To get the Christmas spirit before I had set up my tree, I made this branch arrangement from Mesquite branch trimmings. The branches sat in the yard, awaiting our next evening by the fire. Instead, I rescued them and arranged them in a sturdy vase. I had to make sure the stems were long enough, and tried to arrange without getting too close to the spines. I filled the vase with some rock from my yard to keep it stable. Then I hung some inexpensive ornaments. I like it!
Southwestern Christmas decoration: Mesquite branch in a vase
Here’s a sunset enjoyed from our driveway. Jojoba in the foreground and Queen Palm in back. I love our winters and feel just as Christmas-y with warm days and light strand-wrapped saguaros.
Arizona sunset in December
We put up our tree, a live pine cut here in Arizona. We’ve enjoyed some Charlie Brown style trees in our time here in Arizona, but each tree has been truly beautiful in its unique way. I like this ornament, and the message to remember Christ. Thinking of our Savior and feeling His Spirit brings Christmas to me.
So…Merry Christmas! May you feel joy and peace in this wonderful season. For more inspiration, see what a Savior means to me at mormon.org.
Now is the time of year to plant or prune roses. Although roses are not native to the southwest, they can survive the heat. They are also an all-time favorite plant.
If you would like to include roses in your landscape, they will need a more frequent watering schedule than native plants. If you have an irrigation line already on a more frequent schedule, that may determine where you put a rose. Also consider planting it in the shade and on an eastern or northern exposure.
HGTV posted an article about growing roses in the southwest here.
University of Arizona also published an easy to read introduction to roses here. They include a list of favorite varieties for the southwest. If you’re shopping for a rose, consider these:
Mr. Lincoln rose
- Mr. Lincoln – a deep red tea rose with fragrant blossoms
- Saint Patrick – a yellow tea rose with a hint of chartreuse
- Marilyn Monroe – a pale apricot shrub rose
- Julia Child – a butter yellow floribunda
- Peace – a classic tea with creamy center and pink edges
- Fragrant Cloud – a coral orange tea
- Double Delight – a dark pink and white multicolored tea
- Rainbow Knock Out – a pink shrub rose
- Sally Holmes – salmon to white climbing rose
- Gemini – cream and pink multicolored tea rose with well-shaped blossoms