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 […]

Wildlife in the Southwest

As I post this, World Wildlife Day was this week = March 3. So let’s talk Southwest wildlife. I confess I have a love / hate relationship with the wildlife in my garden. Yellow Month “Uam Masad” is the Tohono O’odham month that translates as “Yellow Month” since so many yellow desert flowers appear during this time of year.  The O’odham culture puts a positive spin on the hardest month […]

March in the Southwest Garden

March is upon us.  To give you some guidance as spring arrives in our corner of the world – here are some things to consider for your Southwest garden. Animal Poison Prevention Week The third week of March is National Animal Poison Prevention Week.  Have you ever considered that some very common landscape plants may be toxic to your pets? One example is lantana. Lantana can be fatal to dogs.  […]

Beautiful Brittlebush

Brittlebush is not only beautiful to behold – it is beautiful for many aspects of any Sonoran and Mojave desert habitat.    Brittlebush provides food for foraging pollinators, a shady spot to start saguaro life, a sheltered spot for wildlife to rest, and a safe corner of the world to build a little lizard den under. Brilliant Brittlebush Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa)  is one of the most common and conspicuous wildflower […]

Grow Almonds in the Desert

Celebrate “National Almond Day” – February 16! Plant Almond Trees Yes, almonds grow well in the Southwest.  They tolerate alkaline souls, low humidity, and even (most) of the heat of summer.  Almonds join a number of other plants from the warmer areas of the eastern Mediterranean that grow well in our Southwest gardens. There are many trees you can plant in your Southwest yard, but if you are going to […]