be entered into the RED contest.
Wayne Gesterfield(non-registered)
Love hollyhocks. We always had lots of them at our house in western Nebraska.
All nice pics.
Also love leaf patterns, natures fractals.

Could you spare an inch of that rain for us in Scottsdale?
Steve Immel(non-registered)
Every week you give us a lesson on how to look more closely at our surroundings. There's so much to see in the familiar but that we miss. In that category would be the hairy delphinium and the painted tips of the hosta leaves. I also like the sunlit crenelations in the cup of the hollyhocks. You have to marvel at the moniker Pacific Giant Summer delphinium which are, indeed, the hue of a warm summer sky.

A lovely set and lesson, Daryl.
Beautiful flowers…so glad y’all are getting rain!
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