It’s in the upper-80’s here (about 30º C) and I’m spending every possible minute outside, working in the garden. I am working to make a more abundant garden this year, with more food and flowers than ever before.

While the front yard is a white garden, the backyard is where I plant flowers of several colors. I can see most of these from inside the house as I look out the windows.

March View From the Door The Prudent Homemaker

Daffodils in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

The daffodils are in bloom along with several of the fruit trees.  They smell wonderful.

March Sunrise 1 The Prudent Homemaker

I am loving the pink from my peach trees. I am hoping to see lots more color in the garden later this year, as I have planted both pink and yellow rose bushes and seeds for poppies, larkspur, and zinnias.

March Daffodils in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker


March Miniature Daffodils The Prudent Homemaker

The miniature daffodils I planted around the circle have come up. They are teeny tiny.

March Sensation Lilac The Prudent Homemaker

I added a new lilac bush to my garden this spring, which doesn’t require any chilling hours. It’s called Sensation. I like having some purple in the back of the bed. The violet-crowned hummingbird that I have been seeing in the garden this spring has already found this new bush.

March Pots The Prudent Homemaker

This corner is full of nasturtium flowers, and you can see more of the miniature daffodils, which I planted in all of the large pots on the patio. Nasturtiums are one of the least expensive ways to add flowers to the garden; you can buy seeds just about everywhere, they spread out (and down) and they reseed readily. You can collect seeds to plant next year if you don’t get enough volunteers, or if you just want more to plant in more places. As a bonus, both the flowers and leaves are edible.

March White Bench The Prudent Homemaker

I really enjoy the birdsong while I am out working in the garden. 

I’m planting more flower seeds today. I hope to have many more flowers out here later this year!

March Bee on Pear Blossoms The Prudent Homemaker


Similar Posts


  1. Lovely. My sister and her ten-year-old have been on a quick road trip to Michigan from western Arizona to visit mom (and to tow a travel trailer home when her hubby flies in at the end of the week). She is white-knuckling it through the mixed precipitation of northern Indiana after having completed two days of 900-plus miles each day. My 10-year-old nephew was attempting to build a snowman out of the two inches or so of snow on the edge of a McDonald’s parking lot a few minutes ago. We’re hoping he gets to play in the snow that is supposed to fall here this afternoon. The weather here is SUCH a contrast to the weather where you live. Your photos of your garden are lovely and I like how the bed of chard fits beautifully into your landscaping.

  2. The pictures of your garden were a perfect pick- me- up on this gray day! I find your garden advice so inspirational, thank you.

  3. Lilacs are one of my absolute favourite flowers! Historically, it was very common in Southern Ontario for farms to use lilac bushes on farms to create a wind break from the open fields. So every spring, there are a large abundance of these wonderful perfumed flowers everywhere in white, pale pink, dark pink and purple. We have a bunch of lilac bushes around the pioneer village, too. Every spring all the female interpreters cut flowers from to make arrangements for our historic buildings. Their amazing scent is so strong, it permeates through the entire building! Those Victorians really knew their flowers, that’s for sure.

    Thanks for sharing your photos with us. For those of us living in winter wonderlands, it gives us hope spring really is on it’s way!!!:D

  4. I am curious about your fruit trees and how you have garden beds around them. Is there a certain distance you have to keep the other plants from the trees, and what kinds of plants do you put in there?

  5. I love this post and your pictures! So inspiring! And I love that you’re mixing vegetables with the flowers. (Are those carrot tops next to the mini daffodils? And chard with roses or some other bush? So clever!)

    I’ve been trying to get my balcony garden started inside (as it’s minus 14 Celsius outside), and have forced some tulips and crocuses (only the tulips have bloomed so far and they’re beautiful! ) indoors. I’ve bought my seeds and planned my garden, to grow rainbow chard, French breakfast radishes (because they grow down and use less space, as you pointed out once), lettuce, peas (on a customizable wire trellis that I will attach to a wall), carrots, parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro, mint, rosemary, and nasturtiums (because I learned from this blog that they’re edible!), tomatoes, peppers, and sweet potatoes. I plan to start the sweet potato slips this week. I’ve learnt so much about gardening from this blog, thank you!

  6. Love, love, love your garden. The picture of the bee on the blossom (apple? or plum?) is wonderful.

    Does your lilac have the typical lilac scent? Hubs and I were in Wisconsin one June, and I fell in love with the fragrance. Having lived in AZ and CA, that was the first time I’d ever been exposed to real lilacs. I’d love to have some here, but our winters are typically so mild most varieties won’t do.

