Hot Gardens Newsletter: October 2005
List of previous newsletters by
October is it -- the best time to plant if you live in the
Northern Hemisphere. In the natural environment seeds which
have been scattered by Fall winds begin to take root if they
have lodged in soil that is agreeable to them. Over winter,
the roots will grow and the plant will be ready for an
above-ground growth spurt come Spring. So do not put it off
one more week. Amend your soil and plant now.
The Days of Our
Gardens. Keeping a garden diary with regular
entries about changes in a garden has a long, long
history. It is a wonderful way to chart the growth of
plants and conditions in a specific garden. If you are
interested in establishing your own online garden diary,
you may find that Google's Blogger programming -- which
is online and free-- could be an excellent resource for
setting it up.
Lawn Cover Up.
Once again we think it may be a good time to re-think your
lawn and perhaps convert part of it with attractive,
water-wise shrubs as ground covers.
For example, the
redolens 'Desert Carpet' endures drought, heat,
poor soil and still produces dazzlingly bright yellow
flowers in Spring. A single plant grows to 2 feet tall
and 12 feet wide.
||Another utterly reliable
Lantana, which blooms for
months on end in summer in a wide range of colors,
from bright yellow to cerise pink to deep purple.
Imagine your front yard transformed into a field of
brilliant hot pink or blazing red flowers! One
Lantana will grow to 2 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet
wide. Trim it back in mid-winter.
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Yet a third choice is the
Dalea greggii, the evergreen
Trailing Indigo Bush.
This Southwestern native grows in a mound-shape to 1 1/2
feet tall and spreads to 6 feet wide. In Spring you
can count on clusters of purple flowers (in a color which
gives the plant its common name: 'Indigo Bush') among the
fine green foliage. It takes blistering heat and needs
very little water.
Another suggestion is the
Eriogononum fasciculatum polifolium -- wheww, what a botanic
name!! -- also known as
The 1 to 2 foot tall 'Theodore Payne' hybrid is good for
erosion control on slopes. It spreads to 4 feet wide and
blooms from Spring to Autumn with pink or white flower
For a full page with
photos of a front yard that has been replaced with gorgeous