Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southwestern Deserts

December, 2011
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Edible Garden Tour
If you're considering swapping your lawn for a landscape brimming with tasty edibles, take this tour for ideas. Yards in the Arcadia area in urban Phoenix feature a mix of stone-fruit trees, espaliered apple trees, nut trees, vegetable and herb gardens, berry hedges, pollinator gardens of mixed beds of flowers and edibles, composting systems, gray water ponds, and strutting chickens. Homeowners will be on hand to answer questions. The tour is Sunday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Purchase tickets ($15) and find more details at

Tool or Gardening Product

Arils Removal Tool (ART)
Botanically speaking, pomegranate seeds are called arils, and using that word no doubt worked better from a naming strategy for this kitchen tool. The ART allows cleaning pomegranates to be relatively simple and absolutely spatter free. ART has three components: a plastic bowl to catch the seeds, a plastic grid that rests on top of the bowl and holds half the pomegranate, and a rubber dome that fits over the pomegranate half. All you do is slice the fruit in half. Set it face down on the grid. Cover it with the dome. Whack the dome with a large spoon and the arils drop through the grid and into the bowl. It may be necessary to remove some of the papery membrane and then rewhack to get all of the arils, but this tool certainly kept my kitchen area free of the usual juice spatters! The ART is available at various online sources.


Today's site banner is by EscondidoCal and is called "Water Hibiscus"