  7. I had snowdrops in bloom, but they were buried under the 27 or so inches of snow we had on Tuesday and Wednesday. The schools were closed two days this week after being closed two days last week for windstorm and power outages. Yesterday and today have been lovely and full so blue skies and sunshine with temperatures in the lower 40’s and the snow is melting quickly, which is good because none of us like seeing snow this late in the season.

    My sister wanted to know where to find the Amish store and I needed oatmeal, so I called her last night and said just show up at my house today and I’ll take you there. She had a great time looking around and buying a little of this and a little of that–spending about $24. Most of the time she lives alone, although she has 6 grown children, 17 grands, and about 7 great-grands who visit frequently. So her freezer is usually full. She has been doing a Family Dinner on Sundays the last few months so she cooks about 3 PM on Sundays and whoever wants to eat drops in and eats! She has a few single people among her family and they are the ones who show up on Sundays wanting a home cooked meal. The married ones generally give advance notice since most of them have a few children too. Now she has new treats to discover and knows how to get to the Amish store by herself. I got 10 lbs of oatmeal, 5 # of honey and one green pepper for 50 cents! Nice bargains there too. Their prices are reasonable to cheap, depending on what item you are looking at. Nothing is overpriced but there are always some good deals, too. They know how to get people into the store! They have a lot of dehydrated foods and spices also, and lots of baking supplies. I always find something I want–this time I was being purposely spare because I have been eating too much sugar lately. I left their delicious coconut macaroons on the shelf and walked on by. Came home and made Irish soda bread to go with our corned beef and cabbage (and just ran into the kitchen to add the cabbage to the boiling pot! Almost forgot to put it in.) for dinner. That is sweet enough.

  8. They look like carrots but are self-seeded larkspur. I will have to pull them as I don’t want them at the edge of the bed now that I have rose bushes further in (they would cover them so the roses would not be visible nor get any sun).

    The daffodils are coming up through arugula, which is bolting almost right away as it is 15 degrees warmer than average for this time of year. Hopefully I can get it all harvested within the next couple of weeks.

    That is chard near the roses. I am harvesting from them several times a week right now. Next month they are going to go to seed and end up being 6 feet tall in a week if I don’t pull them. I will grow more in that bed but further out from the roses this time. I also have some artichokes growing in those beds too. They get big in April/May and then die back, making it easy to plant around them.

  9. Roberta, our nursery had 3 different lilacs and ALL of them said they are varieties that do not require ANY chilling hours. One is the Sensation, which I have, and it does have a wonderful smell; they all had a scent but each varied slightly. Another was the Angel White (also called Descanso, which I love, as Descanco Gardens in La Canada has quite a number of lilacs; if you have not been there I recommend it. Their lilacs bllom around the third week in April, as did mine in Southern California growing up. I loved this, as they bloom at my birthday every year!) The third was the typical lavender color and I cannot remember the variety; the nursery had a ton but when I went to buy one all of those were gone.

    One thing I did not notice about the Sensation until after I bought it and went to cut it to bring inside is that unlike the other two types, and indeed, all other lilacs I have seen) is that the flowers are NOT at the tips of the stems. They are way further down on the stems. This means a huge cut when you go to bring them in. That was a shocker. I didn’t notice it at the nursery; it was only until I went to bring some in that I realized that I would have to cut the bush in half to bring any in! So that is a bummber about this particular variety.

    All of these were from Monrovia, so you should be able to find a local nursery who has them, as they are grown in California. So you should be able to find a variety that does not require chilling hours, but get it locally; mail order ones are going to require cold most likely from others I have seen. Lilacs in our climate need afternoon sshade. One hour of direct afternon sun in summer will burn off every single leaf; my angel white lilac in the white garden is in shade almost all day except from 2-3 pm in summer and it lost all its leaves last summer. I’ve put this new one where it should get even more shade. They do come back but keep that in mind for a hot climate.

    The bee is on a pear blossom. I took out our plum tree last fall as it was dying. The tree is the one in flower to the left of the bench in the photo above the bee picture.

