Southwestern Deserts

February, 2010
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Annual Arizona Tree Climbing Championship
Enjoy a day of family activities at Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, AZ, including an awe-inspiring tree climbing event sponsored by Arizona Community Tree Council. Although your kids may swing through the trees like monkeys, this event is for professional tree wranglers who compete in various categories. Winners go on to compete in national and international events. (Register to compete or see tree climbing video at www.aztrees.org). If you haven't been out to Boyce, it's worth a lovely spring drive to see their wildflowers and towering trees. The event will be held on Saturday, March 6 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m and is free with admission to the Arboretum of $7.50 adults; $3 children 5 to 12. More info on Boyce is found at http://ag.arizona.edu/bta/.

Favorite or New Plant

'Shimmer' evening primrose
Vibrant yellow flowers of this aptly named perennial do seem to shimmer in the sunlight. Oenothera fremontii 'Shimmer' produces three-inch diameter blooms. They provide the most impact when the plant is used as a groundcover or massed in flowerbeds. Plants grow up to 12 inches tall and 15 inches wide. It blooms most heavily in spring, but continues blooming through summer. Pair this evening primrose with purples and grays for an eye-catching color combo. It's rated for USDA zones 4-8, takes full sun, a variety of soil conditions and is low-water-use. It may not perform well in the heat of low desert summers, but the distinct color and attractive, grass-like foliage, makes it worth a try if you like to experiment.

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