I have a love affair with trees.
It’s true. I love their beautiful branch architecture, foliage and the dappled shade that they provide. Living in the desert Southwest, shade is a valuable commodity with the relief it offers from the intense sun and cool temperatures it offers.
I recently shared some examples of ‘butchered’ trees and asked you to try to identify what each tree was. You can take the quiz here, if you like before seeing the answers, below.
As promised, here the photos of badly pruned trees and what they should look like:
I am always on the lookout for beautiful landscapes that are well-designed and need minimal care. I like to call them sustainable or ‘fuss-free’ landscapes.
A week ago, my friend and fellow-blogger, Pam Penick came into town on a quest to see examples of gardens that use little water. So, I was more then happy to spend a day with her looking at some great examples of gardens around the greater Phoenix area.
The first part of our journey began with a visit to the beautifully-designed Arizona State Polytechnic Campus, which included cisterns, man-made arroyos and creative uses for urbanite. If you missed it, you can read about our visit, here.
The second leg of our tour took us to a butterfly/hummingbird demonstration garden along a golf course and a well-designed parking lot (yes, I said a parking lot).
First, was our visit to a butterfly/hummingbird demonstration garden.
|Firecracker Penstemon (Penstemon eatoni)|
|Pink Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii)|
|Coral Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua ‘Coral’)|
|Firecracker Penstemon, Purple Trailing Lantana and Damianita.|
|White Globe Mallow|
Can you tell what is wrong with this Mesquite tree?
|Mesquite tree heavily infested with mistletoe.|
Last Saturday was a day that we had long prepared for.
My husband and I had spent countless hours sitting alongside my youngest daughter, Gracie, helping her practice for her piano recital.
She was nervous, but looked so cute in her new dress and shoes.
The other day, I was driving home from a landscape consult and as usual – I was on the lookout for examples of good and bad landscaping.
This particular day, I saw some great examples that I would love to share with you.
First the good…
You can really tell the difference when you see the photo below from the house next door – which is a bad example by the way…
I mentioned earlier this week about our beautiful Palo Verde tree that fell victim to the high winds of a monsoon storm. As sad as I was for the loss of my tree, I began to realize that I would now have to choose a replacement. Now I don’t know about you, but I just love it when I get to buy a new tree or plant. My husband is not usually as excited as I am because he is usually the one digging the holes 😉
Faced with the wonderful dilemma of having to choosing what type of tree to plant, I have began to go through the list of candidates – listing their positives and sometimes the negatives. In my last post, we looked at 12 different trees and today I would like to finish the list of prospective tree choices.
When not blooming, Texas Mountain Laurel makes an extremely attractive evergreen tree or large shrub, depending on how you prune (train) it. At maturity, it can reach heights of 15 – 25 ft. high and up to 15 ft. wide. I like how it grows in full sun as well as light shade. The fact that it is thornless is a bonus.
In late summer and fall, cream colored, puffball flowers appear which have a pleasing, light fragrance.
I love the botanical name for this Australian native as it so aptly describes the pendulous branches. I really have a thing for trees that have a weeping type of growth. I’m not sure why.
Christmas in the desert is much the same as it is around the world. Christmas lights adorn homes and trees, with a few notable exceptions. This is the desert after all….we sometimes do things a little differently.
What does Christmas look like where you live?
With the somewhat cooler temperatures, I am now seeing many gardeners venturing outside and taking stock of the condition of their landscape. Fall is a busy time in the desert garden because it is the ideal time to install many types of plants, which will be discussed in a separate post in early October.
In the past when mid-September came, I would load up the truck with 100+ flats of annuals to plant around the community where I worked as the horticulturist. I would then spent the next four weeks making repeated trips to the nursery to replace dead plants that just could not handle the heat of early fall. From then on I would wait until October to change out summer annuals and replace with winter annuals. As a result, we suffered very little plant loss.
CITRUS: Make sure to fertilize your citrus trees if you have not already done so (see earlier post for details).