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Independent gardens:

Independent little up-start garden

Freeway Flowers
by the Phantom


I like to go for a little walk every day. I usually take the same route and look at the same scenery. I do that so I don't have to think about where I'm going -- that's better for planning and day dreaming, which is what I'm doing as I walk. My path takes me along a freeway -- there's a twelve foot sound wall on one side of the street and houses on the other. It's loud. Even though I can't see the traffic, I know it's there. Sometimes I hear the screech of tires and all the rest of the annoying traffic nightmares  taking place on the other side of that wall. 

The other day it was particularly hot along that stretch of road, but I noticed something sort of unusual beside the wall --  flowers! Nobody planted them. That's fairly obvious because no gardener would have planted a huge yucca and then tucked a pink oleander right beside it. 

Oleander is what I call "freeway flowers." They're everywhere along our highways. I don't know why Cal-Trans chose oleanders, with their poisonous leaves and gaudy colors. They grow fast and become quite bushy. Perhaps they picked them because they are hardy.  Nobody is watering this particular oleander bush but nevertheless it appears to be doing quite well, even though it's snuggled up against a spiny yucca -- ouch!

On the other side of the yucca there's a straggly bush with yellow and orange flowers that's also in full bloom. Walking by here is almost like seeing the desert in spring. 
Unknown freeway flowers
More freeway flowers
Prickly pear and yucca
Yucca and prickly pear
To round out this little up-start garden there's another pair of yucca plants and struggling up right in between them is a prickly pear. The yuccas are battered where cars have brushed up against them. And of course they're dusty and thirsty looking. The prickly pear is blooming too, getting ready to produce a big crop of fruit. 

A little farther on there's a forlorn rose bush crawling along the dirt crying for a drink with its bright red blossoms adorning it. Amazing. By comparison, the flowers in my home garden are such pansies. They are so weak-kneed and tender, they'd wilt at the mere thought of going without water for even a moment. And here, just blocks away I've found a whole garden simply thriving on neglect, self-planted, self-nourished, and making it on their own. Hurrah for independence!
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