Southwest Gardening 141 Stories

Comparing the American Southwest to colder, wetter areas in November is an interesting study. While much of the country is bundling up to endure months of winter, the Southwest is embracing this welcome cooling to enjoy outdoor living. No matter if you are still wearing shorts or now putting on a sweater,...
Texas Gardener's November Checklist
November just may be one of the most perfect months of the year — Indian summer is officially gone, and the days are marked by a crisp coolness that is a welcome relief from warm October temperatures. Use this time to get some significant garden chores...
Great Design Plant: Convolvulus Cneorum
The silvery foliage and white flowers of bush morning glory (Convolvulus cneorum) make it is easy to see the benefits of adding it to the landscape. Not to be confused with invasive bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis),...
Great Design Plant: Staphylea Trifolia Shines in the Shade
The delicate branches of American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) are covered with clusters of nodding white flowers in spring. This underutilized, shade-tolerant, native shrub (small tree) is ideal...
Great Design Plant: Echinocactus Grusonii
At first glance, golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) looks like a green ball covered in yellow fuzz. Its round shape and yellow spines add a touch of warm color to the arid landscape. This cactus is extremely versatile and can be used...
Decorate the Landscape With Versatile Agave
Agave have a long history of being used as an accent plant in the landscape, where they attract attention wherever they are planted. With their succulent leaves reaching up toward the sky, agaves add a great spiky texture to the landscape. The ability...
Great Design Plant: Small but Mighty Agave Victoria-Reginae
Queen Victoria agave (Agave victoria-reginae) is highly prized by gardeners throughout the U.S. Southwest and beyond for its beauty as well as its small size. Named after Queen Victoria, this long-lived agave is known for its ability to...
Great Design Plant: Dasylirion Wheeleri
Often the most notable plants in the Southwestern landscape are those that have a distinct growth pattern. The spiky gray leaves of desert spoon (Dasylirion wheeleri) have long been used by people throughout the U.S. Southwest for texture and color...
Great Design Plant: Parkinsonia Flor Paints the Desert Green and Yellow
Perhaps the most iconic tree of the desert Southwest is the palo verde (Parkinsonia florida), with its characteristic green trunk and branches. This native desert tree comes with a Spanish name that literally translates to “green...
How to Spot a Drought-Tolerant Plant
Have you wondered why some plants can handle intense sun and infrequent watering while others wilt? With rapidly growing drought conditions through much of the U.S., the desire to add plants to the landscape that can handle hot and dry climates is on...
Meet the Mighty Saguaro of the Desert Landscape
Every classic Western movie worth its salt lick had a saguaro cactus stuck somewhere in the landscape, out yonder or sometimes in town, and then it was usually plopped in front of the saloon. They’re an iconic image, these giant, multiarmed...
Great Design Plant: Violet Silverleaf Thrives on Scant Water
The gray foliage of violet silverleaf provides a perfect color contrast to green shrubs seen throughout the Southwestern landscape. This drought-tolerant shrub is transformed with the appearance of violet flowers sporadically throughout the summer and...
Great Design Plant: Wild Bergamot, Friend of Foragers
Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) is one of the most resilient North American native plants and is a delight for bumble bees and butterflies. It can be used in a variety of situations, including butterfly...
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...
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