Do you enjoy reading magazines about home and gardening?  I do.

Often with the busyness of life, I don’t have as much time to read magazines as I used to.  But, always make time for my favorite subscription, which is Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine.

I enjoy thumbing through the pages that are filled with colorful photographs and articles about beautiful landscapes and lovely home decor with a Southwestern flair.

I must admit that I have been impatiently waiting for the June issue in my mailbox.  Day after day, I volunteered to go out to get the mail and several times, would come away with a handful of junk mail and bills and little else.

But, finally, it came.

So, why was I so excited about this particular issue?

Because my first article for Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine was contained within its pages.

Two months ago, I was contacted by one of the editors and was asked if I was interested in writing for them.  Of course, I said yes!

I visited a stunning garden and met with the homeowners as well as the architect who helped them create their landscape.  

It was a slightly new experience for me as I had to interview the homeowners, their architect, gardener, and builder.  

There was so much to see from multiple water features laid with handcrafted Spanish tiles, beds of roses around the pool, a Southwestern Zen garden and an edible garden.

If you have a chance, I highly recommend grabbing a copy so you can see this spectacular outdoor space.  There are also several other lovely gardens featured in the magazine as well.

You can also view the article online, here.

I look forward to more opportunities to write for this fantastic publication.

If you don’t have a subscription to this magazine, you can get two years for the price of one for readers of my blog.  Click here for details.

I woke up this morning, ready to write a blog post about what to do in the garden for the month of December.

However, that was BEFORE I checked my inbox to see a flood of great gardening Cyber-Monday deals that I just had to share with you.

Here is my favorite…

I look forward to getting Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine every month and there are great gardening articles inside.

Even if you don’t live near Phoenix, this is a great gift idea for any gardener who lives in the Southwest.

*I already renewed my subscription at this great price today 🙂

If you like magazines, here is another great subscription deal…

Phoenix Magazine also has a Cyber-Monday deal with subscriptions for $7.  

**I got one of these too!

Have you ever been to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix?  It is a real treat and they always have something going on besides viewing fabulous gardens – art exhibits and informative classes.

I have taken classes there before and always come away inspired.

For Cyber-Monday, they are offering 20% off of memberships.  

A membership to the Desert Botanical Garden is always the perfect gift.  Be sure to enter the code “CYBERMONDAY” to get your 20% off.


Let your friends know by sharing this link on Facebook or Twitter.

I hope you are able to cross a few people off of your gift list with these great deals, or give yourself a gift 🙂

I don’t know about you, but I really value regional gardening information.

Whether you live and garden in the Southwest (like me), or the Northeast, Midwest, Great Lakes, the Rockies, the deep South, etc. – gardening tips tailored to your area are vital to your success in the garden.

Flagstaff, Arizona

Where else can you go to learn when to plant your vegetable garden or prune back your shrubs?  

When to you start planting your containers with flowering annuals?  

What type of plants do well in your area and what ones don’t?

For example: I can’t tell you how often I am asked how to grow gardenias in the desert.  

I tell them that although you can grow them here – it is very hard.  They struggle with our alkaline soils and dry heat.

Arabic Jasmine
I tell them that if they love fragrant flowers and dark green foliage like the gardenia’s – then how about trying Arabic jasmine, which does well here, instead?

For me, the plant that I would most love to grow in my garden is hydrangeas…

Not from my garden.  I did enjoy seeing these hydrangeas growing in C.S. Lewis’ garden in Oxford, England.
But, I know better then to even try planting them in my garden, (even though I sometimes see them for sale at our local big box store’s nursery now and then).

They will not grow here in the desert Southwest.

In March, my vegetable garden is ready to be planted with warm-season vegetables such as corn, cucumbers and bush beans, while my winter vegetables are still ripening.

Cauliflower, green onions, nasturtiums and hollyhocks.
But, in cooler climates – gardeners are still busy starting their seeds indoors.

So, what can a gardener do to get the right advice for their garden?

Jerome, Arizona
Check out a gardening guide for their region.  

I enjoy reading the regional gardening guides from Sunset magazine as well as Phoenix Home & Garden magazine.

Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden, I designed next to a golf course.
I have been privileged to write regional, monthly gardening guides for a national big box store, in newsletters, for magazines and for blogs for years – representing the Southwest.

The tips that I give in my regional gardening guides have been accumulated from my career as a horticulturist and include lessons learned from both successes and failures. 

*Believe it or not, I’ve also written regional gardening guides for the Rockies, the Great Lakes region, Florida and California – which I enjoy because I get to ‘stretch’ my gardening knowledge by going outside of my local gardening region.

Some of you know that I write the gardening content for the Birds & Blooms magazine’s blog.

