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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 Lorie Bowlin Friedmann on April 8, 2013 at 1:34pm

I agree Deborah, your memorial garden is a wonderful tribute to your friend. Thanks for sharing the pictures too. It looks like you had great helpers clearing and putting it together. I like the post construction for shade - I may "borrow" it. I've always used brickwall ladder mesh, hooped over my beds & covered w/burlap blankets held w/ clothespins. As Grant said, "professional looking;" and I need something more permenant. How tall are they from the soil level or trough lip?

Stump removal is a bear! Wished I had a piano mover when we moved our troughs. Mine are 2' X 8' & it took both of us lumbering to move it w/o soil! Can't wait to see how yours are doing this season. Your memorial garden will have the true spirit gardening and friendship.

I need to have my husband help me take pix of my vegetable troughs to post and share.

Grant, again your garden pictures inspire me! That bearded iris is beautiful, the blue color incredible! I've had some yellow irises in my past garden given to me. Hmm...gave me another future idea, I'd forgotten how nice the folliage is after they bloom.

 Did you plant the Shirley Poppies from seed? I planted some basic Icelandic Poppies  from Home Depot this Spring in pots on my front porch w/ some violas. I love their delicate petals .

Thanks to a previous post Grant, last weekend we traveled to the Phx Botanical Garden. The beautiful desert is in bloom there...lots of lovely color and the weather was great! Wrapped up the afternoon with lunch on Mill Ave.

Thanks for all your pix. You've both helped me with desert gardening here in Phoenix, which is a bit different from desert gardening in southern AZ.

Soak up this super weather while we can!


Comment by Grant, Scottsdale,Arizona Zone 9 on April 7, 2013 at 6:29pm

Wonderful pics, Deborah, thanks for taking the time and effort to share them.  It's lovely to see so many friends and family working together to make a nice memorial garden like this.  I'm sure Karen is looking down smiling.  Removing that stump looks like a big job!  The end garden is really lovely and quite professional looking!  Thanks for sharing this with us.

Thanks too for the nice comments on the 'Batik' iris.  Bearded iris are just so easy here I've gone a bit overboard (so expect pics, hah!).  No, this garden has never had Bermuda grass, no has my other garden here in Scottsdale.  I've heard it's a real BEAR to get rid of once it's present.  

Okay, time to get back out in to the garden for a bit more weekend fun.  Happy gardening all--I'll leave you for now with a quick pic of one of several Shirley poppies blooming in the garden. Another easy spring blooming annual.  All the best!

Comment by Deborah Hamel (Z9a-9b Arizona) on April 7, 2013 at 2:01pm

Karen's Memorial Garden event went off without a hitch yesterday. Here are some snapshots of the effort and the wonderful people who made it all possible. We all loved Karen so much and miss her joy filled laugh. She seemed to be with us, perhaps laughing playfully at our sweaty brows.

Karen's Memorial Trough Garden preparation began with removing a mesquite stump. Reed and Terry worked with pick, ax and shovel for hours, were victorious and free of injury except for sore muscles and a few blisters.

Reed, Terry and Karen's husband, Steve, loading the semi-filled trough onto a piano mover.

Blake, Reed, Terry and Steve hoisted the troughs onto the bed of Blake's pick-up truck. All went well for the 1/4 mile drive. Now time to set, fill and plant the garden.

Here is the beginning stage of developing the garden. We want the grass to grow, and there are some decorations to be added. A dedication is still in the planning stages as is a seating area.

Bill and Jeannie brought a tomato plant for the garden, as you can see, it is happy in it's new home.

After the work was done, we had a picnic lunch near the garden. Good company, good thoughts and Karen remembered.

Comment by Deborah Hamel (Z9a-9b Arizona) on April 7, 2013 at 1:24pm

Grant-Did you ever have Bermuda grass in your yard? If so, how did you get rid of it to grow such a grass-free garden? I would love to be able to plant iris and other bulbs in the ground, but each time I have tried, the Bermuda grass chokes the roots and the plants die. That is a big reason I container garden.

Again, BEAUTIFUL flowers. The "Batik" visual is popular among quilters, too. This is the most beautiful blue color I think I have ever seen. Thank you so much for sharing the images of your garden with us.

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!



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