Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Southwestern Deserts
June, 2004
Regional Report

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A few missing blocks adds charm to this privacy wall. I bet my friend's mail carrier enjoys a break from stuffing the typical rows of mailboxes, too!

Hole In The Wall Garden

The car dealer's time and temperature sign flashed 104 degrees as I merged onto the freeway this morning. That's downright ridiculous and seems to bode ill for a long, hot summer.

I think it's unpleasant to do any "heavy lifting" in the garden when temperatures are that high. I maintain the plants that are already growing during the cool (relatively speaking), early morning hours and will wait until fall to dig and plant. Even my compost pile is in resting mode. I let the pink trumpet vine clamber all over it, as its foliage shades it and helps maintain at least a bit of moisture. I like the look of an enormous green blob in the backyard too!

I haven't gotten into sync with triple digits yet, but I don't let the heat stop me from thinking about gardening. Summer in the desert is the perfect time to dig out folders of gardening ideas clipped from magazines and photos taken while traveling or on garden tours. I sort through the stacks and create a wish list of projects and plants to consider when reasonable weather returns.

Making Mini Gardens in Unlikely Places
A friend of mine who's a Master Gardener and artist fills her landscape with art and whimsical ideas. She's created a "hole in the wall" garden that breaks up the monotony of the basic block wall that surrounds so many homes in the Southwest. She left a few blocks out in a random pattern, creating spaces for plants or garden art. It reminds me of the character in "To Kill a Mockingbird" who left treasures for Scout and her brother to find in a tree hollow. Wouldn't it be fun to leave garden-related treasures in a hole in the wall for your little ones, to encourage a love of gardening and nature?

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