Articles (Posts)

Success with Houseplants in the Southwest

In honor of National Indoor Plants Week let’s look at some keys to success with houseplants in the Southwest. Houseplants are Trendy Again Houseplants are trendy again – which is “groovy” or “cool beans” or what ever the trendy words are now! Not only do plants make oxygen for us to breathe, they bring nature indoors and can help us relax. Not to mention, there are so many pretty houseplants to choose from. BUT! Here in the Southwest, our humidity both outdoors and indoors is low – so if you Read more

Houseplants for the Southwest & Your Pets

In honor of National Indoor Plants Week here is a post about pet-safe houseplants for the Southwest. Pets and Houseplants I used to think I had pet safe houseplants, because one bite of a really bitter plant is usually enough to deter most pets. Then I got a Siamese cat who would simply eat them anyway – hacking and spitting the whole while.  I believe Kinja (#kinjakat) would simply get bored, or he was trying to get my attention. Or both of course.  Hanging houseplants may be the solution for Read more

Three Useful Landscape Herbs to Plant This Fall

Pretty plants in the landscape are great – and it’s even better when you can use them in cooking. Since in a few short weeks it will be time for fall planting – here are three lovely herbs for your landscape, and for pollinators too. Plan to Plant in Fall Once it no longer gets into the triple digits, it is time to think about planting in your landscape. Plant in fall and these plants will have a chance to become well established before the heat of next summer hits. Read more

You Can Grow African Violets in the Southwest

African violets can add charm and a grace note to your home, and they come in a a vast variety of charming colors. You may have tried them before and not been successful, but I believe they are worth another chance. If First You Don’t Succeed If you have been reading my magazine articles, newspaper columns, various books, and blogs for a while – you know that I have killed a few plants in my day. It takes time for any gardener to discover which plants work for them, for Read more

Planning Now – for Fall Fruit Planting

The heat of summer is the perfect time for some garden and landscape planning. Back East, gardeners use winter cold to daydream about their summer garden once it warms up. In the heat of a Southwestern summer, we can daydream about what we will plant when it cools off. Indeed the cooler weather of fall is perfect for planting as far as many plants are concerned, especially for plants that fruit. Note that I do say”many.” Not all fruits appreciate fall planting, especially those with tropical genes. Planning Ahead With Read more

Garden Calendar for August 2021

Summertime in the Southwest can be brutal on plants, and August is perhaps the toughest month of all. Every Year is Different Luckily for many of us, July 2021 brought monsoon rains, including up to 6 or even 8 inches in some areas. For some corners of the Southwest, too much rain came all in one event, causing erosion issues. On my little acre, we experienced wash-out of a number of the water harvesting berms. They are being rebuilt more sturdily following the principles discussed in Brad Landcaster’s excellent book, Read more