Well, I am excited to share with you my latest writing project. 

I am now the regional gardening writer for the Southwest for

Houzz is a great site that focused on helping people improve their homes and gardens with inspiration and advice.  They also have great gardening content including plant profiles, how-to projects as well as regional gardening guides.

I hope you’ll visit from time to time and hopefully come away with new information on how to make your garden even better.

However, regardless of whether you live in the Southwest (like me) or all the way up in Alaska….
find a regional gardening guide for your area.  Local magazines, newspapers are a good start as well as online gardening help like

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?

Throughout the year, I keep my eye out for gifts for friends and family.  You never know when you will find the ‘perfect’ gift or a terrific sale.

Sometimes when people ask me what I want for Christmas, I have a hard time coming up with a list because I tend to focus on what I am getting others (with 5 kids, my granddaughter, siblings, nieces, nephews, husband, mom & in-laws I have a  large list 😉

Well if you need some ideas for your own Christmas list or the gardener in your life, here some great gifts….

#1. Subscription to Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine

A subscription is the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year at an affordable price.

If you garden in the desert (or even if you don’t), this is a fabulous magazine.

You can get two years for the price of one here.

#2. Get a head start on your spring garden with a gift certificate to Burpee 

I love shopping for seeds for my spring garden.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a gift card to spend on your purchase?  Gift cards start at $25 and you can find them here.

#3 A great gardening book 

I love gardening books for ideas and inspiration as well as for reference.  Here are a some new ones that I have enjoyed this year…

I just finished reading Terrarium Craft and have been inspired by their how-to create beautiful terrariums.  I’m going to create my own terrarium using my daughter’s old goldfish bowl.  

Carrots Love Tomatoes is my favorite book that I read this year.  It is full of little known information about which plants benefit each other in the garden.  Companion planting is becoming more mainstream and I use it my own garden.

I just finished reading The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids.  If you are a parent or grandparent, this book is a must-have for you.  
You’ll be seeing some of the projects in the next year as my kids and I have some fun.

#4 Tool Basket

How useful would this Gardening Tool Basket be?  Plenty of places to put your gardening tools and room for harvested vegetables, flowers, or clippings.  
I would love this 😉

#5 Garden Dump Cart

My sister has one of these Garden Dump Carts and it is so practical.  It is so easy to load up, move and dump.  Wouldn’t it be great for a compost heap?

#6 Raised Garden Kit

Has the gardener in your life been wanting to start their own vegetable garden?  This Raised Garden Kit makes starting your own vegetable or flower garden easy.  

I hope that you have some good ideas for your favorite gardener.

OR, if you would like to give someone gift ideas for yourself, simply send them the link to this post 😉

One of my favorite magazine subscriptions is Phoenix Home & Garden.

Well today, I just found a deal in my inbox from them for Cyber Monday.

It is a fabulous deal that I just wanted to share with you….

Wouldn’t this make the perfect gift for a loved one, friend or yourself?
The deal is only good today, so here is the link:
**I hope your week is off to a good start.  I am working on a list of gift ideas for friends and family.  I’ll post it soon!

One of the reasons that I enjoy blogging and consulting with people in the desert southwest, is that I have a great platform in which to show people the beauty that exists in the desert garden.  

For some, their picture of a desert garden may be full of boulders, gravel and cactus.  Well, there are some gardens that do contain those elements, but there is so much more that is possible.

 Now you may look at your garden and feel that something is missing.  Maybe it is a lack of color or texture….or maybe it is a lack of plants.   What kind of resources are there for people who like the idea of having a beautiful garden?  

Because of our distinctive climate, we can be somewhat limited by what ideas we can find in gardening books and magazines that are written and published by those from different climates.  j
For example, I walked into a used bookstore a while ago and was overwhelmed at the size of the gardening section.  Shelves were crammed full of books for those that garden in more temperate regions….most of the content of those books are of little help to the desert gardener, hence the large number of those books being turned in.  
Thankfully, there are a growing number of excellent gardening books that focus specifically on gardening in dry, warm climates such as ours.  **You can view some of my favorites on the sidebar.
There is however, another publication that I look forward to receiving in the mail…. 
I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite publications that not only showcases beautiful desert gardens, but also offers monthly gardening tips and plant profiles.
 Some of you may be very familiar with this wonderful publication, but for those of you who are not, I highly recommend that you grab an issue and get inspired.
I am frequently inspired at the gardens that I see and love to try out new ideas and plant combinations.   In addition to showcasing desert gardens, they also feature wonderful home interiors.  
Okay, now for my giveaway….
I am giving away a free one-year subscription to Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine.  
To enter, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post and that is it 🙂  
I will pick a random winner on October 30th.  
*Please be sure to check back then to see if you have won!