Desert Design!

by Paul,"The Wise Gardener"

Ever-present Mountains are the true "star" of the Desert Southwest!So many residents who are new to the Desert Southwest try to re-create their environments they moved from back East, or from the Midwest. Watering of high maintenance lawns, satisfying those water-hungry annuals "like back home", planting apple, pecan & peach trees, and basically, working against "Mother Nature", These folks are really "sweating it out" when all they should do is work with their new, arid & exotically beautiful, stark environment!  Planting with xeriscaping in mind, is an idea that isn't just wise, it is a necessity, as water travelling down cement viaducts becomes more scare and more expensive in the 21st Century! Compatible & low maintenance Cactus and Aloe Garden!The desert is spectacular enough to "stand on its own!" If you look at things from that perspective, you'll surely want to landscape differently!  Paul, "The Wise Gardener" guarantees it, friends!

How many neighbourhoods in Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, and El Paso look like subdivisions in Chicago, Indianapolis or Philadelphia?  Not only are these yards using way too much of that ever limited resource: water, but they flagrantly defy to work in union with a land of unique, stark beauty, jagged-edged topography, and intense natural geological colourations.

A colourful Desert Southwest Garden combining Xeriscaped specimens of Succulents & Cact!The land is beauty itself; it does not need our "help" to artificially recreate an environment trying to pretend to be a replica of a more humid Eastern community, beyond the Rockies!

It is for this reason that Paul, "The Wise Gardener", revisits in a timely fashion, the return to appropriate "Desert Design"!  

Desert Design works with nature!  Its' increased usage of Cacti, succulents, aloes, native grasses, and other Sonoran Desert natives (and minimal watering needs), allow their champions A natural cactus & succulent garden: little watering required and "at home" in the Desert Southwest!to enjoy gardening, again!

Maintenance is reduced to occasional weeding, spreading of mulches like: pebbles, rocks, and native grasses, and watching the sunsets over the ever-present, ever-looming, starkly rock-strewn mountains (casting a rainbow-coloured glow over the landscape!)

View these wondrous photographs, courtesy of Melba Levick, from the book: "Desert Gardens" by Gary Lyons.  Agaves: Varieties americana & victoria!  the embodiments of exotic beauty and ease of careAfter enjoying them, look around YOUR yard and see how you, too, can bring back the "natural" to our beloved and "unique-in-all-the-world" Desert Southwestern USA landscape!  The ideas that you might gain from them can afford you the opportunity to re-think your gardening endeavours in this truly special part of the world!  You, Southwestern gardeners, are the luckiest gardeners, in "The Wise Gardener's" opinion, on the planet!



Dracena draco, agaves, & sempervivens clustering on a Southwestern Desert hillside!  Simply, splendid & natural beauty!


Paul, The Wise Gardener! Paul, The Wise Gardener

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Paul is a tropical plant specialist with a special love for palms & cacti.  He is an horticulturist and gardening lecturer living in Florida. 

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