Do you enjoy winter?
I do. Surprisingly, the desert Southwest has definite seasons and winters can get cold with temps dipping into the 20’s.
|Frost-damaged natal plum|
Do you like spending hours pruning and fertilizing your plants? Or maybe you are tired of having to spend money on monthly visits from your landscaper.
|Gulf Muhly ‘Regal Mist’|
|Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera)|
|Baja Fairy Duster
Baja Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica) has truly unique flowers that are shaped like small feather dusters. The red flowers appear spring through fall and occasionally in winter.
Maintenance: Prune back by 1/2 in late winter, removing any frost damage. Avoid pruning into ’round’ shapes. Baja Fairy Duster has a lovely vase-shape when allowed to grow into its natural shape.
Hardy to 20 degrees.
Angelita Daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis formerly, Hymenoxys acaulis) is a little powerhouse in the garden. Bright yellow flowers appear throughout the entire year.
Maintenance: Clip off the spent flowers every 3 months.
Hardy to -20 degrees.
Plant in full sun in groups of 3 around boulders. Pair with Firecracker Penstemon for color contrast. Thrives along walkways in narrow areas that receive full, reflected sun.
So, I will be heading to the television studio early Tuesday morning with my sister, who will help me set up and take photos of the whole experience. I promise to share the video link for those of you who would like to watch it 🙂
**For more of my favorite ‘fuss free’ plants, check out my latest post.
The other evening, my husband and I got away for a few hours to go and see a movie. On our way, we stopped by for dinner at El Pollo Loco.
As we were leaving, I looked toward the drive-thru and saw numerous Valentine (Eremophila maculata ‘Valentine’) shrubs.
|Arizona Yellow Bells with frost damage.|
|‘Rio Bravo’ Sage needing a trim.|
I absolutely love this time of year. The weather is gorgeous and everything is in bloom. Although the afternoons can get a little hot, the mornings are still cool and a perfect time for a walk through the neighborhood.
Now before we leave on our walk, I almost always bring my camera with me, because you never know what you might see. Today, along with my husband, I brought 2 special guests with me….
|Bush Morning Glory|
|Australian Bottle Tree|
I guess it the horticulturist in me, but along with the beautiful, I tend to look at the ugly as well. Thankfully, with gardening ‘ugliness’ is usually short-lived. I can’t wait until everything is in full bloom!
Come join us for ‘Part Two’ of our spring time walk later this week….
It is so nice to be back home from my Midwest road trip. My mother and I had a wonderful time, but it is so good to be home. I think the best part was walking off the plane and seeing my husband waiting with a bouquet of flowers 🙂
I just finished pruning my Red Bird-of-Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima), taking off about 1/3 of the height. This helps to promote additional flowers in early October.
The keyword here is to prune lightly, not severely prune. By pruning carefully at this time, it will help your plants look better throughout the winter months instead of looking messy and overgrown. Light pruning will also enable your plants to produce some new growth before the weather cools down and most plants stop growing.
Another plant that this works well for is many of your Lantana species. Lantana often suffers frost damage in the winter (in zones 9 and below) and by pruning lightly, it will minimize the size of the unsightly frost damage in winter.
In general, this method of pruning works well for most summer-flowering shrubs and perennials.
If you’d like to learn more about pruning shrubs in the desert garden, I invite you to learn more about my popular online pruning workshop. I’ve helped countless people just like you learn how to maintain beautiful, flowering shrubs with pruning twice a year or less!