26 May 2011

Cenizo Glory / March of the Chihuahuan Desert

The cenizo is on fire right now, blooming in all its great glory. Hallelujah I say!

We planted these cenizo (also called barometer bush and Texas sage) as a hedge to shield our neighbors' unsightly air conditioning unit from our living room windows. I also wanted to begin creating an edge to the driveway side of our garden, which currently has no boundary.

It's tricky, because I want to shield out the neighbors a bit, but not too much. Still want to be neighborly and say hi. Also, there's a small borrowed view that we can take advantage of, which is the greenbelt across the street that we've been slowly restoring. That's also a great place to see people wander by. So, I don't want to completely close that off.

The cenizo can be trimmed to shape and this particular variety should grow up to 5 or 6 feet, I hope. Of course, trimming will reduce the production of all of these amazing pink blooms, so I don't necessarily recommend it. AMAZING! Look how gorgeous they are.

Did I say they were amazing? Looking out the living room windows and seeing this pink and silver mass is such a joy.

Cenizo is a fantastic, low-water shrub and doesn't take well to saturated, clayey soils. Nor does it really like shade. Full sun and good drainage are best for this shrub.

Cenizo is a Texas native, and it is now used very widely in the nursery trade around Central Texas and maybe further afield in Texas. But, it's actually a native to western Texas and the Chihuahuan Desert. (In Texas, we have the benefit of planting "natives" that are from 800 miles away.)

Though I've been out to the Trans-Pecos of Texas, I don't recall actually ever seeing them out there growing wild (though I'm sure they do). However, I did venture into the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico a few years back in the hot days of August, and the pink balls of cenizo dotted the landscape all over the place. Quite beautiful.

Speaking of the Chihuahuan Desert, have you seen this drought map of Texas? John made the poetic conclusion after looking at this map that it looks like the Chihuahan Desert itself is extending it's long, hot fingers up further into our great state. Maybe it is. Perhaps that is our destiny.

The cenizo will probably be cool with that. Just sayin'.

For more on that drought topic, check out the U.S. Drought Monitor website, from which I this map came.

1 comment:

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

That's a mighty fine plant! Northern California has finally emerged from drought, thank goodness.