There are a number of shrubs in our region which newcomers to the area may not see as desirable for the landscape. Their flowers are not showy, their leaves may be small or leathery, or they may accumulate dead wood during dry times. If you are not accustomed to living in dry areas and have not seen all the benefits of such plants in your yard, you could easily think these shrubs as expendable when planning your yard, or in doing firewise treatments.
Ethnobotany is the study of the relationship between plants and people. We tend to think about this as the relationship between people of the past and regional native species, but there is no reason you cannot create your own edible landscape design for your home yard. A multitude of species have been used medicinally, there are a number of good references for this. Here however, I have selected a few common plants that are good to eat.
Outside my office, the blustery winds of winter blow, and the earth here in our southwestern mountains is fully saturated — abundant moisture has fallen this year. Soon however, the dry winds will come and fire season will be upon us. Fire danger in the west is very real and with our changing climate, often catastrophic. It is appropriate to plan and prepare.
Arguably, some of the most beautiful shrubs in our Central Arizona Highlands are the Manzanitas, a name that refers to the tiny apple-like fruit of these plants; in Spanish “Manzanita” translates to “little apple.” Our two lovely species are unique to the southwest’s Central Highlands region.
Whether you use containers for gardening in small spaces, to avoid poor conditions in the soil, to minimize vegetation near the home, or to create highlights and add changing artistic flare to your outdoor spaces, growing plants in containers is an excellent addition to any landscape. With varied plant selections that are appropriate to our region, some good planting mix, brightly colored or otherwise interesting pots, these mini-gardens can be a fun and beautiful addition to your patio and entry.
A backyard habitat is not difficult or expensive to create or maintain. With an ever-changing palette of colors and textures, along with the watchable wildlife you will attract, this garden will be a fantastic landscape addition. It will bring beauty and joy to your yard.
Green building principals guided the creation of an exceptionally beautiful, functional home and landscape that truly blend with the boulders and ecology of the surrounding natural environment.
When spring weather arrives, perennial flowers, even after an extremely dry winter, bloom throughout the natural areas of the Highlands. After the rain of our warm summers, the flower diversity explodes! Along with the flowers of these seasons come a fantastic variety of insect pollinators.