Five Gorgeous Groundcovers for the Southwest

Simply put, groundcovers cover the ground (well, duh!) and technically lawn is one type of groundcover. But most people in our region are looking for not-lawn, low-water, easy to take care of, safe for humans and pets, not bothered by hungry wildlife , pretty to look at – groundcovers. Why Plant Groundcovers? Groundcovers help the entire landscape when they are included in the yard. They soften the landscape composition, add color, perhaps movement, and often fragrant flowers. Since they cover the soil, they reduce overall soil temperature, help soil moisture Read more

Awesome Aloe for the Southwest

Many landscapes in the Southwest have aloes plunked around in them.  But instead of just plunking something in there – why not have a beautiful flowering aloe to attract hummingbirds?!  Wendy Proud, a representative for Rancho Soledad Nursery, shares one of her favorites in this guest post. Tangerine Aloe One of the first to spike (produce a spike of flowers) is the tangerine aloe (Aloe x Tangerine).  This cross between Aloe ferox and Aloe arborescens was shared by the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino California over 25 yrs ago.  Read more

Lovely Leucophyllum – the Snapdragon Shrubs

Gardening in the Southwest is unique in many ways, and tops on the list are plants you don’t find anywhere else on earth. Leucophyllum , a shrubby member of the Snapdragon Family is one of these unique species.   Lovely Leucophyllum There are more common names for Leucophyllum than you can shake a stick at. Some of the more common common names are: rain sage, Texas sage, Texas rain sage, Texas ranger, Chihuahuan rain sage, blue ranger, cenizo, Texas silverleaf, barometer bush, ash-bush, wild lilac, purple sage, senisa, cenicilla, palo Read more

Native Vines for the Land of El Sol

Last week I wrote that vines are easy to grow since they need very little root space to flourish. They work well for both large and small yards!  Here are some of you top choices. Where to Buy There are a vast number of native vines that grow well in the area. Most of the ones I mention here are easily available at local nurseries. Big box stores will not have them because they buy nationally, not locally. (List of local Southwest nurseries – here.) Breaking every blogger rule – Read more

Vines for the Desert

Vines are fun to grow. Since they need very little root space to flourish, they will have ample room to grow, no matter if your yard is small or large. Many vines have beautiful flowers, and the bloom period can be months long, offering another opportunity to fill your yard with color. Vines for Shade! Vines are good for arbors. Say you want summer shade and winter sun, vines are the answer, simply plant one that is winter deciduous. If you want a year round leafy bower, plant an evergreen Read more