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 […]

Seed Packages 101 – Seed Terminology Made Simple(r)

So just what is the big deal about an “heirloom?” What is the difference between that and an F1 hybrid? What about GMO?  Seed packages often include terms such as “heirloom” or “F1 hybrid.” These terms are quite precise, but may be used incorrectly by gardeners. There are also a number of misconceptions about these terms. Plain Language Seed Package Terms Consider this guide a plain-language “go-to” resource. Seed and […]

Garden Calendar for November in the Southwest

November is a wonderful time to get out in the yard for many reasons.  But there is not too much work that you “must” do this month. Tidy Up Personally, I like to get everything tidied up and get it looking good for the holiday season ahead.    Also, some time spent now can eliminate potential problems from the yard that might add to holiday season stress.    Besides, it […]

Annual Flowers in the Winter

Colorful flowers! Yes you can easily have them in the desert Southwest. And yes, you can have them ALL WINTER LONG in USDA zones 8 and warmer.  This equates to Low Desert, Middle Desert, and High Desert. Sorry Upper Elevations and Mountains – too cold where you live. But you get to play in snow. Kinds of Flowers Botany nerd says, “If you are a plant, you will have flowers.” […]

List of Annuals for Cool Season

Annuals are Awesome!  (IMHO)  Cool season is near and we will wish to sit outside and enjoy our gardens more.  Here is a list of cool season annual flowers for your enjoyment. ((how to grow all these will be discussed in the next post)) Annuals Versus Wildflowers These annuals are on a list of annuals because the have a loooong bloom period. Wildflowers on the other hand, don’t bloom for […]

Eight Evergreen Oaks for the Southwest

I encouraged you to plant evergreen oaks recently.  Now here is some information about which oaks to plant. There are many native oaks to choose from, but let’s start with these eight that you can actually purchase from your local nursery. Be very wary of oaks form big box stores. They are often not from our region and will not survive our lower humidity.  I suppose that if you do […]

Garden Calendar for October 2023

October is cooling off, and that’s a good thing because there are many many garden tasks you should get to this month across the Southwest. Yes, even in the Upper Elevations. I don’t have room for the tasks all in a blog post. I did write an entire book on yearly garden care and October was the fattest month. About the cover photo – butterflies are very active in autumn.  […]

Oak Trees for Your Yard

Have you considered an oak tree for your yard?  If you can answer yes to any of these questions – an oak tree may be right for you. Looking for a tall, stately tree for your yard?   Have a tiny yard – but want a nice tree? A tree that provides good dense shade?    One that won’t lose its leaves in winter?   Less messy than a mesquite?    Low […]