Part of The Flower Bungalow’s grandeur is the array of unique vegetation on the property. After a few months of living here, I am still becoming acquainted with the uncommon varieties of citrus, berries, shrubs and trees.
Vast vegetation, more to come!
The Flower Bungalow’s vast lot, just shy of an acre, is an open space full of possibilities. I want to always remember the magic of exploring the existing plants, trees and shrubs that came with the home.
It was late August 2020 when we first moved in, so our citrus and nut-bearing trees were in the beginning stages of budding. We weren’t sure what most of them would bear.
There is still so much to learn about everything, but I wanted to start with a foundational post about the different types of vegetation that live here.
Much to our delight, there are about 20 banana trees (varying in size) on the property. Not knowing the first thing about them, I joined a few social media communities whose local and community-based knowledge sharing has taught me a lot. And a few sentences in to this article on banana trees from The Spruce, my mind continues to be blown.
Let me sum up some things I recently learned about banana trees:
- Banana trees produce fruit once.
- They’re not actually trees – they’re the world’s largest herb.
- A cluster of bananas is called a hand.
- Fruits can be yellow, green, red or pink.
- Apparently, the desert is a great climate for them.
Another delight was discovering the briar patch of black raspberries on the property. Unfortunately, they weren’t cared for too well and there’s a bunch of grass and brush that needs to be cleared away. It took us a while to realize that the overgrown brush is actually hiding a sickly grapefruit tree underneath it. That’s how overgrown it is. ?
I’m want to try to propagate some of the plant to save it, but we hope that the root of the plant survives and grows back. To the untrained eye (mine and probably anyone else in AZ, ha) one would assume they are blackberries. But there’s actually differences between a black raspberry and a blackberry:
- Flavor profiles: Blackberries are more tart, black raspberries are sweeter.
- Appearance: Black raspberries have a hollow core and tiny little hairs, usually smaller. Blackberries have a white core and are more “bulbous”.
The Arcadia neighborhood is known for its mature and plentiful citrus trees, which I completely adore. The holidays will be marked with dried citrus adornments for years to come!
We have debated the varieties of our citrus trees for months now, and I’m happy to report I think we finally figured it out! I will link to other sources that share more about each variety.
Cousin to the blueberry, Myrtus Communis, is a Mediterranean-native evergreen shrub that bears fragrant colorful berries and fragrant leaves. Interestingly, the berry is used to make a liqueur called “mirto” in Sardinia, which happens to be where some of my family is from!
I’m going to do an entirely separate post on pecan trees, because oh boy! Have we learned a lot about the nut-bearing giant in our back yard! It’s quite a commitment, but nothing beats having freshly cracked pecans around to enjoy!
The most magical of all of our fruit-bearing vegetation is the pomegranate shrub. When blooming, it truly makes our yard feel like the Garden of Eden. Some even believe that the “forbidden fruit” from the story of Adam and Eve was really a pomegranate.
Our shrub is currently entering its leafless winter hibernation, but I already can’t wait for her to blossom and bloom again in the spring-time!
Herbs & Veggie Gardens
It’s our first go-round at this house, but we have 3 garden beds full of herbs, veggies and leafy greens right now. I share more about them from day-to-day on my social media accounts and will have to do a post once we have a more established set up. We’re still figuring the spaces out but here’s some of what we are growing now:
- Assorted leafy greens
- Tomato plants
- Assorted herbs
Yellow Flag Iris
I assumed the bushes with gorgeous tall yellow flowers on them were daffodils, but quickly learned that they are yellow iris. Who knew?! Irises are typically known for being a pretty purple color. But just like our friend the banana, they come in other fun colors.
Upon researching them for this blog, yellow flag irises are apparently considered a threatening and invasive species in other parts of the country. Well, they aren’t invasive at our house, we have a random patch of them in 3 locations. That is, if our kids don’t ruin them from continually running them over with their new toy jeeps, we look forward to them blooming in the spring!
What type of vegetation do you have at your home?
Now that I shared what we have growing on our little slice of paradise, I would love to know what types of herbs, veggies, fruit, flowers, trees or shrubs you have!