Southwestern Deserts

September, 2005
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Arizona Highlands Garden Conference
Presented by Master Gardeners from Arizona's high elevation counties (Coconino, Yavapai, Navajo, and Gila), the Arizona Highlands Garden Conference will be October 3rd and 4th in Flagstaff. Topics are geared for gardeners at 3,000 to 7,000 feet. Keynote speakers Forrest McDowell and Tricia Clark-McDowell, owners of Cortesia Sanctuary Gardens in Eugene, OR, will also teach a workshop on design considerations for sanctuary gardens.

The second keynote speaker, Jim Knopf, landscape author from Boulder, CO, will cover the principles of xeriscaping. Preconference garden tours are Oct. 2. For registration and complete program info, go to: http://cals.arizona.edu/yavapai/ahgc/conference2005.html.

Favorite or New Plant

Purple Prickly Pear
Opuntia santa-rita is a native prickly pear well suited for demanding locations in full sun and reflected heat near walls. Bluish pads tinged with purple turn a deeper purple color when plants are stressed due to cold weather or dry conditions. Yellow flowers in spring contrast nicely with the pads. Summer fruits are attractive to birds so this is a good plant for a wildlife habitat. Round pads multiply to a nice clump 4 x 5 feet tall and wide. Plant in sandy or gravelly soil with good drainage.

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