Harvesting Your Native Garden

Part of my appreciation of our native desert plants comes from the indispensable gifts that these plants have provided for millennia to humans, wildlife, birds, insects, soils, and the whole ecosystem. Indigenous peoples have long valued and used native desert plants for food, medicine, healing, shelter, clothing, utensils, and ceremony. I would like to share some of these uses that we can incorporate into our lives today, but this comes with a responsibility to reciprocate thoughtful care and stewardship for these tenacious but […]

Plant of the Month – February

Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis Plant Form: Evergreen Shrub Water Use: Low Mature Size: 2-5 ft. tall x 2-6 ft. wide Exposure: Full Sun Bloom Time: Winter (Dec-Feb), Spring (Mar-May) Native to: Mediterranean Region Hardiness: Cold hardy to 15°F  Rosemary has been prized for centuries for a multitude of reasons, including its aromatic properties, flavorful herbal use, picturesque form, and rugged landscaping uses.  This drought-tolerant native of Mediterranean climates endures hot sun, reflected heat, and poor soils, and all it asks in return is good […]

Plant of the Month – June

Mojave Desert Sage, Desert Purple Sage   Salvia dorrii   Plant Form: Evergreen Sub-Shrub Water Use: Very Low Mature Size: 1-2 ft. tall x 2-3 ft. wide Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade Bloom Time: Spring (May), Summer (June-July) Native to: California, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington (between 2,500 – 8,500 feet) Hardiness: Cold hardy to 10°F Mojave Desert Sage is an aromatic, native “shrublet” with striking blue-violet flowers that emerge from purplish, ball-shaped flower heads along the stems. This […]

Plant of the Month – March

Spanish Lavender Lavandula stoechas Plant Form: Evergreen perennial Water Use: Low Mature Size: 24 – 30 in. tall & wide Exposure: Full Sun Bloom Time: Spring (Feb-May), Summer (June – August) Native to: Mediterranean region and North Africa Hardiness: Cold hardy to 15°F   Spanish Lavender can fulfill your desire for a durable evergreen plant with bright flowers, enchanting fragrance, drought resistance, and heat tolerance. Both flowers and foliage are wonderfully fragrant. Purple bracts on flower heads appear like rabbit […]

Plant of The Month – January

Copper Canyon Daisy, Mexican Marigold Tagetes lemmonii Plant Form: Herbaceous evergreen perennial Water Use: Low Mature Size: 3-5 ft. tall x 4-6 ft. wide Exposure: Full Sun or part shade Bloom Time: Year-round; Heaviest bloom Fall – Winter (Sept – Jan) Native to: Southern Arizona, northern Mexico Hardiness: Cold hardy to 5°F (roots); 20°F (foliage)     Copper Canyon Daisy is highly aromatic, releasing a strong fragrance when its foliage is rubbed or brushed against, which is likely the reason […]

Plant of the Month – July

Moonshine Yarrow Achillea taygetea ‘Moonshine’ Plant Form: Semi-evergreen Perennial Water Use: Low Mature Size: 1-2 ft. tall & wide Exposure: Full Sun Bloom Time: Spring – Early Fall (May – Oct) Native to: European parents Hardiness: Cold hardy to <0°F   Moonshine Yarrow combines some of the best hybrid characteristics of the genus, offering felty, blue-gray, fern-like, aromatic foliage with bright yellow flower heads. The flat-topped flower clusters attract butterflies, and make great bouquets of either fresh-cut or dried flowers. […]