Southwest Gardening 127 Ideabooks

July signals the midpoint of summer and the onset of the monsoon season for the Southwest, which brings with it increased humidity along with sporadic torrential rainstorms. While the increased humidity that comes with monsoons may make being outdoors more uncomfortable for you, your plants will welcome the relief from...
Texas Gardener: What to Do in July
By this time in a Texas summer, we are in the midst of 100-plus degree days, rain is sporadic, and the air is heavy. If you feel like melting under these conditions, your garden probably feels the same. But we Texans (zones 8a, 8b, 9a) are a tough crowd,...
Southwest Gardener's August Checklist
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...
Southwest Gardener's September Checklist
Summer has worn out its welcome in the American Southwest, from low desert floors to lofty foothills. But September is when cooler air begins to refresh all living things, starting at higher elevations. As the monsoon season ends, our gardens often get...
Southwest Gardener's October Checklist
With the recent autumnal equinox, the light is becoming softer here in the desert. This changes the way we see our garden spaces, and milder temperatures are changing how we can use them. The dry Southwest...
Southwest Gardener's November Checklist
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...
Southwest Gardener's December Checklist
The diversity within the desert Southwest region shows in December. While elevation or time of day may determine one's clothing or specific tasks, garden possibilities are great anywhere here. Desert...
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...
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