Southwestern Deserts

December, 2010
Regional Report

Dry Rose Petals for Potpourri

Roses are still blooming in the low desert. Clip blooms when any dew is gone and spread petals on a screen in an area out of direct sunlight with good air circulation. (White roses typically don't retain their whiteness, but most other colors will.) When petals dry in a few days, store them in a paper bag (not plastic) until you need them.

Gather Pecans

Pecans are falling. Wait for the green outer hulls, called schucks, to open and discharge the unshelled pecan or the nut won't be edible.

Don't Prune Now

Do not cut back shrubs and perennials now. Their stems provide energy reserves for the root system through the winter.

Plant Fragrant Stock

Mix and match a colorful container of white, pink and purple stock. Use a good quality potting soil, add a layer of mulch to retain soil moisture and place in an outdoor area that receives at least 6 hours of sun daily, preferably where you can inhale the spicy scents. Instant aromatherapy!

Relax with Your Herbs

Make a soothing cup of herbal tea to relax after the hectic holidays. How much foliage to use per cup of water and how long to steep depends on the herb and your taste buds. Start with a couple tablespoons of freshly washed leaves per cup of water. Put them in a non-metal cup or container and pour boiling water over. Let steep several minutes and taste. Adjust time and amounts as needed to get the "cuppa" that suits.

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