Monday, November 18, 2013

One Season Wonders for Your Desert Landscape

Posted By on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Winter Color Simply Stated
  • The Potted Desert
  • Winter Color Simply Stated

Many avid gardeners and enthusiasts have a great number of pots. At my high point, I counted 55+ around my urban sized home. The majority of them were planted with colorful floral bouquets. Even though I love the desert and the colors related to it, I wanted many more gemstone shades around, close up and personal. Potted gardens allowed me to do that easily, i.e. no digging in the ground!!

When it comes to changing out the annual color in that many pots, it became costly twice a year. There are also many perennial plants, shrubs and trees that I enjoy so my thought was to combine a central plant in many pots with seasonal plantings. When it comes time to repot the flowers, I do not have to purchase as many and the budget is a little easier to bear.

Getting smarter still, I created some pots in my groupings as single statement plants and some with succulents. That decision is a savings measure too — both in the cost of replacement plants and in lessening water needs as the succulents do not have to be on an irrigation drip line.

With the fall and winter season upon us, it is time to improve our potted gardens. We want to refresh those with flowers, enrich the soil for all plantings and create a tremendous impact of living art. For any Snowbirds returning to your desert home, now is the time to support the reason why you leave your snow covered grass for Arizona.

Make note too - the desert climate changes from daytime temperatures of 110+ to nights of 30-45 degrees. Your choices for plantings will need to take these variations into consideration. As our sun shifts from a northern angle in the summer, moving more southerly now, plants that were getting a lot of sun will not get as much sun in the winter. Conversely, plantings on the more northern side of the house, will be in complete shade in the winter. You need to note where your winter sun is so that plants that do well in the shade are not blasted with the desert rays.

Want to keep your money out of the compost heap? Sign up for the Desert Potted View and our Free Monthly Potted Garden tips - sign up at Potted Desert Newsletter.


Marylee is the founder and former owner of Tucson’s The Contained Gardener. With more than 15 years of successfully designing and growing potted gardens in the desert’s challenging and oftentimes harsh climate, Marylee has become known as the Desert’s Potted Garden Expert. Marylee is available for in-home or digital consultations and you can always email her with your questions and comments. Follow The Potted Desert on Facebook!

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