Archive for the ‘Senses’ Category


Autumn desert vegetable garden

October 8, 2010

Into October now, it is already getting late, but perhaps a reminder for next year–fall is the other good time to start a food garden in the desert.

You will probably not have much success with foods that need to flower and fruit, but for leafy greens, this is a great time.

Chard, spinach, beet greens, herbs, all these can still be planted in the desert in October. Of course, they will need hand watering or irrigation. But some will produce right through the winter, depending on your location.

Some will go dormant, then revive in late January and February, when the longer daylight and warmer temperatures begin to return, the time when you can begin adding your regular spring vegetables.


Choose native plants for your desert landscape

July 22, 2010

One way to figure out what plants will be suitable and attractive in your desert landscaping is to go to a nearby natural area and see what is growing wild.

Make sure you select a location that is similar to yours in exposure, dryness and altitude.

Take photos or make a list of plants you find attractive. Never dig up native plants! They are fragile and rare, and in most places it is illegal to do so.  Almost everything you will see is available in plant stores. Photos will also help you arrange your landscaping, showing which plants grow together, and how much space they need.

Then go to the web or in plant books to learn about the plants you have found, or take your photos to a local nursery that specializes in native plants, and decide which are for you.

The variety of desert plants is surprising: cacti, shrubs, vines, spring-flowering annuals, many kinds of perennials. A big virtue of native plants is that they  require little in the way of extra water and plant food, and are easy to maintain.

One thing to keep in mind about native plants–some of them grow very slowly, so it may take a while for your landscape to mature. But there is nothing to match their beauty, and their ability to attract native fauna.


Creosote bush

April 19, 2008

1. Cup your hands around the end of a creosote bush branch.
2. Gently breathe on it.
3. Inhale the scent of the desert.