March is Coming in Like a Lion

  March is a month of contrasts, as the earth tilts on it’s axis and the sun lights and warms the land that had been held in long dark hours.  Plants wake up from winter dormancy and winds stir the air.  Often strong winds.  Sunny hot days are followed by rainy cool ones.  So muchRead moreRead more

You Can Grow Iris in the Southwest

Iris flowers are enchanting and the plants are tough as nails. They grow well in our alkaline Southwestern soils, needing little extra water to keep going. Named for the Greek Goddess of the Rainbow, iris flowers bear almost every color of the rainbow. It is March 4th so this is a “You Can Grow That”Read moreRead more

Plan to Prune & Plant Roses in February

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Yes, you can grow roses in the Southwest. In fact, the Southwest is ideal for roses in many ways. We have ample sun, long days, and a dry climate that reduces that the chance of mildew and fungus problems. Roses aren’t exactly a low-water plant but they are more drought-tolerant than you might expect. Indeed,Read moreRead more

Ease Your Heart with Pretty Pansies

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Welcome to February. It can be a dreary month, often cold and grey, with either rain or snow depending on where you live in the Southwest. Time for some bright color to ease our heart! Ease Your Heart So here is the good news – February is the month we can easily grow one ofRead moreRead more

You Can Grow Queen’s Tears – A Bromeliad

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Blooming in my garden right now is the charming bromeliad called queen’s tears, (Billbergia nutans).  Since it’s blooming, it’s this month’s “You Can Grow That” topic.  In December I covered “Captivating Cyclamen.” Queen’s tears is native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina.  This lovely plant is an epiphyte and a  member of the bromeliad (bro-meal-ee-ad)Read moreRead more

Garden Calendar for February 2020

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Let’s Talk About the Weather As I write this the weather casters are saying that February brings a warm weekend and then possibly snow on the way! Some newbie local gardeners are bemoaning the fact that they put out their tomatoes already. Some of us longtime gardeners are biting our tongues to NOT say “WeRead moreRead more

Growing Camellias and Gardenias in the Desert

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I mentioned “jasmine” last week in my blog and a reader had a question about a similar fragrant plants, camellias, and gardenias. (His daughter-in-law is named Camellia.) Good question! Many garden centers have camellias, gardenias, and even azaleas prominently displayed at this time of year. Most are in flower and their beauty and fragrance isRead moreRead more

Celebrate 2020 With Colorful Flowers All Year

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Celebrate the New Year with a visit to your friendly neighborhood nursery or garden center! They have so many lovely flowers right now to help you ring in the new year. Featured image is Tagetes, also called “Flor de Muerto,” due to its use in Day of the Dead celebrations.  It is also the birthRead moreRead more

Cheerful Calendula

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Say “C” (Sí) for calendula! It is Cheerful, Charming, and Can easily be grown! We have had a few rainy weeks and cloud cover and as I mentioned last week, I just don’t thrive with lack of light. Luckily for us, calendula (Calendula officinalis) thrives in our Southwest winter weather. Calendula has a long historyRead moreRead more

Days are Getting Shorter – Sun Light and Plants

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Plants don’t thrive in the dark.  I don’t either.  For a while I lived in Michigan and felt like a plant. I didn’t mind the cold and snow, but I really couldn’t stand the lack of light in the dark days of winter.  Some time later they coined the term “Seasonal Stress Disorder.” Too lateRead moreRead more