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Hot Gardens Newsletter:
Spring 2007

List of previous newsletters by month

Wake Up Call.
 The sudden, early hot spell in March is Mother Nature's call to gardening action.  Will the weather return to normal or stay too hot or too cold?   Not even the weathermen seem to know.  So start adding organic mulch to your desert garden flower beds today to enrich the soil.  The chances are good that your plants have already awakened from winter and are hungry -- so fertilize them.

Color duets.  We have recently seen hedges created from two different shrubs and the effect can be quite charming and interesting.  One hedge was a row of sturdy, very fast-growing Japanese privets (Ligustrum japonica) with upright Lantana (Lantana camera) planted between every third privet shrub.  The privet's white (and smelly) flowers appear only in Spring; the lantana, as we all know, blooms for months on end.  Please note that the Lantana is not the low-growing Lantana montevidensis, commonly used as a ground cover.  Be sure you ask for the upright one.

lantana camera hedge A mixed planting of Lantana camera  makes a very  colorful hedge that blooms for months and months on end.

In another hedge, the gardener had planted black-eyed Susan vine (Thungergia alata) which decked the tall privet hedge with brilliant orange and yellow flowers.  One nice thing about this fast-growing vine is that, in cold climates, it will die back with the first frost each year.  This allows you to change your mind and your color scheme annually, if you wish.  Perhaps the following year you could plant a blue morning glory (Ipomoea) to add color to your all-green hedge.

Summer Color.  Some time ago we suggested plants that will bloom in summer after most desert plants have gone into summer dormancy.  Here is that list again and now is the time to plant them.

1. Lantana montevidensis.  2. Oleander.  3. Roses. 4. Crape myrtle.  5. Sunflowers.  6. Mexican Bird of Paradise.

New Online Garden Tours.  You will find descriptions and photos of three botanic gardens to tour in Tucson and one in Phoenix on the Hot Gardens website.  The Tucson Botanic Garden has been selected as one of the best "Secret Gardens" in the United States.  We applaud that choice!

tucson botanic garden This ramada, partially painted cobalt blue, is part of the historical garden section of the Tucson Botanical Garden.  When you visit it, you will see 16 demonstration gardens for residences -- many of which utilize ramadas, a traditional architectural structure of the Southwest.
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See an online preview of
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Clematis is just one of
many beautiful vines that
thrive in hot climates.

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Our 9 Most Popular Hot Gardens Newsletters: 

1.  Flowering plants that reliably bloom in scorching mid-summer heat.

2.  Australian plants and trees that grow well in hot, dry climates.

3.  Weather-proofing palms for winter; cold weather palm trees.

4.  A white garden for night time viewing.

5.  Topiary can be easy to create and add charm to your garden.

6.  Techniques to combat death by heat exhaustion of plants in pots.

7.  Cactus as security barriers for your property.

8.  South African aloes for brilliant late winter color in your garden.

9.  Frugal gardening tips to save you money.


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