Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2015

Best Roses for the Hot Dry Desert

It is hard to imagine roses blooming in the desert, but roses seem to love and thrive in the hot, dry climate.  The soil needs to be amended somewhat to accommodate the nutritional needs but just give them water and stand back and watch them grow.  Almost all types do well in the desert with a few exceptions.  I dearly love the English David Austin roses, and they do grow and bloom in Las Vegas, but not to the norm as they would in a milder climate. They do not stay small or compact but yet seem to grow huge and sometimes spindly. The tea roses are exceptional in the dry heat and Hybrid Tea love the dry heat as they do not have black spot, yes, you heard me, NO BLACK SPOT. We rarely see any pest or diseases on the roses, which is another reason for growing in the dry heat of the desert.  The desert may not be kind to human’s, but the plant world loves it.

Angel face is one of the first to bloom this year, and I would like to rename her to happy face. This rose just looks so happy in …

Essence of a Spring Cottage Garden

When I think of Cottage Gardens I invariably think a lush mixture of plants, colors, textures, art ornaments, trees, and last but not least a Garden Shed.  Finally after living in Las Vegas for 3 years and planting, tilling, adding compost, building, and planting again, I think my little Eden is taking shape.  Now mind you having a Cottage Garden in Las Vegas is no easy feat, but as with anything, a little work, a little time and a whole lot of patience and you can do it.

Las Vegas or high Desert gardening is some ways is no different from any area, plants bloom earlier than eastern gardens but they require the same ingredients, sun, water and nutrients.  The ground in high desert gardens is deplete of any nutrients, not even a worm will live here, though I do have an abundance of grubs. I have gardened in the northern state of Ohio and in the Southern state of Alabama and in both areas I hade to add compost, and other soil building ingredients. California is probably the only state…

Get a Jump on Spring with Containers

Beauty in BloomTulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are bellwethers of spring. In this simple clay bucket, a mixture of Tulips steal the show.  Prolong the life of your plantings by purchasing plants with tightly closed buds. The buds will open in a few days and color your container for two or more weeks. Long-Lasting FancyDelicate white heart-shape flowers float among the foliage of perennial bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis f. alba) while the annual cascading Diascia completes the floral pairing in this old toolbox. Perennials spring to life as container plants. After enjoying their flowers, transplant them into the garden to become a permanent part of your landscape. Scent of SpringSweetly perfumed stock revels in cool conditions. The handles on a loosely woven basket make it easy to hang this fragrant treasure where you are likely to walk by and enjoy the scent. An excellent cutting flower, stock is available in shades of white, pink, purple, red, yellow, and orange. Window Box Wi…

6 Steps to Creating a Natural Butterfly Garden

Butterflies are among the most beloved insects. Someone once called them flying flowers. They float, they flutter and they dazzle us with their colors. We relish their dance of spring. Then there’s the bad news: Because of pesticides and habitat loss, the populations of our cherished butterflies is in decline.
A few simple tips will have you on your way to creating your own butterfly habitat. Any home garden, even a container garden, can attract butterflies. The steps are simple — like most of earth’s creatures, butterflies just need food, water, sun and a safe place to have a family.

1. Use a Diversity of Plants
Butterflies, including the anise swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon) seen here, want nectar from a diversity of flowering plants. And they find the plants when they are in large blocks of color. Like a sign over a roadside diner, blocks of color say, “Hey, we’re open for lunch.” Select a variety of nectar plants for adult butterflies using these guidelines:
Select plants that are…

Cottage Garden “Must Have” Seed and Plant List

A Cottage Garden is a unique blend of plants, bulbs, seeds, annuals, perennials, bushes, and trees.  Each year I look forwarded to the new seed  and plant catalogs and I devour them eagerly.As I have mentioned in my blogs, starting your own seeds is definitely the most economical way to start a cottage garden or add to your existing garden.  Each year I add a few more plants and bulbs andtry to push the boundaries of what will grow in my high heat desert zone. Sometimes I have a hard time with some seeds germinating so I will buy plants from online nurseries. Here you will find my list of must haves for the 2015 growing season. I suggest one and all to find a few spots in your garden for one or two new roses.

Pretty Jessica.  This is a good 'old fashioned rose' for a very small garden. Its 3" flowers (petals 45) are a warm rich pink and of perfect formation; a shallow cup closely packed with petals. It has compact, repeat blooming and very short growth.Ther…