Hibiscus For the Desert Heat

Hibiscus abound in the nurseries now, and no wonder. They are beautiful plants with glossy green leaves, very luxurious looking, reminiscent of tropical jungles. And the flowers are pretty too. Hibiscus Flowers Seriously folks, hibiscus flowers are awesome. The large size of the blooms, combined with their exotic appearance and downright durability as a plant has helped them find their way into our cultural world view. Who hasn’t see photos of Tahitian maidens, or the paintings of Paul Gauguin, replete with luscious looking blooms tucked behind the damsels ear? Well, […]

15 Sunflowers for the Land of Sun

Sunflowers are a native plant, used for centuries by the Native peoples. If you plant the right varieties – and plant them in the spring – you will have a gorgeous garden full of bright, sunny, sunflowers – anywhere in the Southwest! Sunflower Origins Originally sunflowers grew only in North and Central America (the “New World”). After Europeans “discovered” sunflowers, they were rapidly shared around the globe. There are over 70 species of sunflower, and countless varieties. Best known is the annual garden sunflower (Helianthus annus). As it happens, the […]

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, […]

Winter Color With Annuals

Want some spring color? Wildflower seed should be planted now. BUT!  But what about some garden color between now and then?! Good news – there are MANY options for a colorful garden for the winter months! Cool Season Color Color in the Southwest winter is provided by blooms from the forests and fields of the northern regions of the world. Winter is time to protect our tropical plants such as colorful canna and heat loving hibiscus. Time to start planting pretty pansies and splendid sweet peas. How lucky we are […]

You Can Grow Basil in the Southwest

Summer time is basil time in the Southwest. The nights stay warm, the sun shines for hours on end and the soil temperatures are nice an warm. All these are conditions that basil loves. Basil Origins Basil loves the heat because it is native to India and other tropical regions of Asia. It has been cultivated for over 5,000 years with a long and rich tradition of use, a tale that could fill books. Our word for the plant comes from the Greek “basileus” meaning “king,” and indeed, it is […]

Retail Nurseries in Your Area

We have all heard the plea to “Shop Local” but what if you are new in town and don’t know where the local nurseries are?!  I am here to help you succeed with your Southwest Gardening, and thus I am working to compile this list of local (for you) nurseries that sell plants adapted to the Southwest.  I have not been to them all (but working on it!) so let me know if you have had good or bad experiences, or notice one I am missing. Please also let me […]