  10. I don’t plant them at the base of the trees.

    I have planted Swiss chard, artichokes, and squash in those beds. They do need sun (though chard can grow with lots less) so I don’t want them right under the trees or they won’t grow as big (plus I want to not steal nutrients from the trees and I need to be able to get my ladder under the trees for harvesting). We have sun almost every day of the year, but when the trees are full of leaves they do shade part of the garden for different times of the day.

  11. Beautiful. I had a whole bed of daffodils last week that were so pretty. Then I saw that the weather was going to dip below freezing. Rather than lose them to frost, I clipped them all and made 3 giant bouquets to spread around the house. I love the smell. Sure enough, the next morning, the buds outside looked pretty sad. I learned my lesson when I lost them all to a late season ice storm several years ago.

  12. I just read on another blog that the woman made pesto out of the nasturtiums and they were spicy. She also pickled the seeds with hot vinegar, she was told they tasted similar to capers.

  13. Such a beautiful garden!
    We’ve had more snow today. I started singing “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!” No-one was amused.
    I joined my first CSA this week. It should start mid June. I’m done with vegetable seeds and plants. The money I’ve spent would have bought a whole lot of food. I’ve ordered calendula seeds. So far, that’s it. I’d like a peach tree, but honestly, I must not want it too badly. I haven’t done much research. This Winter has really left me with a ho- hum attitude about such things. I need to find my mojo! Tomorrow, I’m headed to our nearest Aldi’s, over two hours away. My husband had all three of his photographs juried into a show over an hour away, which happens to be on the way to Aldi’s. Killing two birds with 1/2 a stone. All in all, I’m very excited at the prospect of getting enough organic greens, herbs and vegetables without the stress. If my garden looked even half as good as yours, Brandy, I would be one happy camper!

  14. Oh Brandy, your garden is SO beautiful! It is amazing how you can grow all of this in the desert! Today I planted some sweet potatoes, ginger and turmeric, all in onde large pot in my tiny balcony. We will see if they will produce something 🙂 Many blessings to you all!

  15. Beautiful and uplifting! It has been quite a journey to this beautiful garden. As an avid gardener, I am tickled to see how your garden has matured and grown. How smart to plant an edible landscape! We are just starting out once again and I look forward to bringing the raw and wild land to the mature beauty of your photos! Thank you for sharing.

  16. Thanks so much for the information, Brandy. We’re only about 25 miles from the Descanso Gardens, so we’ll have to plan a day trip sometime. Oddly, we’ve never been there–although my MIL went years ago–even though we’ve been here for over 30 years now. (Hubs even longer; he was born and raised in the area.) We’ve been to the Huntington, the LA Arboretum, and both of the Getty campuses–all great places for garden lovers. When you lived in the area did you get a chance to see the Huntington’s herb garden? Everyone raves about the roses–which are indeed lovely–but we also love the herbs.

    There’s a local nursery (employee owned) that’s really good about helping people find and order plants. They should be able to help us out.

    Thanks again! 🙂

  17. Momsav, I totally understand. I have a very different climate from yours, but when it rains my entire backyard, and part of my front yard becomes a small lake. I also have complete shade over all my backyard, in addition to the water issue, and three fourths shade over my front yard. The one portion of my front yard that is not shaded, my neighbors keep running over with their vehicles. I finally put my foot down yesterday, after repeated requests, and told them I was tired of the disrespect, and I am putting up a fence. Maybe I can then garden that one, useable corner. Now, I have to figure out how to get the money for the fence. At the moment, I eat dandelion greens, and mulberries from my tree and that is it. Love Brandy’s yard, and she was smart to put up a nice fence!!!

  18. Roberta, in case your are unaware, Lilacs only bloom for maybe 2-3 weeks each year in spring, then they’re done. It may be a short window, but they are beautiful and smell so wonderful when they do! Hope you find one that will work in your area.:D

  19. I already was struggling with spring fever. Now I’m down with a full-blown case of it!!!! Your gardens are lovely. It is so interesting to me to see the differences in a garden from another part of the country then where I live.

    I am actually looking very carefully at how you have done your yard and garden. That is my new challenge for this year–producing lots of food in a small yard, since we no longer live in the country where I had unlimited area to grow things in. When I would run out of room, my husband would just go till up a second area for me down by the barn. There is no barn here:) So, I’ve made a plan, but I know I’ll have to tweak it as I go along. I know I can’t grow enough corn here. There’s just not enough room. So, I’ve arranged with my sister, who does have property, to share her garden again for corn and squash. Last summer, she graciously shared with my while we were in transition, and she loved that there was another person to weed, plant, pick, etc. It is just much harder when we live at a distance now, so I will try to raise what I can here at my house.

