A simple definition of Accessible Gardening is making gardening available to everyone who wants to. We all have limitations - we just don’t think we have any.
Adding Color to Your Landscape
In the streetscape areas of High Desert, the original landscape designers favored trees and shrubs, but included very few perennials.
Many of the homes in High Desert are over 10 years old with landscapes that are now mature. So we are gardening in a different environment than when the landscape was installed.
About Turf Grass
For those of you with kids or pets turf grass is probably part of your landscape. Turf grass comes in two seasons/multiple varieties: cool season like Kentucky blue grass and fine fescue and warm season like buffalo grass and Bermuda grass.
Annual Maintenance Calendar
I thought a calendar of activities would be a good topic with which to begin the year and hopefully you’ll find it helpful. This
Choosing a Good Landscape Installation or Maintenance Company
This will be my second repeat column since I started writing the Landscape column in the Apache Plume. I’m doing this because it was probably the most popular and I got lots of feedback on it. I have revised it for anything I’ve learned since. MM
Choosing a Good Landscape Installation or Maintenance Company
It’s almost summer, except for that amazing snow we had at the end of April, and time to consider annuals in the garden. A great place for annuals is containers because their growth is limited and they’re usually easier to remove from the pot than perennials. I love perennial grasses in a pot, but you have to take an axe to the pot to get them out after the first year.
Creating a Wildlife Habitat
This is the only intentionally repeated article that I’ve written. Andreas Birk, the HeadsUp site manager for High Desert, suggested we try to gain certification of High Desert (common area) as an official Wildlife Habitat.
Diagnosing Landscape & Garden Problems
Problem diagnosis is similar to successful gambling – you need to play the odds. In diagnosis you start by assuming the most probable cause and as Curtis Smith used to say – look for horses, not zebras. Observing your garden to learn what’s normal and what’s not is the way to hone your skills.
Does My Landscape Look Dated?
We know that a house can get dated over time with colors, styles, materials out of fashion, and lack of upkeep, but does that happen with your landscape too? To save the suspense - the answer is “yes”. What are some of the signs of a dated landscape - ask yourself these questions to find out about yours?
The Landscape Committee periodically reviews the Approved Plant List for potential additions. In this article I’d like to include some of newer plants we added and also some lesser used plants you might want to try.
Fire & Landscape
All plants are fuel and will burn under the right conditions. The question is: What can we do with our landscape to slow ignition and reduce the chance that fire moves either laterally or vertically - especially near a home?
A High Desert Landscape for All Seasons
Are you one of those people that visits a garden center in the spring, buys whatever’s in bloom, and never visits the center again unless company’s coming and you need some annuals for color? Well there’s more to enjoy in a landscape than just spring.
It's a Drought ~ What Can We Do?
In spite of the recent rains our long term prognosis is still for the drought to continue. Even with the rains, plants do not recover from the heat stress quickly, especially trees.
Ornamental grasses are four season plants, but my favorite season for them is winter. I like the color they add to the landscape, the way the seedheads look when backlit by the sun, and the way the stems move with the wind. Ornamental grasses also attract birds, providing food, shelter, and even nesting places.
Preventive Maintenance in the Landscape
For many people taking care of a landscape is hard work. Are there ways to design and install a landscape that can reduce the work load and leave you time for the gardening you want to do rather than have to do? The answer is yes. Even if you have someone else do the work, reducing time in the garden for the maintenance crew reduces your costs.
Problem Diagnosis Examples
Below are the details from the article titled Diagnosing Landscape/Garden Problems. I recommend reading that article first to put the information below in context.
Rain, Erosion & Rock Gardens
You may ask how did we get from rain and erosion to rock gardens. It begins with a story.
Resurrection or Replacement?
While the cold snap we had this winter broke records, it really didn’t last very long and that makes it very different than the cold spell that occurred in 1971. Despite the short duration, the cold did a lot of damage to shrubs and trees.
Seeding Native Grasses
Whether you were affected by the fire or just want a prairie as part of your landscape here are tips for being more successful when seeding. Installing sod doesn’t work if you want a mix of native grasses and it probably isn’t available anyway. Seeding can be tricky because there are a number of factors to consider:
A Shrub Pruning Primer
In a previous article I discussed why Box and Ball pruning is not good practice. In this article I want to discuss the right way to prune and how you should do the pruning yourself or how you should require your landscaper to do it as you oversee the work.
Top 10 Landscape Bad Practices
Like the late night comedy shows, I’ll start the count down with number 10 of what I consider landscape bad practices that I’ve seen in High Desert. Following each practice is context and why I think it’s a bad practice.
It’s always been interesting to me that desert dwellers throughout history have been attracted to water features.
What's On / Off the Approved Plant List?
I didn’t live in Albuquerque when the Approved Plant List was first created, but I believe the initial intent was to limit the list to native plants that would look appropriate in the foothills. Because of the limited number of choices, over time this list was expanded to include water-wise plants that maintained the same look as the natives, but allowed for more color. Some plants were removed from the initial list because the City of Albuquerque prohibited them for allergy/pollen reasons.
What's Wrong with Cone, Box and Ball Pruning?
It’s difficult to find a commercial landscape in Albuquerque that isn’t pruning shrubs using hedge trimmers into geometric shapes, so why do I consider this “bad practice”? For me the primary reason is because it destroys the natural shape of the plant, but there are other less aesthetic reasons as well.