Southwest Gardening 130 Ideabooks

Summer's almost over and temperatures are beginning to cool, so it's time for desert gardeners to venture outdoors and dress up their landscape with new trees, shrubs and succulents. Fruits and vegetables growing in upper-elevation gardens are ready to be harvested, and bulbs can be planted now for a beautiful spring...
Texas Gardener's September Checklist
It's still fairly hot and muggy in my area of Texas (USDA hardiness zones 7 and 8), but September is a pivotal month in the garden. It's the gateway month between summer and fall gardening, moving...
Gardening Solutions for Dry, Sandy Soils
One of the benefits of gardening with sandy soil is that it’s easy to dig and till, making transplanting easy. However, dry, sandy soil does not hold nutrients or water well. It takes additions of compost,...
10 Top Plants Native to the Desert Southwest
The intense heat of summer and the cold winters of the Southwest are not for the faint of heart, and these native plants do more than just grow in the desert’s often unforgiving environment. They have special adaptations that allow them to thrive in...
Great Design Plant: Little-Leaf Cordia Handles Desert Extremes
Little-leaf cordia (Cordia parvifolia) is the perfect addition to the desert landscape, where it adds beauty with its distinctive white flowers while also handling hot, reflected sun and temperatures into the teens. This large desert native...
Great Design Plant: Beavertail Prickly Pear Wows With Color
Take a walk through the desert in spring or early summer, and you’ll halt at the sight of vivid magenta flowers bursting forth from this medium-size prickly pear. Beavertail prickly pear’s lack of long spines and presence of attractive gray-blue...
Great Design Plant: Chuparosa Brightens Casual Desert Gardens
It may come as a surprise that many plants native to the dry desert produce beautiful flowers. Chuparosa is one such plant; its bright red flowers add beauty to landscapes throughout the low-desert regions of the Southwest. Found along desert washes,...
Great Design Plant: Desert Ruellia Brings Beauty to Dry Gardens
Finding a plant that can handle hot, dry conditions without needing a lot of water is a common goal for homeowners who live in the dry Southwest. When you pass by one that is also beautiful, it is time to take a second look and consider adding it to...
Great Design Plant: Yellow Bells, a Screening Queen
If you love yellow, then this is a shrub for you. Masses of trumpet-shaped flowers cover yellow bells nonstop from spring through fall in garden zones 8 to 11. Its large size makes it perfect for covering up a bare wall or for screening an undesirable...
Great Design Plant: Pink Trumpet Vine Heralds Vibrant Color
It’s hard to find a more beautiful plant than pink trumpet vine. Whether you train it up a trellis or use it as a sprawling shrub, the lovely flowers will decorate your outdoor space in warm temperatures. This flowering vine flourishes in hot, dry...
Great Design Plant: Baja Fairy Duster, a Scarlet Stunner
Whether you call the uniquely shaped flowers of this shrub fairy dusters or puff balls, they are sure to add beauty to a Southwestern landscape. Baja fairy duster’s dark green, lacy foliage provides a great backdrop to the vibrant red flowers, which...
Great Design Plant: Try Blue Bells for Blooms in Dry Soil
Imagine what characteristics you would want in the perfect shrub. How about one that blooms throughout the year, loves hot temperatures but can handle cooler ones, all while needing no pruning? Would you add one to your landscape? Well, imagine no longer,...
Great Design Plant: Blackfoot Daisy for Prettier Dry Ground
Daisies will brighten up any landscape, and blackfoot daisy is no exception. Despite its fragile appearance, this low-growing perennial flourishes with little water in areas that experience bitter-cold winters, while also thriving in hot, dry desert...
Great Design Plant: Lilac Vine for a Purple Profusion in Winter
There aren’t many vines that put on a show in the middle of winter, but that is exactly when lilac vine shows off a profusion of purple flowers. As pretty as the flowers are, they aren’t fragrant, but when they fade, lush green foliage stands up...
Great Design Plant: Desert Marigold Cheers Up Hot, Dry Areas
The flowers of desert marigold will brighten up the landscape even where water is scarce and the sun is blazing. Often seen along roadsides, in wildflower gardens or even growing alongside cacti, desert marigold is one perennial that can handle tough,...
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