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

You Can Grow Better With a Journal

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Want to become better at caring for your yard or garden? Keep a garden journal. Want a fun project to do with your kids? Keep a garden journal. Want to become a published writer? Keep a garden journal. Want to heal your spirit? Keep a garden journal. Want to leave a legacy to your childrenRead moreRead more

Winter Fun – Grow Sweet Potatoes for Spring

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Holidays over and want to get back to the garden?  Can’t garden because of the weather?  Here’s a dandy garden related project for bored kids and adults alike – growing sweet potatoes! The sweet potatoes and yams we eat are the same species, just with different common names. They are all Ipomea batata, a closeRead 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

You Can Grow – Cilantro

Say “cilantro” here in the Southwest, and most folks think of salsa. And while cilantro can get along with the heat of chilies in salsa, it quickly dies with the heat of a summer day. Therefore you will want to grow this herb in the cool winter months – like right now. Planting and Care.Read moreRead more

You Can Grow Spring Wildflowers – If You Start Now

When it comes to Southwestern wildflowers, most folks immediately think of the showy golden poppies that appeared last year after the unprecedented rains in California. Well, you can grow that in your yard – and more! Why Plant Now? Spring wildflowers bloom in the Sonoran and Mohave Deserts in response to the winter rains offRead moreRead more

You Can Grow That – Jojoba!

If you have lived in the Southwest for a while, chances are good that you know (and have used) at least one word of O’odham! The word “jojoba” is directly from the O’odham name for that plant. The spelling comes to us through Spanish, and is pronounced “ho-ho-ba.” Meanwhile, the Spanish name “Tucson” is fromRead moreRead more

You Can Grow A Colorful Garden in the Heat

Most of us like some colorful flowers in the landscape. Something cheerful to welcome us as we look out the window with the morning cup of coffee, or something welcoming as we come home from the daily grind. Gardeners and landscape folks call this “color.” Lucky for us, “color” in the Southwest is a yearRead moreRead more

You Can Grow Iced Tea Treats in Your Southwest Yard

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The tea industry has declared June “National Iced Tea Month,” so let’s look at some charming herbal teas that you can grow well in Southwestern landscapes. I write for several other blogs, including Savor the Southwest (savorthesw.com), and will soon mention some tasty tea blends there. On this – a gardening site – let’s lookRead moreRead more

Epazote – A Wonder Herb – You Can Grow That

Epazote is an herb that you need if you ever cook beans! When added to beans while they cook, this unprepossessing relative of spinach has the almost magical ability to help “predigest” beans – causing them to lose their ability to cause, well, digestive gas production. In other words, epazote is an all natural “Bean-o.”Read moreRead more