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 […]

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 […]

Autumn Sage Loves the Autumn

Autumn is in the air and it’s a great time to plant some autumn sage – a low water perennial with lovely flowers that will grow in most of the Southwest. Autumn Sage The name says it! The autumn sage (Salvia greggii) blooms in autumn and even beyond – making it great for some low water seasonal color.  Yes it is native.  From the Chihuahuan Desert, meaning it can stand […]

Rain Lilies Bloom in Summer – Even Without Rain

Rain lilies are charming summer blooming bulbs that will flourish in much of the Southwest – into the USDA Zone 8 and some into zone 7. Rain Lilies are Zephyranthes I said “rain lilies” in the title because I didn’t want to daunt you with the scientific name, Zephyranthes. But if gardeners wrote alphabet books, Z would be for Zephyranthes! Rain Lily Common Names With close to 200 species and […]

Daffodils NOW! (and Here’s How)

Time to order your daffodils! Yes, there is record heat this summer in many parts of the Southwest but I want you to think about spring! Cool crisp spring. All year long I have been calling your attention to National and International celebrations, and why should this post be any different? August 20 is World Daffodil Day. And we are in a fine part of the world to join in […]

Growing Lavender in the Southwest

National Lavender Day is June 29. In honor of this widely celebrated holiday, I deemed it time to share some timely tips on growing lovely lavender. Which Species? Lavender that grows well in the Southwest includes a number of European species (and cultivars) of Lavendula, plus the Sonoran Desert native shrub, desert lavender (Condea emoryi). We will look at the most commonly sold species. For a quick look at this […]

Yeah for Yucca

Yucca?    Agave?    What’s the difference?    Many folks find it hard to tell one big round rosette of sword-like spiny leaves from another big round spiny plant with sword-like leaves. Kissing Kin Yep – it can be hard. They are all related after all.    Like palms, yucca and agaves are kin to grasses. They lack true wood.    The main thing to know as an owner of […]

Cactus Flowers

Spring is a wonderful time of year if you love cactus flowers.    Virtually every Southwestern species of cactus is producing flowers now as the days lengthen and ample sunshine heats the air and the soil. The Summer Rains are Coming In much of this region, cacti bloom and produce seed just in time for the summer monsoon rain showers. Showers that will water and nurture the tiny seedling babies.  […]