The Q&A Archives: I grow dirt!

Question: Hi I live in Southwest Tucson...5 acres of desert. I would like to make a small backyard sitting area with desert friendly plants (flowering) but no grass or cactus. Where do I start?

Answer: Sounds as though you're really interesting in having a beautiful yard. If you want a guide to print out, go to the following website from Arizona State University: It's 15 pages and very complete. If you'd just like a few ideas, here are favorites in my Tucson area garden: 10 annuals to plant: African daisy, gazania, geranium, lobelia, French marigold, petunia, phlox, Shirley poppy, snapdragon and sweet pea. 10 perennials to plant: blackfoot daisy, carnation, columbine, globe mallow, gaura, hollyhock, penstemon, ruellia, salvia and statice. 10 wildflowers to plant: bladderpod, California poppy, desert bluebell, desert marigold, desert sunflower, gaillardia, justicia, Mexican gold poppy, owl's clover and tidy tips. 10 flowering bulbs to plant around Nov. 1: anemone, Bermuda buttercup, butterfly iris, cape tulip, crocus, daffodil, Dutch iris, hyacinth, lady tulip and ranunculus. Depending on the weather, they may bloom from January to March. Best wishes with your landscape!

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