Winter Color

  Best flowers to add winter color to your outdoor spaces View this email in your browser Add Winter Flowers for a Pop of Color Winter can be a bland time in the garden. Most plants are dormant or green and your outdoor spaces can be drab. In Arizona, many days are still nice enough to spend outside. And, you can make your yard more cheery by adding some color. It doesn’t take much room to make a statement. A small planter or a few outdoor pots can create an impact. Here are some flowers that are readily available and will add color to your winter landscape. Marigolds – They can be orange or yellow and grow 15″ to 18″. They don’t require much water and they attract butterflies. They will bloom from December through May. They can take the full sun. Geraniums – These can be orange, red, purple, yellow, pink or white.  They grow 12″ to 18″ tall. They require a lot of water but are easy to grow. They like partial shade.They can bloom into June. Pansies – The colors for pansies are blue, yellow, orange, purple, white, red and pink. They become 6″ to 12″ tall. They like some sun. And,they are edible. They bloom through April and are easy to grow. Petunias – Petunias are blue, yellow, pink, purple and white.They grow from 6″ to 18″ tall. Petunias have a nice fragrance and are easy to grow. They do require a lot of water. They also attract butterflies. You can plant them now and they bloom in March, April and part of May.They do have...

What’s a plant’s real name?

  View this email in your browser Botanical Names and Why They’re Important Have you ever gone to Starbucks and requested a “coffee”? It can be difficult to order something so simple when there are so many options: black, with milk, with cream or sugar.  You can even order the really fancy stuff: Iced Half Caff Venti Ristretto Cinnamon Dolce Soy Skinny Latte, Four Pumps. This can be similar to buying plants at your local nursery. If you don’t know the correct scientific or Latin name, you might be disappointed a few years down the road when your maturing shrub is actually a very large tree. Many people ask why they can’t I use the common name? It’s because many plants have multiple common names, especially if grown in different regions. Let’s look at the sissoo tree, Dalbergia sissoo, which is also called Indian rosewood in our area. Since this tree grows in many places around the world, there are multiple common names: Indian rosewood, East Indian rosewood, dalbergia, Himalaya raintree, penny leaf tree, shisham and sissoo.  Plants can also share common names, such as ‘bird of paradise’, which can refer to a tropical bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae), a Mexican bird of paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) or the red bird of paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima). This makes it extremely difficult when shopping for plants by their common name. To make matters even more confusing, we can discuss cultivars and varieties of plant names, which are listed after the Latin name. You’d like to plant a Texas sage, but which one? There are a number of Leucophyllum frutescens, including L. frutescens var. white...

Winter Landscaping Tasks

  Winter landscaping work that makes a difference. View this email in your browser Five Winter Landscaping Maintenance Tasks To Keep Your Yard Looking Great Spring, summer, and fall are all busy seasons for landscaping.  But landscapers can often forget that there are things that can be done in the winter to help keep your landscaping looking good through the rest of the year.  Since the winter is a time when trees and plants growth slows down considerably, there is not much trimming that needs to be done.  But, don’t let this slow down your landscape crew!  There is still plenty to do and the winter is a great time to work on special projects.    Got erosion problems?  Rock jobs such as swale work can be done in the winter.  And, your landscaper will thank you for not waiting for summertime to accomplish this labor-intensive job. Perform a thorough inspection of your existing irrigation system.  Extra time not spent on trimming can be used to work on evaluating and repairing your irrigation system.  And, you’ll likely save money on your water bill once all those pesky little leaks are fixed! Have your major tree trimming done.  The branching of trees can be better seen in the winter when trees have dropped their leaves.  Mistletoe and witches broom are also easier to locate without all the leaves present.  Tree trimmers whose work has slowed down are more likely to give you a better deal, especially when you have multiple trees trimmed. Make plans now for your spring planting.  Don’t wait until February or March to start thinking about planting.  The best time...

