Landscaping in the Southwest with Tina from The Desert Botanical Garden
Play • 52 min

Many of us might think of deserts as barren wastelands, but in reality, the desert is a planty oasis within itself! There are towering saguaros, rosette aloes and agaves, and pollinators flitting between prickly pear flowers. To walk us through this underrated environment, we have a very special guest: Tina Wilson, the Director of Horticulture at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. We take a closer look at the amazing vegetation that thrives in the desert, and how you can create your own thriving desert landscape. Tina also shares her expertise on how to cultivate a lush desert landscape that is heat-tolerant and drought-resistant, perfect for those living in the Southwest garden zones.

In this episode, we learn:

  • [04:58] How Tina Wilson became Director of Horticulture at Desert Botanical Garden
  • [06:13] Tina's duties as Director of Horticulture
  • [08:04] Unique vegetation in Arizona
  • [10:02] What is desert landscaping? (and its 3 characteristics!)
  • [13:08] Gardening zones in the Southwest
  • [14:06] Key factors to consider when landscaping in the desert
  • [14:42] Right plant at the right location!
  • [15:51] What are the plants recommended for desert landscapes?
  • [16:46] The impact of the southwestern sun on plants
  • [18:17] Protecting plants from sunburn with shade cloth
  • [19:16] What is a plant palette?
  • [21:08] Where to find the best bamboo bedding for health and comfort?
  • [23:36] Want to grow fresh berries in your own garden?
  • [25:09] The importance of water conservation and irrigation in the desert
  • [26:22] Why reduce grass/turf in desert landscapes?
  • [29:24] The process of renovating a yard: soil profiling and testing
  • [31:07] Why are native desert plants so well-suited to desert conditions?
  • [33:34] An overview of desert plants' root systems
  • [34:17] How a Saguaro cactus stays upright despite its shallow root system
  • [35:53] Exploring water harvesting techniques
  • [37:02] What are some of the drought-tolerant plants?
  • [40:20] Tina's favorite pollinator-attracting plants
  • [42:04] Maria's experience at the New York Botanical Garden
  • [42:39] Join Desert Landscape School now for an exceptional learning experience.
  • [45:26] Is there a season for growing food in the desert?

Mentioned in our conversation:

For an in-depth read on desert plants and water conservation practices,

check out the full show notes and blog here!

Thank you to our episode sponsors:

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