Summer’s treasures are transient — the monsoon storm and the rainbows left to shimmer in its wake; the perfect, starlit night filled with the smell of a great barbecue and music floating in the air from who knows where. And then there are summer’s precious gems, the glorious, gleaming gifts cultivated with care in our gardens or surprising and delighting us on the banks of bar ditches along the roadside — flowers.
Blessed are those favored with green thumbs; those who can take a seed, a bedding plant or cutting and turn it into the work of art we call a flower.
They’re to be envied by all of us with thumbs that only fumble at nurturing nature. But we can also praise them, especially when they share the jewels from their gardens with passersby who get a glimpse of their gorgeous gladiolas and regal roses as we drive to and from our daily obligations.
If the summer colors in the area are inspiring you, it is possible to get an almost instant garden of your own. Bedding plants can still be purchased. The trick is to mix in plants that are beginning to bud with those in full flower, that way you have the instant color and then more to follow.
At Plant Fair Nursery in Star Valley among the bedding plants that can go in now are Vinca, marigold, petunias, lobella, gazania, allysum, impatiens, begonias, purple robe, salvia, portulaca and geraniums. There are also loads of roses, which according to a member of the nursery staff, can be planted almost year-round in the Rim Country. After starting with these, you can get bulbs around the middle of August.
Take a trip to one of the nurseries around town, check out the demonstration garden at the Payson Campus of Gila Community College, or visit one of the nearby arboretums — Boyce Thompson near Superior or The Arboretum at Flagstaff — and see what else is available to brighten up your home.