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 […]

Add Creosote So Your Patch of Desert Smells Like Rain

You can easily add a fragrant – low-water creosote bush to your landscape or garden now – in the summer months. Fragrant Memories of Summer As a kid, summer, and freedom from school, was magical. Best of all was when the monsoon rains started and the desert near our home responded with summer growth and flowers (and mud to play in). The grace note woven inexorably through my memories is the fragrance of rain-soaked creosote bushes. It wafted through our lives and signified the joy and freedom of summer. I […]

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 […]

Plant Your Yard for Pollinators and People

Is it possible to have a yard full of native plants for the pollinators – and an edible landscape for humans at the same time? You betcha! Try these awesome aloysia.  (And thanks for asking that question!) Native Plants for Multiple Uses There are indeed hundreds of native plants with culinary, medicinal, and other herb uses, including deterring mosquitoes. Many of these herbs are full of compounds that make them tasty to us but not at all tasty to wildlife like javelina and rabbits. And while the leaves repel wildlife, […]

Celebrate April With A Daisy

Every month has a birth stone, birth flower, and possibly more – but I am here to talk about the April birth flower – the daisy. Celebrate With A Daisy Which daisy? Any one you wish! The common English daisy, which may have been the original idea for the birth month flower, is a member of the Sunflower Family. While this species has to be kept as a pampered pet in the Southwest there are any number of low-water native plants with daisy in their common name. Luckily for us […]

Beautiful Brittlebush – for Your Southwestern Landscape

Brittlebush is not only beautiful to behold – it is beautiful for many aspects of a sustainable Sonoran desert habitat. Brittlebush provides food for foraging pollinators, a shady spot to start saguaro life, a sheltered spot for wildlife to rest, and a safe corner of the world to build a little lizard den under. Brilliant Brittlebush Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) is one of the most common and conspicuous wildflowers in the Sonoran Desert; seasonally providing a glowing golden-yellow cloak for the desert. And yes, the wood is brittle, hence the name. […]