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Arizona gardeners! 5 Replies

Started by Kris AZ. Last reply by Douglas Plotkin Aug 16, 2010.

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Comment by Grant, Scottsdale,Arizona Zone 9 on April 7, 2013 at 1:00pm

Nice to see all of the new posts everyone, keep them coming.  Beautiful freesias, Deborah!  One of my favorite flowers too.  Sorry to hear about your friend's passing last autumn--how nice you're going to plant a memorial garden for her.  That's nice.  We'd love before, during and after pics of course.

I hope everyone is enjoying this stupendous weather this week!  Here are a few pics from my garden just for fun, starting with the bearded iris 'Batik'.  Bearded iris are so easy here I've gone a bit overboard, but why not, right?  They're drought tolerant, eager bloomers, and their foliage blends in with leafy plants and with cacti/succulents too.  Also adding a pic of Aloe rudikope 'Little Gem' in bloom and a fun nasturtium too.  

More pics in my new April 2013 garden photo album too.  Happy gardening!  

Comment by Deborah Hamel (Z9a-9b Arizona) on March 29, 2013 at 4:01pm

Lorie - I have been concentrating on tomato, eggplant and herbs in the spring troughs. I like moss rose for colorful fillers during the hottest of summer days. The winter trough harvest includes cabbage, onions and hearty herbs like dill, parsley, lemon verbena, rosemary and a few others. Each morning I pick asparagus spears and spring onions to include in our breakfast scramble. Last summer, my son who loves peppers, was home, so I planted Thai hot and other hot peppers. They were so fruitful, that we dried peppers for weeks. This summer he will be overseas studying, so I planted one jalapeno plant.

My dear friend of nearly 20 years passed away unexpectedly last fall. She and I gardened each spring, and last year my son, my friend and I set up a 3-trough garden for her. She loved the fresh herbs and salad greens for her family table. So, her surviving spouse agreed to let me have the troughs to set up a memorial garden at my home. I am so honored by his gesture. So, before my son leaves for the summer, we are going to have a garden creation party in her honor. I would love to share photos of our progress with you all.

Happy Arizona Gardening!

Comment by Lorie Bowlin Friedmann on March 29, 2013 at 1:09am

Deborah thanks for the link. I've been to Southwest Gardeners and am on their email list. Since moving into our house in Peoria, I've had a time finding the right enough hours of sun for my troughs. I think I've finally figured out which direction to place them in my shallow, long yard. I hate to ask my husband to move one of them for the 3rd time! Never had this problem.

I've planted Anaheim, Poblano, Jalapeno, & Nu-Mex Peppers, San Marzano, Jubilee, Rio Grande, Tiny Tim Tomatoes, & a mystery volunteer, Sunburst Pattypan, & small variety zucchini squashes. In a giant pot from last year I've planted Asian cukes similar to the EuroFresh Persians sold at Trader Joes - I've had good luke with them. The Beans wouldn't germinate in one trough, but got a few peas (?) As they say location, location, location!

Grant, I love the Desert Botanical Garden, though it's at the opposite side of the valley. I'd be more involved as a volunteer if it were closer. We went to last year's plant sale, missed it this year. So, do you grow any rare fruit trees? We're got lovely fragrant blooms from our citrus trees this year still in their giant containers.

Your southeast corner garden looks lovely; it's encouraging me to get my yard going. We've put our backyard landscaping on hold, but there's always a few things to plant to spruce it up.

Thanks for the beautiful garden pictures! Deborah your freesias are so pretty. Have you ever bought bulbs from the 99 Cent Store? A few years ago I tried them and was pleasantly surprised I had Gladiolas and Grape Hyacinths pop up. And boy did I learn my lesson with lemon grass when they overtook my garden! They now only live in pots.

As always, thanks for garden conversations and enjoy this great cool Spring Weather!


Comment by Deborah Hamel (Z9a-9b Arizona) on March 29, 2013 at 12:12am

Here is the South West Gardener's website link for workshops, and the shop is a fun destination for unique gardening enhancements. Nice and informed owners and staff. Peek in the shop then have lunch on the patio...A wonderful break!

Comment by Deborah Hamel (Z9a-9b Arizona) on March 28, 2013 at 11:18pm

Lorie-Mary Washington is the variety of asparagus I have that do well here. I tried the purple variety, but the heat was just too much for them. Perhaps with shade cloth they might do better.

What are you planting in your troughs?

Grant-You have a large space and have made the most of it. What a gardener. What a photo! Thank you.

