Tag Archive for: Houzz

violet silverleaf (Leucophyllum candid)

At first glance, violet Silverleaf (Leucophyllum candid) may look like a nice gray shrub with a smattering of purple flowers.

BUT, when you crank up the humidity and add some summer rain into the mix and it really explodes with color…

purple beauty

These shrubs literally stop people in their tracks with their purple beauty.

(Leucophyllum candid) is easy to grow in arid climates and when not in flower, its gray foliage provides great color contrast in the landscape.

Find out more about this Texas native and why you’ll want to include it in your garden in my latest plant profile for Houzz.com:

 

Have you ever seen this shrub growing?  Do you have one in your landscape?

A Rose Garden Garden Fit For a Castle?

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.

Southwestern Landscape

Southwestern Landscape

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰  

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.  

10 Top Plants Native to the Desert Southwest

Tour of Sustainable Southwestern Landscape: Part 1

Have you ever seen shrubs that have been planted too closely together?

overcrowded shrubs

At first glance, it looks like the new plants in the landscape above fit just fine into this area.  

But, what if I told you that those small shrubs grow 6 feet high and wide at maturity?

overcrowded shrubs

As they grow, out come the hedge trimmers, and over-pruned, ugly shrubs are the result.  

Unfortunately, this is a problem that has reached almost epidemic proportions in areas throughout the Southwest.  

Why else would people prune beautiful flowering shrubs into something that resembles anonymous, green blobs?  

The good news is that you can avoid this from happening in your landscape.  Even if you currently have overcrowded shrubs, you can solve the problem.

I recently wrote an article for Houzz.com on how to avoid overcrowded and the resulting over-pruning…

I hope that you find this article helpful – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

10 Tips for Drought Tolerant Gardening

Are you familiar with Texas sage, also referred to as Texas ranger?

If you live in the Southwest, you have undoubtedly seen these beautiful shrubs.

Texas Sage

Believe it or not, these purple flowering beauties are a fuss-free plant.

Unfortunately, some people over prune them…

purple flowering beauties

The one on the left has been pruned into a ‘ball’ while the one on the right hasn’t been pruned as severely.

Want to learn more about this native shrub and how to care for it properly?  Check out my latest plant profile for Houzz.com

 

Do you enjoy going out into the garden in summer?

I don’t!

I admit to sometimes neglecting my garden when the temperatures go above the century mark.  My aversion to gardening in a furnace is one of the reasons that I like to use desert-adapted plants that don’t need much attention.

fuss-free plant chuparosa

One of my favorite fuss-free plants is chuparosa (Justicia californica).

It has beautiful red, tubular flowers that decorate the garden in late winter into spring and sporadically throughout the year.  Hummingbirds can’t resist it AND it is drought-tolerant and low-maintenance.

Want to learn more?  Here is my latest plant profile for Houzz:

 

Do you have a list of favorite plants for your Southwestern garden?

I do.

Today, I’d like to share with you about one of my favorite shrubs, desert ruellia (Ruellia peninsularis).

desert ruellia

It has beautiful, light-green foliage and purple flowers that appear off an on throughout the year, with the heaviest bloom occurring in spring.

Unlike its cousin (Ruellia brittoniana), desert ruellia does not take over the garden space.

It needs little maintenance, and looks great with a variety of other flowering plants.

For more information on where this lovely shrub grows, how to plant it and how to use it in the landscape, check out my latest plant profile for Houzz.com

 

To see my other plant profiles for Houzz, click here.

June is here, which marks the official beginning of hot, dry weather throughout the southwest.

While most of us can be found indoors in the comfort of air-conditioning – your plants can be suffering from the heat and intense sunlight.

May and June can be some of the most difficult months for plants in the garden until the summer rains arrive in late June.

Need some helpful tips for your June garden?

Here is my June “to-do” list that I wrote for Houzz.com.

 
 
 

As a horticulturist, I have quite a few plants on my list of favorites.  So many in fact, that I cannot grow them all in my own garden.

But, this favorite has a prominent place in my home landscape – I have four of them.

Pink Trumpet Vine (Podranea ricasoliana)

This pink beauty is what I see when I look out my kitchen window.

I can also see another one growing when I look out my living room window.

And another one when I look out my bedroom window.

You get the idea…

Pink Trumpet Vine (Podranea ricasoliana) grows in both humid and dry climates.  Believe it or not, it is drought-tolerant too!

To learn more about this beautiful, pink plant and why you will want to add one to your garden, check out my latest plant profile for Houzz.

 
 

A few years ago, while visiting my sister in the Palm Springs area in California, we visited the Living Desert Museum.  This is a combination botanical garden and zoo.

Blue Bells

We had a great time exploring along with our kids and I enjoyed taking pictures of the different plants that I saw.

Leucophyllum (Texas Sage).

While walking through the gardens, I noticed a small shrub, which at first glance, I assumed was a small species of Leucophyllum (Texas Sage).

blue bells

I took a quick photo and then walked on.

Fast forward 2 years later, where I found myself learning about a newer plant on the market that thrives in desert heat, is drought-tolerant, flowers all year and needs little to no pruning.

Now any plant that looks great but isn’t fussy in desert gardens is one that I definitely need to get to know better.

I found out that this particular shrub was supposed to look a lot like a gray Texas sage.  That was when I remembered taking the photo, above.

I was thrilled to find out that I had been introduced to this plant earlier, but hadn’t known it.

There is so much that I can say about Blue Bells (Eremophila hygrophana ‘ Blue Bells ‘) and I have written an article about this beautiful, yet tough shrub, which you can read in my latest Houzz plant profile… ย 

 
 

Kitchen designs, bathroom designs, and more โˆจ

Hire residential landscape architects to help with all aspects of landscape design, from selecting or designing outdoor patio furniture, to siting a detached garage or deck.
A home remodeler or residential architect will see the potential in the architecture and building design of your home.

I strongly encourage you to be a trendsetter in your neighborhood by planting this lovely shrub in your garden!