Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summertime Spirit

Summertime is often a very disheartening for many of us Phoenix desert gardeners. As we slowly slip from the 'comfortable' springtime 80* and 90* degree temperatures, the dreaded heat can but the breaks on our gardener spirit. But don't dispair; If you think there isn't much to plant during the dog days of summer, think again. Here are a few of my favorites for warm season survival:

(Palo Verde - Parkinsonia florida/cercidium floridum from 24"box)

Nothing better to plant during summer than trees. The warm season is the growing season for most native-adapted trees, and there is no better time thatn the present to start working on shade. Palo verde is the perfect solution.

(butterfly on zinnia)

From simple beginnings come great things. You can't go wrong with zinnia seeds. It's never too late to get your seeds in the ground - especially before the monsoon rains arrive.

Go native and go big. This leucophyllum sage is on its third bloom cycle of 2009.

But a couple of my summertime favorites are red salvia and orange justicia. These two sun lovers will not only bloom through summer, but with occasional dead-heading, can bloom year-round. Bring on the color!

For more planting options, visit the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association or the Maricopa Master Gardeners plant guide.