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 […]

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 […]

Desert Mistletoe in Your Trees

There are many species of mistletoe around the world, parasitic and hemi-parasitic on a number of trees. All mistletoe plants are toxic. Almost all mistletoe berries are toxic. The one exception is the Sonoran and Mojave desert mistletoe, Phoradendron californicum, also called desert mistletoe. Interestingly, this unique genus is a distant relative of sandal wood. It’s a Hemi Technically, desert mistletoe is “hemi-parasitic.” No, it isn’t packing an awesome engine under the hood. We are talking about plants so it’s a Latin term. In Latin “hemi” means half. These mistletoes […]

How to Simply Help the Pollinators

Every living thing needs food, water, and a place to live, and bees are no exception – even our native solitary bees need water.  It’s a Dry Heat Help bees stay cool in the heat by offering them a safe space to get their needed water.  If you have fruit trees, or a vegetable garden, you need the help of these busy flying friends, so it’s only fair to help them in return. Water is Important You can make a simple bee watering space with a plant saucer or pie […]

Grow A Three Sisters Garden – For Success in the Southwest

Growing a vegetable garden in the Southwest is easy if you do as the Natives once did and plant a Three Sisters garden. Three Sisters The Native peoples across the New World have long had the tradition of planting the Three Sisters.* The Three Sisters live together and help each other not just survive, but thrive. Corn, beans, and squash are the Sisters, and each gives and receives from the others. Sister Corn Corn is Elder Sister and should be planted first. She will grow tall and provide something Middle […]

Wildlife Resistant Plants for the Southwest

Wildlife keep getting into the yard and munching my carefully nurtured plants. Grrr! Yes, they dig under or climb (or jump) over the barriers and decimate my plantings. The hungry wildlife in my corner of the Southwest include deer, javelina, raccoon, skunk, jack rabbit, cottontail rabbit, rock squirrel, ground squirrel, packrat, and mice. They are all hungry and relentless. (Legal note – this post contains affiliate links.  If you click on them and make a purchase, the non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute will get a few cents at no additional […]