I had some extra freesia bulbs after dividing and re-potting the 3 year old bulbs, so I stuck them around the base of my lemon grass plant.

I learned the hard way how invasive lemon grass can be, so now I plant it in a strong pot, then plant the pot in the larger container. So far it is working, and this is year 2 of the experiment. Anyway, these are the flowers from the extra bulbs.

I didn't know that the color of the freesia will dictate the fragrance. Last weekend in Lowe's, they had yellow, orange, purple-blue, red and pink, no white. I tried the sniff test and found each color had a consistent and unique fragrance! I like the pink, white and purple blossom fragrances. I have white in my front patio container.

Comment by Grant, Scottsdale,Arizona Zone 9 on March 28, 2013 at 8:43am

Hi everyone, yes, MORE amazing gardening weather this week.  I hope everyone is getting outside and enjoying it!  I have more relatives arriving this week and am looking forward to lots of fun activities with them.  Great about your asparagus and onions, Deborah, keep us posted!  I hope you get out and get some gardening in, Lorie, keep us posted on that front as well. 

I know the Desert Botanical Garden's amazing spring plant sale was last weekend, as was the Rare Fruit Growers' club sale (I'm a member of both, oink oink oink, LOL).  I hope folks post updates about any other upcoming garden activities too. 

I'm sure I'll visit the Desert Botanical Garden with my houseguests this week, plus the Boyce Thompson Arboretum too (I'm a member there as well--for the low membership cost I get in free all year as much as I want, plus discounts on the gift shop and plant sales and special event invitations too--what can I say, I'm cheap, hah!).  The arboretum always has a nice spring wildflower display. 

Here's a quick pic of the southeast corner of my garden--lots flowering winter annuals, citrus, aloes, cacti and adapted shrubs.  Nothing fancy, but fun overall.

Happy gardening all!  Enjoy this virtually perfect weather!


Comment by Lorie Bowlin Friedmann on March 18, 2013 at 11:53am

Gorgeous bluebells Grant! I grew them in Tucson and plan to have an area in my backyard garden for some native wildflowers. Can't grow them in front due to HOA. Deborah, which variety of Asparagus are you growing here. I'd grown some in Tucson that I got from fellow master gardeners when they were moving a bed of them. I took them home and they did very well in a giant pot.

Yes, this weather now is the best here in our desert, as evident of the snowbirds who've flocked here.

Itching to get out and work in the garden; have had to put my gardening on hold. Though, I've managed to get veg seedlings started a month ago that need planted in my trough containers. Would usually have garden planted by now, hope I beat the heat.

Enjoy this wonderful weather and gardening.

PS- Anyone know of any Gardening Events going on soon? I'm linked via email with the Urban Farm in Phoenix & Simple Farm in Scottsdale. I'm always looking to meet fellow gardeners and swap info.

Comment by Deborah Hamel (Z9a-9b Arizona) on March 18, 2013 at 11:14am

You are so right, Grant. The weather has been wonderful!

The asparagus in my garden is sending up shoots faster than we can use them. This is their forth year, so I am harvesting regularly. St. Patrick's Day breakfast for the family included fresh farm eggs from a friend, asparagus-green onions-spinach directly from the garden and fresh herbs, also from the garden. Ten minutes from in the ground to in the pan, then to the table. There is nothing more rewarding from the kitchen than the full-bodied flavors and crisp textures of freshly picked produce.

The Iitoi or Papago onions are going wild in the gardens! Is anyone else growing them? I have been reluctant to taste them until now. At first there were 5, and now there are 49+, time to try them.

Have a great garden week everyone!

Comment by Grant, Scottsdale,Arizona Zone 9 on March 16, 2013 at 6:17pm

How amazing is this weather, everyone??  I hope you're loving it as much as I am.  I just had a wonderful warm long session out in the garden and am looking forward to more this evening and tomorrow.  Here are a couple of pics just for fun.  Thanks for the nice comments on the earlier pics.  Happy gardening, Arizonans!

Desert bluebells, Phacelia campanularia, such an easy semi-domesticated annual native:

Gladiolus tristis, a VERY fragrant gladiolus that grows in winter, blooms in late winter/early spring, and disappears into dormancy for summer.  A single corm has become a big clump in my little garden.  Flowers are amazingly fragrant at night and in the morning: 

Comment by Deborah Hamel (Z9a-9b Arizona) on March 14, 2013 at 1:53pm

Another inspiring photo of your beautiful garden, Grant. Thank you so much for the image composition heads up.


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