Southwestern Deserts

December, 2010
Regional Report

Web Finds

Pick Your Own Christmas Tree
Pick Your Own Christmas Tree lists Christmas tree farms by state, some of which allow you to cut your own tree or offer other events along with the outing to pick up a tree. The site also includes info on the permit process for cutting trees in National Forests, although permits go fast.

Favorite or New Plant

Dwarf Oregano
In addition to being a wonderfully fragrant and edible herb for cooking, oregano is available in dwarf varieties that can tolerate some foot traffic when planted around pavers. Low-growing (about 3 to 5 inches tall) and spreading by underground runners, they will thrive in full sun if they are rooted in enriched soil and have good drainage. They bloom in spring and summer with purple or pinkish flowers. Look for varieties labeled as 'Compacta,' 'Nana' or 'Dwarf Creeping.' There's also a variegated version, but it requires shade in the low desert. If you want to also use these oreganos for cooking, pinch off a leaf and taste it before buying to make sure the flavor suits you!

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