plant/tree and beetle ID

plant/tree and beetle ID

My boyfriend and I moved into our first house this past November after living in a sub-level condo with a dark, dusty patio for several years. The front and back yards are quite green and lush (for Phoenix, AZ, anyway). We've identified several of our plants (that tree with the lemons? A lemon tree. This horrible weed all over the front and back yards? Bermuda grass), but there are still several we're lost on even after a few hours of Googling. We want to make sure we take as good a care of our garden as possible, and that means knowing what we've got. If anyone has any ideas, I'd be grateful. 1. Seems to be a citrus tree, but nobody can tell for sure. It's just now spitting out flowers, but no fruit. Here's the whole tree, and closeups of the trees and flower buds. garden photos for ID help garden photos for ID help garden photos for ID help 2. It's hulking, but it's mostly dead under that outer layer of green. Hopefully we can trim out the innards without harming the whole plant. As you can see from the closeup, it has clinging tendrils that actually seem to be choking itself. One of our friends thought it might be a passion vine. garden photos for ID help garden photos for ID help 3. A neglected jasmine? garden photos for ID help garden photos for ID help 4. A lovely ficus? There are about a dozen taller ficus trees around the south and west sides of the backyard that help create a wonderfully cool area, but this "odd tree out" stands in the middle of the longer row of trees. We're not sure about the grasses at its base, either. garden photos for ID help garden photos for ID help 5. I forgot to photograph this tree's leaves. It's well over 30 feet tall. The behemoth behind and to the left of it is a giant lantana we plan to have cut down since it's also filled with dead stuff (like, dead elephants--we may hollow it up and try to sublet it as a studio apartment). Anyway, our plant-savvy realtors told us it was a yew tree, but its leaves don't seem as "evergreen-like" as other yew trees I've seen--they're feathery, but not needley. If I have time tomorrow, I'll photograph its leaves, or maybe just throw one in the scanner for you. garden photos for ID help 6. And now the bug. At first, I thought these were invading our bougainvillea, but they also seem to just wander onto our patio from the lawn. They're about the size of a dime. Are they click beetles? They seem blacker than they look in the photo. Also, they have the unnerving habit of racing toward things that move, like me. When I'm running away. Oh, the beetle in this photo is slightly smushed. I plead the 5th. garden photos for ID help Again, thanks for any help. We're about to put down a raised vegetable bed. I'm nervous, seeing as how I'm pretty clueless. Luckily, I charged ahead blindly and ill-informed, and started a whole single tray of different kinds of seeds with different watering requirements and germination periods, so if anything, I'll have some moldy peat pellets to compost and dead seedlings to compost in, right? ;) Hopefully, we'll actually have it done by the end of the weekend. I'm just deciding how many layers of cardboard, newspaper, and weed barrier I want to lay down to see how long I can keep the Bermuda grass from invading the box (probably 3 hours if I lay down a foot of barrier material--sigh). Wish us luck! If anyone has any advice or good soil "recipes," please share if you'd be so kind.
PICTURES!

PICTURES!

Moving “Palmettos” & Gardenias

Moving “Palmettos” & Gardenias

The unusual year continues

The unusual year continues

Quit lurking

Quit lurking

WooHoo!

WooHoo!

Picture Hanging Help!

Picture Hanging Help!