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.  […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Plan Now for Fall Fruit Planting

Hard to believe it – but it is mid-July now and soon it will be time to plant fruit trees. Back East, gardeners use the winter cold to dream and plan their planting just waiting for once it warms up. Here, in the heat of a Southwestern summer, we dream about what we will plant when it cools off. Indeed the cooler weather of fall is perfect for planting as […]

The Three Sisters

It is warming up – time to grow the Three Sisters. They are an integral part of the summer vegetable garden. A number of tribes were gardening here long before Europeans showed up, and grew what they call the Three Sisters.  Last week I posted my Top Ten Tips for Vegetable Gardening Success.  I suggest you give that a quick read if you get a chance. The Three Sisters The […]

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 […]

Silver Dollar Plant

Silver dollar plant is one of those plants that is a houseplant for folks back East – but it can be grown outdoors here in the Southwest. You Can Grow Silver Dollar Plant Silver dollar plant (Crassula arborescens) has many common names – and quite a few cultivated varieties with various names as well. Common names include silver dollar jade, blue bird jade, good luck plant, and African money plant. […]