Thursday, August 28, 2014

Getting Ready for Fall Planting in the Southwest Garden



Are you anxious for fall to arrive?

I certainly am!  

Fall is my favorite season because of the holidays, cooler weather and best of all - the it is the best time of year to add new plants to the landscape.


Now you may have thought that spring was the best time of year to start planting and while you certainly can plant then, I'll tell you why fall is better...

Planting in fall allows enough time for plants to grow a good root system before the heat of the next summer arrives.

Think about it - plants must have a good root system so that they can soak up enough water to handle the stress from intense heat and the dry conditions of summer.  

If a plant is planted just before or during the summer months, they are focusing on just hanging on until temperatures cool off.  In many cases, they don't make it.


The only exception to fall planting is with frost tender plants such as bougainvillea, lantana and yellow bells.  

Because young plants are particularly susceptible to frost damage, or even death, it is best to wait until the danger of frost has passed to add these plants to your landscape.


Over the next couple of posts, I'll share with you some other helpful tips to help you with selecting plants, how to tell if they are healthy, the best way to dig a hole and finally - I'll reveal my favorite plant nursery!

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On a personal note, I am going to be a grandma again :-)

My second-oldest daughter, Rachele, is having her first baby and my husband and I are flying to California to be there when she gets her ultrasound and finds out if she is having a boy or girl!

I can hardly wait....
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Monday, August 25, 2014

10 Best Plants for the Southwestern Landscape

A few weeks ago, I was asked by one of my editors to come up with a list of the top 10 plants that every resident of the Southwest should consider adding to their landscape.

I must admit that the task was a bit daunting at first - not because I couldn't think of enough plants.  The problem was that my list was much larger.

I had to pare my list down and decided to focus on plants that would grow in zones 7 - 10, which cover much of the desert Southwest.  In addition, they had to be low-maintenance, native, beautiful and easy to grow.



After considering all of the criteria, I still had about 20 plants.  So, I added one other criteria of my own - how easy is it to find at your local nursery?


At the end, I had 10 plants that I was very happy with - but I could have easily added a lot more ;-)



I hope you enjoy reading through this list of 10 essential plants for the desert Southwest.  


*I'd love to hear what plants you would include in your list of 10 favorites.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Easy Garden DIY: Create a 'Natural' Trellis From Branches

Do you have vines in your garden? 

What type of trellis do you use for them?  Is it your basic (somewhat boring) wooden trellis?

What if you could make your own trellis that not only looks better but costs next to nothing?

*I have been sharing some of my favorite garden blog posts that I have written recently for Birds & Blooms magazine where I serve as the garden blogger - including this one about how to make your own 'natural' trellis.


I have seen quite a few trellises made from branches, but I thought this one that I saw while visiting the Green Bay Botanical Gardens in Wisconsin, was especially nice because you could see how it was made because the vine had not yet grown up on it.

With all of the stormy weather, I'm sure you have your share of branches that have blown down from your tree that you can use.  I shared how to create your own trellis using branches in a recent post for Birds & Blooms...



You'll not only save money by making your own, but I think that it looks nicer and is a more sustainable option.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

10 Ways to Add Color to Your Garden Without Plants

Is your garden looking a bit lackluster and in need of more color than green?  While colorful flowering plants can help, it is hard to find a plant that will flower all year long.  


*Some of you may know that I am the garden blogger for Birds & Blooms magazine.  I have been going through some recent blog posts that I have written for them and thought that I would share some of my favorites with you.



As part of a two-part series, I shared some creative ways to add color to the landscape without relying on plants alone.  This is especially helpful during the winter months when not many plants are in flower.

Most of the photographs in these posts were taken during a recent trip to Southeastern Arizona including Bisbee, Tombstone and Tucson.



I hope that you are inspired to use a few of these colorful ideas in your own landscape!
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