When and how to split perennial plants

View this email in your browser Properly split perennials Did you know that you can split some perennial plants?  This can make them grow better and give you multiple plants. There are signs that indicate it may be time to split your perennials. For example, viagra if an established perennial plant produces fewer flowers or the center of the plant looks sickly while the outer edges are doing well, cialis usa it could be time to divide the plant and replant it in another bed or in a container. In our warmer climate, exposure to hot temperatures can damage divided plants, so fall is a better time to divide because it allows them to become established during the mild winter. If possible, divide perennials before cool, rainy weather is forecasted. These conditions will help the plants recover from the stress of being split and replanted. So, look at your perennial plants now to think about which ones may need to be divided in the fall. If the ground is dry when you plan to divide the plant, prepare the area by thoroughly soaking the soil around the plant. Let it drain. Note that some plants are best left undivided. These include monkshood, false indigo, bleeding heart, lupine, peony and poppy to name some. Follow these three steps to properly split a perennial. Step 1 Dig up the entire plant. Step 2 Place the plant on a tarp in a shady spot and observe the roots. Some perennials have roots that separate easily, while others are tangled and more difficult. Some have fleshy roots that will need to be sliced into sections....

Are you looking to attract hummingbirds to your yard or open area?

Planting to Attract Hummingbirds Did you know that hummingbirds are attracted to particular flowers? “Hummingbird favorites usually but not always have long, viagra buy tubular blossoms that are red, discount viagra orange, yellow or blue, especially blue Salvia species; the shape limits insect access to the nectar inside. Hummers like blossoms with lots of concentrated nectar, preferring sucrose.” (from the hummingbird society) Hummingbirds like to eat insects that live in your yard and can be found around hummingbird plants. So, it’s a good idea not to use pesticides around plants that you want to draw hummingbirds to. Here are some of the plants that can be found in our desert environment that hummingbirds are attracted to: Flame Honeysuckle (Anisacanthus quadrifidus) – 3’x4′ sprawling plant. Deciduous with orange-red flowers that bloom from summer to fall. Baja Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica) – 5’x5′ upright and open plant. Semievergreen with red powderpuffs that bloom from the spring to fall. Red Justicia (Justicia candicans) – 3’x3′ sprawling plant. Evergreen with bright red flowers that bloom from the fall to spring.   Orange Bells (Tecoma hybrid) – 8’x5′ upright shrub. Semievergreen with orange trumpetlike clusters that bloom year-round in frost-free weather. Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia Leucantha) – 4’x4′ rounded shrub. Semievergreen with purple velvety flower that bloom from late spring to fall. These are just a few of the plants that attract hummingbirds. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has a great little brochure that has a more detailed list of hummingbird plants and other ways to attract hummingbirds to your ourdoor spaces. You can find the brochure here. If you have questions about hummingbird plants or need help with...

Spring landscaping tips

DESERT LIFE & LANDSCAPING  Springtime Urban Desert Landscaping tips It’s spring in the Sonoran desert and we’re having temperatures in the 80’s.  Winter is gone and summer will be here before you know it. This time of year gives us a window of opportunity to get some spring cleaning of our landscapes done and to evaluate what we have and how we can improve our outdoor spaces. Here are some spring landscaping projects that can be done this time of year. IRRIGATION INSPECTION & REPAIRS Check your irrigation system for leaks and make needed repairs. Change the times on your automatic irrigation clocks to account for warmer weather. Flush out irrigation lines. Replace any broken sprinkler heads or emitters that are not working properly. LAWNS Time to start transitioning to summer Bermuda grass. Cut lawns lower to allow Bermuda grass to start growing since it has been dormant all winter. Increase irrigation to lawns. Add seed in bare areas where you want it to fill in. Aerate and/or dethatch lawns as needed. PLANTING March and April are excellent months to plant in Arizona. Always remember to consider the mature size of a plant or tree when planting and “plant the right plant in the right place.” Head to the local nursery to check out what’s available. Think about what you want from your plant or tree – shade, viagra generic color, low maintenance, to attract wildlife, etc. Native and desert-adapted plants do much better than other plants in our harsh environment. Remember to get outside and enjoy our spring desert weather before the heat sets in. We live in a...