About the Gardener

A semi-cultivated variety occasionally seen in gardens, more rarely in wild scrubland of the desert southwest.   Tolerates only a few degrees of frost.  Shady, damp situations not recommended; requires full sun.  Applications of caffeinated liquid once or twice a day have yielded best results...

About the Garden

The garden, begun in autumn of 2014, is being carved out of the bare earth on the southeast side of the house.  A covered rear patio leads to the small garden area while a rose border is in making along the southern length of the patio.  The plan is to create a traditional garden, somewhat in the classic English style (more on this later), in this wild little corner of desert.  This blog will be a record for my own use and, I hope, may eventually contain helpful information for other desert gardeners as well as interesting material for garden and plant lovers anywhere.

A few thoughts on the design:  I have used the term "English" to describe a mixed formal and informal planting design based on traditional perennial and shrub gardens.  This term may seem too generalized, but I need to somehow differentiate my plans from the strongly naturalistic, native plants style encouraged locally, or the landscaping even more commonly practiced.  Although I love the desert expanse and wild plants, I need a little area that is more cultivated, more civilized, something set apart from its surroundings.

The space allotted to this garden is small, about 26 ft by 39 ft (8 m by 12 m), in order to allow me to keep it up by myself as well as keeping the water usage under control.

Which brings me to the question of water.  Luckily we are using a well, but I do hope to select plants and amend the soil such that a week or ten days between waterings - even in high summer - will be no problem for established plants.  I try to make intelligent selections, but trial and error will be the final arbiters.  And, admittedly, there may be a few plants that fall outside that schedule.  After all, the gardener has to enjoy the garden!

About the Photography

I am currently using a Nikon D3200 with a basic 18-55mm lens.  This gives me a lot of options, including wandering around the garden on my hands and knees trying to get good angles and close-up shots!  All images and text are copyright (C) Amy Myers, unless otherwise attributed.  All rights reserved.  Please contact me if you are interested in using any of the content from this blog.

ed.  Since Feb. 2015, I have been able to add a Nikkor 85mm lens as well.


  1. Hi Amy, I have found your blog at last ! I can't seem to find a link from your Google + page.
    You have set yourself a fantastic challenge and I guess you will need your caffeine intake to cope with it all!

    1. Hi Jane, Oh dear, somehow I missed your comment for days...! So glad you were able to locate the blog; I've recently unlinked the blog and G+ accounts so perhaps that will make it easier in future. Thanks for managing to find this page ;-)

  2. Amy your location sounds very exotic "northern sonoran desert" I'm in Australia and had a quick google to see where you are, are you in California?

    1. Actually I'm in central Arizona, just outside of Phoenix. As we moved here only a couple of years ago, it is still pretty exotic to me. Our gardening conditions seem to be similar to some regions in Australia. Certainly I am finding that a number of Australian natives grow very well here - Eremophilas are at the top of the list!

  3. Have you tried using grey water for the roses?
    Ours in Porterville flourished on grey water (the phosphates in the washing powder made good green leaves)

    The Lachenalias - put them in pots in dappled shade. Expect flowers in winter, after autumn rain (or 'mediterranean' watering)

    1. I have no way to get grey water to the roses at present, though I can see the advantages ;-) I'm trying to decided what to place on my bulbs order for autumn; I'll have to see what is being offered in the way of Lachenalias! Thanks for the information!