Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southwestern Deserts

June, 2007
Regional Report

Books

Wildlife
Arizona Wildlife Views (Arizona Game & Fish, 1999; $7) is a compilation of the most requested articles from their magazine of the same name. This bargain book covers birds, hummingbirds, reptiles, amphibians, bats, and game species. There are entertaining but still authoritative descriptions of habits and habitat, as well as beautiful close-up photos with detail to aid in identification. The nighttime shots of bats are particularly intriguing, since most of us are unlikely to get that close to a bat face. The book is available through their Web site at: http://www.azgfd.gov.

Favorite or New Plant

Brittlebush
A Sonoran Desert native shrub, brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) is a reliable nectar- and seed-producer for native birds and adds a beautiful silvery foliage color to the landscape. Growing 3 to 4 feet tall and wide, it takes full sun and reflected heat. Very drought tolerant, it can survive on rain alone, but looks and blooms better in a landscape situation with an occasional deep watering. Yellow daisy flowers stand above the plant on 6- to 12-inch stems from winter to spring. It self-sows after rains, and the seedlings can be transplanted elsewhere in the landscape. A great plant for a low maintenance landscape.

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