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 […]

Gardening for the Birds

February is National Wild Bird Feeding Month. To help us all celebrate, I offer these tips for turning your yard into a welcoming space for our fine feathered friends. Link to my YouTube video on Wild Bird Feeding Month. It’s Been A Tough Year The birds are hoping you will celebrate this special National month – because last summer was a tough one, and this winter is not an easy […]

February 2024 Garden Calendar

February – shortest month of the year.  There is not very much maintenance or tasks that must be done in the Southwest garden in February, just enjoy the season and any flowers you have.  Tidy up some things – especially in Low or Middle Desert.  Upper Elevations – you get to chill (pardon the pun). Let’s Talk About the Weather Please make note of the Last Frost post. Depending on […]

Onions are Easy!

Onions are easy to grow in the Southwest, are tasty to eat in a vast variety of dishes, and are healthy for you too! Part of a Big Family Onions are just a start!    You can add garlic, elephant garlic, garlic chives, society garlic, I’itoi onions, scallions, multiplier onions, walking onions, and shallots to the list.    All of these oniony plants grow great in the nice un-humid Southwest […]

Grow Chard in the Southwest

Chard is beautiful in any garden.  With colors as brilliant as a Southwest sunset, why not plant some of this cool-season beauty.   Sadly, it’s “official” name is not so beautiful. Grow this “Vulgar” Plant for Leaves Chard goes by the scientific name Beta vulgaris – the “vulgar” indicating it is only a commoner and not noble at all.    Also called Swiss chard, this beet relative is not grown […]

Top 5 Posts for the Year

What questions do you have about gardening in our unique area?  I write so that you can succeed with your desert gardening goals. To help meet my self directed  “Mission Statement” I listen to your questions and then write about the topic.  But does only one person ask a particular question, or is this a popular topic? The Results are In The results for 2023 are in!  And yes, your […]

Poinsettia – A Little History

America’s favorite holiday flower is the poinsettia. To help you celebrate, here is a little of the rich and sadly bloody history of this alternately loved and reviled plant. Do you prefer cyclamen as a holiday flower? Here is my post on growing cyclamen. Poinsettia are from a Beautiful Area Originally the species (Euphorbia pulcherrima) was native to the hills around present day Taxco, Mexico. The poinsettia was popular long […]

Calendula Flowers are Easy to Grow

Grow calendula for a bright and shining and long-lasting pretty flower in the cooler months of winter in the desert Southwest. Calendula – The Plant Calendula (Calendula officinalis) was once an important herb found in every herbal garden. Now calendula commonly grown for its pretty blooms. It still has a wealth of uses. Mostly though, I like to grow it because it is nice to have bright flowers to greet […]

December in the Garden

Across the Southwest, and perhaps across North America – you can decide if December will be a slow garden month – or if you want to use this month to catch up on things. December Pruning It can be too late (or too early) to prune anything. If you want to though – you can prune rose bushes, or you can wait until January. For the love of all that […]