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 […]

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 […]

April 2023 Garden Tasks

This weekend April will begin, so here are some garden tasks you can think about getting out and doing.  Check your last frost date before some of these April tasks. Prune Check your last frost date – and if it is past then go ahead and prune frost damage off bougainvillea, lantana, autumn sage, and other summer flowering frost tender perennials. Avoid pruning spring-flowering shrubs until bloom period is through.  […]

Hummingbirds Love Spring

Spring flowers are beginning to bloom and hummingbirds are zipping around, collecting nectar and a few insects while they are at it. Entice the Hummingbirds Hummingbirds need more than just sugar-water feeders. Like most animal life, they need a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. This means that they do need some flower nectar. More than Just Food Every living thing on earth needs food, water, and a place […]

Gardening for the Birds

Cover image – Male phainopepla, a silky flycatcher native to the Southwest deserts and mountains. February is National Bird Feeding Month. The birds are really hoping you will celebrate. But Don’t Just Feed the Birds – While it is nice to add feeders to your garden, it seems like cheating somehow. Plus you may attract the non-native birds that crowd out our desert adapted species. So, instead of actively feeding […]

Perennials are Perfect for Pollinators

When it comes to pollinators, the American Southwest is one of the most species diverse habitats in the world, with native species of bees, butterflies, moths, bats, and hummingbirds all busy pollinating our plants. This massive diversity makes sense – because much of the region has plants that bloom in every month of the year. Pollinators in the Southwest We have a plethora of pretty pollinators here!  We are the […]