Does it look like fall where you live?

If you live in the West or Southwestern regions of the U.S. your answer is probably “no”.

Fall Foliage we enjoyed on a trip to Williamsburg, VA several years ago.

we enjoyed on a trip to Williamsburg, VA several years ago.

Have you ever traveled somewhere else to find colorful fall foliage ?

What if you could have fall color in your own landscape?

Believe it or not, there are several plants that can offer some fall color for those of us who yearn for signs of autumn in the desert garden.

I shared 6 of my favorite plants for fall color in an article I wrote for Houzz.

Do you have a favorite plant that gives you fall color?

6 Plants for Colorful Fall Foliage in the Water-Wise Western Garden

 

 

Drive By Landscapes: Winter Beauty in the Southwest Garden

Pruning Terms Defined

As the garden begins to awaken in spring, our thoughts turn to getting our plants ready for the growing season, which often involves pruning.

Pruning Terms Defined

There are different types of pruning, each of which, are used to accomplish particular results, ultimately keeping your plants attractive and healthy.

If you are learning how to prune your trees and shrubs yourself, it’s especially important to learn about the various ways of pruning to help you determine which way(s) are the best to employ.

Pruning Terms Defined

To do this, let’s talk about the definitions for common pruning terms so you can choose the right method for your trees and shrubs. I break it all down for you in my latest article for Houzz.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins play a large part in our fall holiday celebrations. I remember trips to the pumpkin patch when my kids were younger and watching them choose just the ‘right’ pumpkin for our family.

carved pumpkins

A few weeks later, pumpkins take center stage on Halloween as their artfully carved faces add a festive element to costumed trick-or-treaters.

But, what do you do with them once the holiday is over? Instead of throwing them in the trash can, what if you could find new uses for your pumpkin?

Whether your pumpkin has been carved or left whole, I’ve shared 9 ways to reuse them in the garden and in the home, in my latest article for Houzz. I hope you enjoy!

The Summer Vegetable Garden: Pumpkins!

Preserve the Flavors of Summer With Herbs

Do you grow herbs? I do. 

Herbs are easy to grow and thrive in arid climates and shrug off the heat. I’m the first to admit that I don’t like messing around with fussy plants and so herbs fit right in with my gardening style.

my garden is overflowing with herbs

Toward the end of summer, my garden is overflowing with herbs – especially basil. I certainly have more than I can use right now, so I like to preserve my herbs in a variety of ways so that I can enjoy the fresh flavor of summer throughout the winter months.

preserving herbs

preserving herbs

One of the easiest ways to store herbs is by freezing them using olive oil or water. You can see my post on how to freeze herbs here

preserving herbs

Herb salts are a newer way to keep the fresh flavor of herbs alive. The ingredients are simple, and they are a unique way to add a delicious taste to your favorite recipes. See how easy they are to make in this blog post

preserving herbs

Finally, the most popular method for preserving herbs is to dry them. Some types of herbs are easier to dry than others, and there are different methods for drying herbs. I invite you to read my latest article for Houzz.com where it’s all you need to know about drying herbs. I hope you enjoy it!

Do you dry or freeze your herbs? Which herbs work best for you?

Meyer lemon

One of the best things about having a garden in the desert southwest is our ability to grow citrus of all kinds. Lemon trees are a popular fruit tree and I am often asked what type of lemon do I recommend. 

There are different types of lemons but the one that is my favorite isn’t a ‘true’ lemon tree at all. It’s a Meyer lemon, which is a cross between an orange tree and a lemon tree. 

Meyer lemon

The result is a fruit that tastes sweeter than your typical lemon and has a lovely thin, smooth skin. Meyer lemons are suitable for use in the same ways that other lemons are, but you can use them in additional ways as well due to their sweeter nature.

I recently shared the reasons why you should plant a Meyer lemons tree in one of my latest articles for Houzz.

Have you ever grown a Meyer lemons tree ?

March is the Perfect Time for Planting a Meyer Lemon Tree

succulent plants

In the past, succulent plants were valued primarily for their drought tolerance and found their way into gardens in arid regions. Today, while they are still a great choice for water-wise plants are wise, they offer many other benefits to outdoor spaces including adding colorful flowers and solving common garden problems.

succulent plants

Elk Horn (Cotyledon orbiculata)

I’ve written a series of articles for Houzz focusing on succulents and how you can add beauty to your garden with these versatile plants that will thrive in arid climates. 

I hope you find inspiration through them and look at succulent plants in a new way.

10 Spectacular Flowering Succulents

How Succulents Can Solve Your Garden Problems

How do you like to use succulents in your garden?

Drought Tolerant and Beautiful: Anacacho Orchid

Taking photos of succulents in a hidden garden in California.

Taking photos of succulents in a hidden garden in California.

I have a love affair with succulents. 

There are so many reasons for my passion, but the biggest reason is that they are easy to grow, and a low-maintenance way to add beauty to the garden.

succulents solve garden problems

The popularity of succulents is taking off and nursery shelves are filled with numerous varieties to tempt gardeners. Many people are beginning to replace high-maintenance plants with fuss-free succulents.

Sticks on Fire Euphorbia and Elephants Food

Sticks on Fire Euphorbia and Elephants Food

Succulents can also be a great choice for solving common gardening problems.  For example, they make great container plants and require a fraction of the care that flowering annuals do. 

I share my favorite ways to use succulents in the garden in my latest article for Houzz. I hope that you find inspiration for solving your garden problems by adding these lovely plants.

How Succulents Can Solve Your Garden Problems

How Succulents Can Solve Your Garden Problems

Fertilizer Basics: How To Choose the Right Fertilizer for Your Plants

How To Choose the Right Fertilizer for Your Plants

Have you ever passed through the fertilizer aisle at your local nursery or big box store and felt overwhelmed at the large selection? It’s not surprising with so many different brands and types of fertilizer vying for our attention. What do those three numbers mean and how do you know which one is right for your needs? 

Fertilizer Basics: How To Choose the Right Fertilizer for Your Plants

In my latest Houzz article, I go through the basics of fertilizer and examine how they work so you can choose the right one that fits the needs of your plants.

Fertilizer Basics: How To Choose the Right Fertilizer for Your Plants
Meyer Lemon

Meyer Lemon

There is nothing quite so refreshing as the fragrance of lemons as you slice through their yellow skin.  Lemons are a very popular fruit tree for those of us who in zones 8 and above and their lush green foliage and yellow fruit add beauty to the garden.  

Meyer Lemon

If you have been thinking of adding a lemon tree to your landscape, March is the best time of year to plant new citrus in the garden as it gives them time to become established before the heat of summer arrives.

I am often asked about what type of lemon is best for the garden.  My personal choice is Meyer lemon for a number of reasons.  You may have heard of this type of lemon tree, but what you may not know is that it isn’t a ‘true’ lemon – it’s actually a naturally occurring hybrid of a lemon and ‘Mandarin’ orange.  This results in a pseudo-lemon that is sweeter and less acidic than true lemons such as ‘Eureka’ and ‘Lisbon’.

See why you should consider planting a Meyer lemon tree in your backyard in my latest article for Houzz.com.  (Click on the photo below to read the article).

*What type of lemon tree to you grow?