Rain Lilies Welcome the Summer Rain

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! Z is for Zephyranthes Zephyranthes are some of the most delicate, graceful flowers there are. They come in red, pink, rose, coral, white, pale yellow, vivid lemon yellow, deep orange, or in sunset blends of colors. Most zephyranthes bloom repeatedly through the summer and into early fall. Zephyranthes are native to the New World, and grow best in areas of Read more

Perennials for Pollinators

The third week of June is National Pollinator Week. As it happens, the entire month of June is “National Perennial Garden Month.” So combining the two national celebrations, allow me to introduce you to some on the many lovely low-water Southwest native perennials for Southwest pollinators. Pollinators in the Southwest When it comes to pollinators, the American Southwest is one of the most species diverse habitats in the world, with native species of bees, butterflies, moths, bats, and hummingbirds all busy pollinating our plants. The diversity makes sense when you Read more

Chard for Your Winter Garden

With colors as brilliant as a Southwest sunset, chard is a beautiful plant for any garden. Grow this “Vulgar” Plant for Leaves Sadly, chard’s scientific name is not so beautiful. Chard goes by the scientific name Beta vulgaris – the “vulgar” indicating it is only a commoner and not noble at all, it’s just a “common beet.” Also called Swiss chard, this beet relative is not grown for the roots. It has been bred for centuries to produce colorful and tasty stems and leaves. Chard leaves are good in salads, Read more

Plant Bulbs in Autumn for Spring Color

Hiding underground for most of their life, many bulbs spring forth in Spring with shining flowers to brighten our gardens and days. I know the trailing heat of summer (especially this summer) does not seem like the best time to think of spring color but it is! (Nerd Note: In this article I am using the term “bulbs” to also include corms, tubers, and rhizomes.) Plan Now Like the title says, now is the time to order bulbs for planting now and into October. (Spring wildflowers too, but that is Read more

Colorful Cannas Part II

used to make a Last week I told you that You Can Grow Colorful Cannas.  Just because you can grow them – should you grow them?  Sure – why not! If you enjoy bright, colorful, lush plants in your landscape, and especially if you have a water garden – you should grow canna. (#PlantWhatYouEnjoy) But is that isn’t enough – here are some more reasons to grow canna. Cannas Add A Touch of the Tropics The broad flat leaves of canna are typically solid green but some cultivars have maroon, Read more

You Can Grow Colorful Cannas

Cannas are – circle all that apply – colorful, tropical, large-flowered, bold, brash, bright, sometimes gaudy, glorious, short or tall, a glorious garden plant. I hope you circled them all, because cannas are all the above!  Plus very delightful and very variable. Cannas in the Southwest If you have an entirely desert landscape, cannas won’t look right in your landscape. But – if you are like most of us in the Southwest – you have an oasis zone in your low-water landscape (we used to call ’em xeriscapes), thus cannas Read more