Plant of the Month

Artichoke Agave, Parry Agave Agave parryi Plant Form: Succulent Water Use: Very Low Mature Size: 2-3 ft. tall & wide Exposure: Full Sun Bloom Time: Summer (June-Aug) Native to: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico Hardiness: Cold hardy to 15°F  Artichoke Agave forms a dense, symmetrical rosette that actually resembles a giant artichoke. Wide, foot-long, blue-gray leaves are edged with spiny margins and tipped with a one-inch terminal spine. A rosette slowly matures over time until it produces offset “pups” at its base, eventually […]

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 – September

Desert Willow, Desert Catalpa Chilopsis linearis Plant Form: Deciduous tree Water Use: Low Mature Size: 15-25 ft. tall x 18-20 ft. wide Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun Bloom Time: Spring (Apr-May), Summer (June-Aug), Fall (Sept-Oct) Native to: California, Arizona, Mexico (below 5000 feet) Hardiness: Cold hardy to 0°F Desert Willow is a fast-growing, multi-trunked tree or large shrub that twists and leans as it reaches skyward, creating an interesting, open crown in age. Its long, narrow, bright green leaves give a willowy appearance, […]

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 – September

Russian Sage Perovskia atriplicifolia   Plant Form: Deciduous perennial Water Use: Very Low Mature Size: 3-4 ft. tall & wide Exposure: Full Sun Bloom Time: Summer – Fall (June – September) Native to: Asia (Afghanistan to Tibet) Hardiness: Cold hardy to -20°F Russian Sage is a hardy, drought- tolerant, heat-loving perennial that is underused in southwest landscapes. Small but brilliant violet-blue flowers seem to float in an airy cloud above its foliage from summer until a hard frost. Neither Russian […]

Plant of the Month – April

Golden Barrel Cactus Echinocactus grusonii  Plant Form: Cactus/succulent Water Use: Very Low Mature Size: 1.5 ft. tall & 2 ft. wide (3 ft. tall and wide in very old plants) Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun Bloom Time: Spring (Mar-May), Summer (June – August) Native to: Central Mexico Hardiness: Cold hardy to 18°F   Golden Barrel Cactus is one of the most popular cacti in cultivation today—one look, and you’ll know why. Bright golden spines line the ribs of this spherical […]