Southwest Gardening 127 Ideabooks

By the time August arrives, it sometimes seems that summer is going to last forever. But the days are slowly getting shorter, and fall will be here soon. In the meantime, summer rains and increased humidity are reducing our hot temperatures for brief periods and also helping water our plants. If you are fortunate enough...
Texas Gardener's August Garden Checklist
Good news for Texas gardeners: Although many areas of the country are experiencing devastating drought and heat this summer of 2012, no areas of Texas are in what is considered "exceptional drought" at this time. In fact, 10 percent of the state, much...
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,...
Great Design Plant: Santa Rita Prickly Pear for Purple Appeal
No matter the season, Santa Rita prickly pear adds a variety of colors to the desert garden, along with great texture, thanks to its paddle-shaped pads. As winter approaches, a truly wondrous transformation takes place: The edges of the gray-blue pads...
Great Design Plant: Brittlebush Brightens Rocky, Dry Spots
Desert hillsides are dotted in a carpet of yellow in winter and spring as brittlebush comes into bloom. This Southwestern native may be beautiful, but it is also one very tough shrub. Brittlebush handles areas with rocky soil, full sun and little water...
Great Design Plant: Valentine Bush for Heartfelt Winter Color
The deep red flowers of ‘Valentine’ start appearing in winter, when most plants have closed up shop, adding much-needed color to landscapes throughout the Southwest. Flowers begin to appear around Christmas, and blooming peaks around Valentine’s...
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