Each year I write on the spring flowers in my home city, Las Vegas. This year I have decided to focus on plants used in public landscapes. Every city and town has a certain ambiance or sense of place. Often the ambiance is due to the people, sometimes the food, music or architecture but frequently it is the mix of plants and landscapes in the particular location. Although the plantings may reflect the surrounding area, sometimes plants are imported from elsewhere and over time become considered as a a native part of the environment. Even if two places are nearby, the landscapes can be completely different, based on water availability, affluence and even history. Las Vegas is not that far from Los Angeles yet the landscapes could not be more different. Not long ago I wrote about the succulents that are recently wildly popular in Los Angeles in part because of the mild climate. Las Vegas suffers from the same water shortages but it's landscapes are distinctly different, reflecting the deserts in the surrounding areas. This is not a complete list, but it will give you a sense of landscaping in Las Vegas and you will get to see some beautiful flowers.
They had a side of Albert park filled with a collection of beautiful specimen flowers and I decided to present them along with the names. It is quite a cosmopolitan collection, filled with little flower puzzles. I write these posts on the specifics of flowers, including names and a little history both for myself and for you, the reader. Flowers and plants are beautiful in their own right but knowing what kind of plant you are seeing allows you to find parallels and insights into your own gardening and gardens in general. Some of these individual flowers have attracted hundreds of thousands of interested people to join societies, discuss in garden clubs and even to host shows devoted to a particular flower. Examples include Roses, Canna Lillies, Crocosmia, Dahlias, Succulents and Chrysanthemums to name just a few. These garden groups are often not easy to find but show a light on the culture of people living in a particular locale. For instance, New Zealanders or Kiwis are crazy interested in succulents. I hope you too will find these garden posts useful and will enhance your enjoyment the next time you visit a garden or see an unusual plant.