The Q&A Archives: what are the best bulbs/vines to grow for a full look?

Question: I have been trying to create the perfect garden to sit out and enjoy the yard for 3 years. Finally I'm up for the challenge. What kinds of plants can I purchase to create a full looking garden (I love how some have an abundance of flowers coming out of each other). I want tall and I want them to cover landscapes of dirt/grass.

Answer: In your desert area, you may not be able to achieve a tropical garden, but you can certainly have a lush and colorful one. Some of the plants recommended for your area are those that are growing at the Living Desert Botanical Garden in Palm Desert. To see these plants close up and to help you decide which ones you like, why not visit the garden? Here's what they recommend:
Palo blanco - Acacia willardiana
Copperleaf - Acalypha californica
Golden head - Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus
Century plant - Agave americana
Desert agave - Agave deserti
Twin-flowered agave - Agave geminiflora
Havard agave - Agave havardiana
Shin-digger agave - Agave lechuguilla
Octopus agave - Agave vilmoriniana
Canyon ragweed - Ambrosia ambrosioides
Goosefoot bursage - Ambrosia chenopodifolia
Triangle-leaved bursage - Ambrosia deltoidea
Burro bush - Ambrosia dumosa
Wooly-fruited bursage - Ambrosia eriocentra
Magdalena bursage - Ambrosia magdalenae
Desert honeysuckle - Anisacanthus thurberi
Coral vine - Antigonon leptopus
Golden columbine - Aquilegia chrysantha
California sagebrush - Artemisia californica
Sand sagebrush - Artemisia filifolia
Coachwhip milkweed ? Asclepias albicans
Milkweed - Asclepias subulata
Squaw waterweed - Baccharis sergiloides
Desert marigold - Baileya multiradiata
Cow-foot orchid tree ? Bauhinia lunaroides(congesta)
Desert barberry - Berberis haematocarpa
Agarita - Berberis trifoliata
Chocolate flower - Berlandiera lyrata
Mexican Blue palm - Brahea armata
Butterfly bush - Buddleja marrubifolia
Copal - Bursera hindsiana
Elephant tree - Bursera microphylla
Elephant tree/Copalquin/Torote blanco - Pachycormus discolor
Mexican bird-of-paradise - Caesalpinia mexicana
Red bird-of-paradise - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Baja fairy duster - Calliandra californica
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Coue?s cassia - Cassia covesii
Desert hackberry - Celtis pallida
Desert willow - Chilopsis linearis
Chitalpa - X Chitalpa tashkentensis
Damianita - Chrysactinia mexicana
Black-banded rabbitbrush - Chrysothamnus paniculatus
Bladderpod ? Cleome (Isomeris) arborea
Bitter candalia - Condalia globosa
Texas olive - Cordia boissieri
Little leaf cordia - Cordia parvifolia
Foxtail cactus - Escobaria (Coryphantha) vivipara alversonii
Baby bonnets/Coursetia - Coursetia glandulosa
Coyote melon - Cucurbita palmata
Bat faced cuphea - Cuphea llavea
Sago palm - Cycas revoluta
Cycads - Cycas Species
Baja dalea - Dalea bicolor orcuttiana
Black dalea - Dalea frutescens
Trailing smoke bush - Dalea greggii
Dye weed ? Psorothamnus (Dalea) emoryi
Bush dalea - Dalea pulchra
There are hundreds of other possibilities.

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