All posts by Eileen Welch

Southwest Plant of the Month

Black dalea – Dalea frutescens Plant Form: Shrub Plant Size: 3’ x 5’ Plant Type: Deciduous Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: Purple Physical Description: Low round, mounding shrub with small green, compound leaves, densely covering spreading, pale creamy branches. Numerous purple pea-like flowers obscure foliage, late summer/ fall. Care and Maintenance: Occasional pruning may be needed to keep plant compact and foliage dense. Rabbits and deer graze young plants. Gardener’s Notes: Native to Chihuahuan desert of Texas/ New Mexico. Good accent or ground cover.…

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The Garden Sleeps

By Jan Koehler, SCMG There comes a time each year when even the most engaged gardener appreciates the declining day length and cooler temperatures which signal that the end of arduous toil, however be-loved, is winding down for the year. The amount of time spent watering pots or plots, denuding an area of unwanted plant growth, commonly known as weeds, and deadheading flowers to encourage yet one more flush of lively color or harvesting those tasty morsels of homegrown vegetables is finally coming to a…

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Winter Watering, Pruning, and Landscape Assessment

By Sandy Liakus, SCMG Watering Watering in the winter is essential to tree and shrub health in our high desert landscapes. In order for most established landscape trees and shrubs to flourish in our climate, you must deep water them at least once per month in the donut feeding root zone. Continue this deep watering schedule through the end of April, at which time you will need to increase the watering schedule to two times per month. An exception to this rule is newly planted…

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Banana yucca (Yucca baccata)

Banana Yucca

Banana yucca – Yucca baccata Plant Form: Shrub Plant Size: 3′ x 2′ Plant Type: Evergreen Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, Partial Shade Colors: White Physical Description: Short, sword-like, stiff but sometimes slightly twisted or curving, semi-succulent leaves with a sharp spine at the tip, arise from a crown at or just above ground level. The rosette of encircling leaves encases a clustered mass of thick, waxy, creamy-white, bell-shaped flowers whose outer petals are streaked red-brown to maroon. Spring flowers are followed by large banana-shaped…

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Apples are Easy

My old apple tree came with the house. I have no idea of the variety, but it produces some really nice fruit. The poor tree had the bark on one side stripped off by a puppy 15 or 20 years ago, but it has managed to out­live the dog and just keeps on going. When we first began using the apples, there was a lot of worm damage in them. In those we just peeled and sliced, then discard­ed all the nasty parts. But now…

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Baja evening primrose --Oenothera stubbei

Baja evening primrose –Oenothera stubbei

Southwest Plant of the Month: Baja Evening Primrose –Oenothera stubbei Plant Form: Flower Plant Size: 6” x varies Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, partial shade Colors: Yellow Physical Description: Large, graceful, yellow flowers in the spring and summer. Mat form­ing ground cover with narrow linear, deep green leaves on multitude of long vine-like stems. Flowers rise above foliage on individual 6″ long thin stalks. Care and Maintenance: Avoid overwatering/poor drainage. Watch for flea beetles. Aggressive spreader in irrigated settings. Some freeze damage…

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Neomexicanus Wild Hop

Growing Neomexicanus Wild Hop

CAUTION: — Growing Neomexicanus Wild Hop Can be addictive — and it is just about as practical as a mid-engine sports car. I have learned enough to know better over the past eight months, but I am more motivated now than ever to grow more next year. Not so much for my successes, but because of my experiences nurturing this amazing, fast-growing vertical giant that lights up the morning with bright fragrant cones that pack a delightful pungent bouquet. It was last October that I…

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Angelita Daisy

Angelita daisy Tetraneuris acaulis (Hymenoxys acaulis)

Plant Form: Flower Plant Size: 1′ x 1′ Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: Yellow Physical Description: Tidy, compact mounds of gray-green leaves scarcely noticeable under a nearly continuous year-round display of numerous, solitary, yellow daisy-like flowers on long thin stalks. Care and Maintenance: Overwatering/poor drainage. Difficult to keep up with removal of persistent spent flower stalks without shearing off new flower buds. Gardener’s Notes: A wonderful, drought tolerant, cold-hardy, ever blooming addition to the desert garden. Native to Texas, New Mexico…

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Autumn Sage

Autumn sage, Cherry sage –Salvia greggii

Southwest Plant of the Month: Autumn sage, Cherry sage –Salvia greggii Plant Form: Shrub Plant Size: 3′ x 2′ Plant Type: Semi-evergreen Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, Partial Shade Colors: Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow Physical Description: Brilliant 1″ flowers slightly above glossy, bright green aromatic leaves on woody, densely foliaged branches. Flowers normally cherry red to pink but also white, yellow, orange, rose and purple. Care and Maintenance: Pruning required to reinvigorate foliage and blooming. Spittle bugs. Odd colored flower varieties often not…

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Save Some Seeds

Save some seed for Sandoval County Seed Library

Many of you know that SCMG has a Seed Library project at Esther Bone Memorial Library in Rio Rancho. Well, I’ll bet you didn’t know that we also have a second location at Loma Colorado Main Library. That’s because we didn’t advertise this Seed Library’s late season opening. But, it’s time you know. Within the first month of operation, the Sandoval County Seed Library at Loma Colorado Library had 23 members. They “borrowed” all herb and flower seed and many of the vegetable varieties have…

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