    I ordered a lot of seeds from Territorial and they have arrived. I just got my strawberry plants yesterday, and need to try to get them into the wet, wet ground very soon. I will buy veggie starts this year, as I don’t have my greenhouse any more.

    I love your little daffodils. I am loving the bulbs that are coming up here, and I do have some miniature yellow daffodils, although I’m thinking the ones you have are even tinier. It’s difficult to tell exactly from a picture. I also have pale cream, regular-sized ones, and a row that my daughter planted of the common, yellow ones. We got the bulbs for free from my sister who was cleaning out a flowerbed and re-planting. I’m also noticing tulips coming up, iris, and some unknown bulbs. It will be fun to see what else comes up.

    I think it will take a few years to whip this place into shape. I am looking forward to seeing what I can get this year. Then, I can make improvements each year.

  20. Roberta, I think the prettiest time at Descanso is March-April. It is pretty later, but the lilacs are in bloom over the next month (each kind in its turn), and wonderful!

    I have not been to the Getty on the 405; I’ve been to the Villa twice. The Huntington and Descanso I know better; my parents used to take me as a child and they’re probably the biggest influence I had as a child that inspired me to want a garden of my own.

  21. Seeing your beautiful garden makes me wish I had any desire at all to garden. Is it too much ask for my yard to just magically look like this?

  22. Rhonda, thank you for the memories! I grew up in Ontario on a farm and there was a HUGE ..grove of lilacs on it. I used to play in it in the spring and the summer. The lilacs were so old they were more like trees than bushes and the flowers were so high from the ground I could play on the ground (or read!) and hear the buzzing of the bees above me.
    Lilacs bring back such fond memories for me that the 2 lilac bushes outside the bedroom windows were one of the reasons I bought the house we live in.

  23. Here in the deep south, we have had an exceptionally mild winter, with only three nights of below freezing temps. I’ve only worn my coat twice, have already mowed the grass four times and our daffodils/azaleas have bloomed and are long gone. I fear our upcoming, months-long hot and humid summer is going to be brutal. I miss wearing sweaters and having fires in the fireplace!
    I have taken inspiration from Brandy and ordered 9 blackberry plants. They are now planted in one of the only sunny spots left in the yard. We planted shade trees years ago for protection from the sun so our girls could play outside and now most of the yard is shaded. I also planted several blueberry bushes. I’m going to refrain from planting so many front porch flowers and use those pots for tomatoes and peppers. I cut toilet paper rolls in two, labeled them, filled them with potting mix and planted seeds in them. I placed them on cookie sheets and have put them in a sunny spot indoors. The rolls should break down after planting, but I will soak them a bit before doing so. I’ve never used toilet rolls before so I’ll have to see how that works! Thanks to everyone for maintaining such a wonderful community. I don’t post often, but I do read all the time :).

  24. Dawn,

    I have to make sure my blackberry bushes get afternoon shade, or they burn up! So if you find yours start burning, you may have to move them to a place with more shade. I get the largest berries at the bottom of the plant where they are in the most shade. The ones at the top of the plant will be tiny and they will literally burn up (they are hard, dry, and brown and completely inedible). Upper leaves will burn up too.

    I am trying peppers again this year; I never have success because my bell peppers get an inch long and then they get burnt. I have planted them in a new spot with afternoon shade and I have high hopes this year. I started with larger plants from the nursery.

    In shade I can plant chard (it grows smaller and slower but still grows), oregano, parsley (parsley HAS to have shade or it will be burnt and dead here), chives, and green onions. Green onions are like chard in the shade (smaller and slower-growing) but they do grow. As my fruit trees get larger I am dealing with more shade and I am losing some growing space, so I am seeing what I can do with those spots. The chard has done well under the trees, and since the trees have lost their leaves it has gotten even larger, as you can see in the photos.

  25. It was such a joy to see these pictures!
    I always pickle my nasturtium seeds and use them in homemade tartar sauce or to make chicken picatta. After the flowers wilt, pick the green seed and soak overnight in salted water (this takes out any bitterness) Then pickle them in vinegar and spices. They are delicious.

    My daffodils and iris are just poking up out of the ground here in the mountains.

