Acacia – Part I

As I write this the native white thorn acacia (Vachellia constricta, formerly Acacia constricta) are blooming in my yard.  I love the fragrance.  So close to sweet peas!  Gentlemen may seek out sweet smelling roses with which to woo the fairer gender, but as a Southwester gardener, I far prefer the sweet smelling acacias around my garden.  Oh, wait, I forgot, they aren’t technically “acacia” anymore. Quick Look at Acacia […]

Desert Mistletoe – Part II

Last week, I started this series about desert mistletoe, to discuss what you might do about it in your trees. Not a Bad Thing Some people try to eradicate desert mistletoe, thinking it is harming the tree.    It be a poor parasite if it killed it’s host.    Yes, it does some harm, but it is a limited amount of harm.  Thus lives with the host trees for many […]

Desert Mistletoe – Part I

Here in the desert we have a unique species of mistletoe called the desert mistletoe, Phoradendron californicum.  It is in a family closely related to the fragrant sandalwood. There are many species of mistletoe around the world, parasitic and hemi-parisitic on a number of trees.    All mistletoe plants are toxic.    Almost all the berries are toxic.    The one exception is the Sonoran and Mojave desert mistletoe!   I wrote […]

May 2024 in the Garden

May Day is nigh! Time to get your garden and landscape ready for the summer ahead.  Sadly, for 2024, the long range weather forecasts say that it is going to be a hot dry one. May In General In the Desert Elevations – tasks in May revolve around making sure the water system is working. In all elevations, it’s time for fertilizer to encourage healthy growth for the tough summer […]

Be Aware – Bees are Swarming

Much in the news about bees as pollinators. And while we all enjoy the fruits of bees labor, not many of us want a swarm of them settling in the backyard.    Especially not the Africanized “killer” bees that are a fact of life in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of California.    Read on to learn how to stay safe. Honey Bees are Non-native Bees Even if […]

15 Sunflowers for the Southwest – Land of the Sun

The simple sunflower is a native Southwest plant, used for centuries by the Native peoples.    If you plant the right varieties – and plant them in the spring – you will have a gorgeous garden full of bright sunflowers. Sunflower Origins Originally sunflowers grew only in North and Central America (the “New World”).    After  Europeans “discovered” sunflowers, they were rapidly shared around the globe. There are over 70 […]

Celebrate April With A Daisy

Which daisy should you use to celebrate April?    Any daisy you wish!    The common English daisy, which may have been the original idea for the birth month flower, is a member of the Sunflower Family.    The English daisy prefers a higher humidity than we generally have – so you would have to keep it as a pampered pet. Time to think outside the box and look at […]

Time to Grow Basil

First day of spring is time to plant your basil here in the Southwest. Well, most of the Southwest. Those of you in the mountains will have to start yours indoors. Cover image is a selection of three different varieties, courtesy Renee’s Garden Seeds. Basil is Not Native – but That’s Okay Originally native to India, basil is now grown around the globe wherever (and whenever) it is warm enough.  […]

Rest in Peace Father Kino

Three hundred and thirteen years ago this week Father Kino died – on March 15, 1711.      We remember Padre Kino 313 years later because he was so very far ahead of his time.    He fought against slavery and racism – truly radical notions for his time. He worked tirelessly for all humans to be treated with dignity and respect. Ahead of His Time I write of Father […]