New Year’s resolution: fill a landscape hole

Seasons

This new year, you’re probably already thinking about what you’d like to accomplish in 2015. Here’s my challenge: do something for your landscape!

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young Spanish dagger

If you’re like me, there is probably a drip irrigation emitter somewhere in your yard with no plant. As in, the plant died and never got replaced. It is so easy to find a plant and fill in that empty spot. The water is already there, no extensive landscape work required. You can even do something as simple as making a cutting of prickly pear and putting it in the ground. (You’ll have a slightly higher success rate if you root it in a pot first).

Perhaps you have a hole somewhere and you’d like to try something new! Do you need more bushes to fill in the backbone of your landscape? Maybe a new focal point plant like a Spanish dagger? Perhaps your empty spot is small and you’d like a hedgehog cactus that is unassuming until it blooms.

Here are some plants I would love to find and try out in my yard.

chocolateflower

Chocolate flower, a native wildflower

candelilla

Candelilla, a waxy-stemmed grass-like succulent

If we have some more pleasant weather this week, get outside and enjoy working on your landscape!

Happy New Year!

Woolly butterfly bush

Toughest drought-tolerant plants for your desert garden

Plant selection, Plants

In order to maximize the number of plants in your garden without overloading your drip system, you may end up planting things that you expect to survive on their own. Luckily, there are some un-prissy plants that can do this. These survivors deserve a medal, instead of being overlooked and under-appreciated. After all, this is the desert! When I moved to Arizona, the house I bought had been vacant for two years and some of the plants in the yard were still alive. That is the kind of landscaping I want.

Trees

Natives: Foothills palo verde, Ironwood, Joshua tree

Non-natives: Catclaw acacia, Whitethorn acacia, Elephant tree (frost sensitive), Smoke tree.

Shrubs

Creosote bush, Desert holly, Four wing saltbush, Jojoba, Las Vegas buckwheat, Limber bush, Mormon tea, Pink fairy duster, Shadscale saltbush, Warnock condalia, White bursage, Yerba santa

Woolly butterfly bush

Woolly butterfly bush

Wildflowers, agaves, yuccas, others

Bahia, Desert sunflower, Prickly poppy, Variegated century plant, Bear grass, Banana yucca, Our Lord’s candle yucca, Candelilla, Slipper plant, Bush muhly grass, Medicinal aloe