  26. Brandy, thanks for the feedback on the blackberry bushes. The berry farm where I pick blackberries and blueberries each summer has them in fields in full sun so I didn’t even consider shade issues. I will watch and see what happens. Maybe because our humidity is so high-not sure.

  27. Dawn if they have them in full sun then you should be fine. It’s over 100º here in May when they are ripe and I think it is just too harsh on them. I thought you might be as hot there from your comments but perhaps not. Best of luck with your berries! I know I sure love having them here.

  28. love those nasturtiums…we collect the seeds and then pickle or ferment them to use as something similar to capers. (and also keep the year-end seeds to replant.

  29. Your back yard garden is beautiful, almost like a park. How your children play in your yard and you manage to keep it so beautiful is a lesson’ I would like to learn. My grandchildren and of coarse day care children have my back yard (except a fenced garden area) looking like a very used football/soccer field.

    We have had some weather into the 90’s already and the weather man warns it will be a very hot summer here. I wish it would not get so hot but that is just how it is in this part of Texas.

    I planted 3 Meyer lemon tree. I planted lots of wild flower seeds in the side beds and in the beds by our de-thatched garage. Our rain barrels are full and I expect to use them most of the summer.

    Thank you for sharing so many beautiful pictures.

  30. There are new varieties of lilac that bloom twice per season. My neighbors have them. I live in Zone 5.

  31. That’s popular here too. There a long rows of them where ever you drive in the country, usually grown up into trees. Driving along with the windows open you can smell the lovely lilac smell. Too early here though. We planted bush ones along one side of our drive. They are about 4 ft tall.

  32. The gardens at the Getty on the 405 are much more sculptural and have more of a living modern art vibe (which fits the architecture of the buildings). They have a real tactile appeal; as we were walking through the garden, I wanted to reach out and touch the plants that were lining the paths. Perhaps that was the intention of the garden designer.

    I must say, however, that I prefer the Old World garden styles of the Getty Villa and the Huntington. I’ve never been to Europe, but I think I would just love the gardens there.

  33. We had our first spring day yesterday- wonderful, dry, sunny weather. My sisters bought my husband a camellia bush as a sympathy expression for the passing of his mother. I knew right where it would do the best but unfortunately there was a rose of Sharon bush already planted there. I knew where the rose of Sharon should be moved but unfortunately there was a large rhodie already there. A full day of digging and moving plants around wore us out but now the rhodie is living at the neighbors at their request and the other two should be happy in their new locations.

  34. Violet-crowned hummingbirds are very rare in the US. There’s a small breeding population in Arizona near the Mexican border. As a birder, it is one bird that I would be absolutely thrilled and shocked to see! I’m sure the Audubon Society in your area would love to know about your sighting!

  35. I have never seen them before this spring. We always have hummingbirds, but they are usually another type. I don’t know if I’m just seeing the same bird or if there is more than one. I’m seeing female hummingbirds too but I haven’t been able to identify them. The hummingbirds get right in my face; they will fly right up to about a foot away from me and stare me down! It especially happens when I have on a red apron 🙂 And though they are said to not perch, they perch all the time in my garden. My dad was remarking to me just a couple of weeks ago about how he is always seeing them sitting. They perch on the wire cages I have and the other day one perched on the fig tree. I see them almost every day in the garden. They are loving the lemon blossoms right how.

    I just got out my Audobon book and looked and I don’t think it is the violet-crowned now, but I cannot positively identify it as any of the ones in my book. I am looking on their website because I don’t see any in the book that look like what I saw.

  36. Dawn,
    I live in Lousiana and our blackberry bushes are unshaded and do fine. But I want the add some more and am looking into a new thornless variety that the university of Arkansas developed. I also believe the fruit on new and old wood so you get a double harvest. And you are correct in stating we haven’t had a winter this year. I do not look forward to the Mosquitos and snakes.

  37. It’s difficult to believe that you live in Las Vegas! Your garden is so lovely. Thanks for sharing. As we come to the end of winter (it snowed again today, but is fast melting off) I’m looking forward to get out and clearing out the dead and planting new.

  38. Hummingbirds are little birds with big attitudes! I’ve seen them bully much bigger birds. They perch on a regular basis. If you have 10 or 15 minutes to sit quietly in the garden when they are active, you’ll be able to follow them (with your eyes) to where they rest, which might help you get a positive ID. Some use the same spots repeatedly. Photos are tough because you typically need a good zoom lens (unless they let you get very close) and crazy shutter speed. I bet they love your garden!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *