Sombreuil Climbing Rose 1850

Friday, January 24, 2014

We're Just Peachy! How 'Bout You?

One of our peaches has begun to bloom!   While we're not expecting more frost here in the desert, "It could happen." And if we do have more light frosts it will do some of the thinning, requisite to big juicy peaches, will be done for us.

                                                         Todays Fragrant Blooms

Bring Tomorrows Tasty Treats     


Head to Baker Nursery on 40th St for a great selection of fruit trees not to mention the helpful staff.  In addition to tree selection they can teach you how to plant the tree properly so you'll feel peachy too.

Gardens In Bloom Got My Gardens In Bloom

Winter 2010
 Some of our favorite visitors to the gardens at Tre Soli were the Deerings,  assistant Rose Ranglers.  Without them it would have taken more time to add to "Rose Hill" and grow so many roses.  We got in over our heads with rose pruning after an ankle was broken.  The torn meniscus several years later didn't help.  To the rescue...Barb and her company, Gardens In Bloom.  This is an all woman operation.  They specialize in flowers & veggie beds.  They helped me through the broken body and to get over my fear of fruit tree pruning.

Gardens In Bloom handles both residential and commercial accounts.  Barb has many years of experience both here and in the higher altitudes of Arizona as well as in nurseries.  Drop me a line at azgardenfresh@gmail.com if you'd like their contact information.


     Fruit tree alleĆ© and fragrant lavenders.  Pruned roses in raised beds in the background.

    Here they are like garden gnomes on the ground and high up in the fruit trees after we'd finished pruning the roses ...priorities you know!

Pots behind the fruit trees and to the right of the raised bed are for asparagus.  Since planting the asparagus in the pots the gophers don't eat the asparagus, we do!

It's almost time to prune the roses.  If you'd like to attend a rose pruning demonstration and try your hand drop us a line at azgardenfresh@gmail.com.  Tell us if week days or weekends are preferable to attend for you.

Monday, January 20, 2014


 Sombreuil Antique Climbing Rose grown on pillars at Tre Soli 

For many reasons the Rose Ranglers have been on hiatus from social media.  But yes…we're baaack!

Last week we resumed blogging here and tweeting @azgardenfresh at the last minute in order to help get out the word about a Master Gardener clinic teaching about growing citrus and other fruit trees.  Whew that was one juicy morning.

Now I hope everyone plants at least one fruit tree.  How about a kumquat in a pot on the balcony of your apartment!   Two apples, Anna & Dorsett for evening shade, fragrance and dessert near a Western patio!  Plant a Tangelo on the East to create a morning garden for a daily fresh squeezed glass! A lime outside the kitchen to create marinades and flavor chocolate!  Or a peach or apricot tree in the front yard to share with passers-by.  If you have the space plant a fruit tree for each family member or loved one.  A home orchard full of memories and love... and the polinators will love you too.  So many fruits can be grown in the desert. One is perfect for you.

Minneola Tangelo in Tre Soli East 40

     Santa Rosa Plum

Green Gage Plum in East 40 of Tre Soli

Peppermint Peach in Bloom

Thanks to all of the following people involved with the annual citrus clinic who inspired me to embrace my orphaned blog and Twitter!  You keep me in the garden and I guess, now on the web.

Jo Cook, Kelly Young and all the Master Gardeners at The University of Arizona Maricopa County Extension http://cals.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/html/general/hort.htm

James Truman of Truman Ranch www.u-pickcitrusaz.com
                                                     Email info@u-pickcitrusaz.com

Debbie & John of Greenfield Citrus Nursery www.greenfieldcitrus.com
                                                                       Email citrus@greenfieldcitrus.com

While being on hiatus from social media we have not been out of the garden loop.  The Master Gardener program and Desert Landscape School have taught us more ways of looking at growing in our climate as well as more resources and connections.  Especially important we learned new more sustainable, even regenerative, ways of growing our roses, herbs, veggies, fruits and flowers, and attracting my beloved hummers & butters.

The Western front of the property has undergone the most change.  Lots of perennials have been added to attract wild life and especially pollinators.  Milkweed to attract diminishing Monarchs, tubular blooming flowers and shrubs to bring in even more hummingbirds.  In the Fall seeds for wildflowers have been planted in hopes of Spring flushes.  As a result we have been designated a Monarch Way Station as well as a Wildlife Habitat.

And!  We have added dozens of thornless cacti, something I never thought I'd want.  Two of the agave are beginning to bloom.  The bloom stalk looks like a giant stalk of asparagus!   Yes I know most roses have thorns but that doesn't mean I'm fond of the big thorns on cactus. We'll tell you more about all of these activities in upcoming entries to this blog.

So come along to see what we've learned. And please tell us what you've been up to since we last chatted.  Thanks to all of the well wishers and problem solvers along the way who are assisting us to get back in the garden and spread the word about renewing the body, mind and soul in the garden.

Sombreuil Opened to the Morning Sun at Tre Soli
To what are you open?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

How to start your morning with a glass of sunshine?

Grow these oranges!

Or these tangerines!

                                          Or these mandarins! 

Or even these sweet grapefruit!

Rise & shine so you can get to Greenfield Citrus for the annual Master Gardener Citrus Clinic today from 8:30-12.  For info, tickets & directions:


There will be food vendors, books, and so much more.

You will get to sample different citrus fruit and learn how to select, plant and care for these juicy, slurpy citrus as well as figs, and deciduous fruit trees (the ones that loose their leaves - peaches, plums, apricots, apples, nectarines, etc)  Fruit trees are so much easier that you may imagine.  Citrus trees give you year round shade and green.  In the spring you'll delight in the jasmine like scent of the blossoms.  AND the deciduous trees give you shade in the summer, sunshine in the winter, delicate fragrant blossoms in the Spring.  From Spring through Winter you'll fruit depending on the varieties you choose to grow.  Fruit trees are like having a Christmas tree decorated with colorful ornaments in your yard.  This is the season to plant so after you taste and decide you want to plant at the Citrus Clinic get right on it.  The nurseries are getting their trees in now.  Go get your next 1,000 glasses of sunshine!   See you there?!  

Anyone remember Graham's Juice Stand on Camelback?  That is where in the '70's I became addicted to fresh squeezed juice.  Haven't been back to frozen, canned (?!) or "Fresh Squeezed" brand since.

PS And yes!  These grow here, silly!  These photos are all from the trees here at Tre Soli!  Only 30 years ago you could smell the citrus blooming when landing at Sky Harbor.  That's how many citrus were grown here!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Rose Ranglers

Diane's Roses

Our first Rose Rangler, Diane, spent an afternoon lost in time dead heading.  Her take home pay?  Roses!  We had so much fun that day that we had to take some photos to commemorate.  Now it's time to get ready to do the annual pruning.  Typically we do this around Super Bowl Sunday.  If you're interested in a pruning class drop us an email -  azgardenfresh@gmail.com  Tell us if you prefer week day or Saturday.

Eat A Peach

Eat A Peach and An Apricot and...

Tre Soli Apricots and Peaches 

Well you get the picture.  Eat fruit fresh from your back yard or better yet plant a fruit tree in the front yard and invite the neighbors to pick as they stroll by.  If you want to pick these at your home one day then now is the time to get planting.  In addition to luscious fruit, deciduous fruit trees give you shade in the Summer, colorful leaves in the Fall, the warmth of the Sun in the winter, fragrant blossoms in the Spring and a lovely carpet when the blossoms fall.  What?!  You didn't know you could have these here in the desert?!  Of course you can.  Come to the annual Maricopa Master Gardeners Citrus Clinic tomorrow morning at the Greenfield Citrus Clinic 8:30-12 p.m.  In addition to sampling fruit, there will be 1/2 hour sessions taught by experts about dates, citrus & deciduous fruits and their planting, pruning, fertilizing, etc.  And what about the food vendors, books and soil probes?!   and on and on.  
For the full scoop and to purchase tickets go to:  http://cals.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/html/calendar/citrus.html

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Tis the season to grow apples. Fa la la la la. La, la ,la, la! "

All American "Anna Apples" 2014

become luscious cinnamon apple sauce

 Anna Dorsett Cinnamon Applesauce 2014


Yes it really is that time of year .  And, yes, Virginia you too can do it.  Just head to the Maricopa County Master Gardener Clinic at the Greenfield Citrus Nursery.  You can sample fruit and learn how to select, plant and grow citrus, figs, and deciduous fruits.  Yay fruit!  Mother Nature's candy.  
It happens this Saturday January 18.  For more info go to  

Sugar plums aka Santa Rosa plums

…"while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads."

Summer 2013 Santa Rosa Plums at Tre Soli

Have you ever eaten a fresh  plum hot off the tree in June?  If not put that on your fresh foodie bucket list.  You can grow some of these beauties in your own yard.  Now is the time to plant bare root fruit trees - deciduous and citrus.  Learn how at the annual Master Gardener Citrus Clinic this Saturday January 18th. Info at    http://cals.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/html/calendar/citrus.html

Citrus, Citrus, Citrus! Juicy, Sweet & Slurpy Citrus!

Lemon Chello?  Key Lime Margarita?  Vin d'Orange?  Happy hours?  

Our 3 yr old Meyer Lemon Tree 

        Sample & learn to grow your own.  Annual Master Gardener Citrus Clinic this saturday January 18.  If you don't find the perfect tree at Greenfield Citrus Nursery head to Baker Nursery, http://www.bakernurseryaz.com to pick out your new citrus trees.  Bet ya can't pick just one!

Our 5 year old Minneola Tangelo
Citrus pay big returns in taste, shade and nutrition.  Please be sure that once your citrus is off of the tree it is kept cool and out of the sunlight.  The Vitamin C is very fragile and breaks down when exposed to heat and light.  Interested in tasting or making Vin d'Orange  and other citrus delights?  Drop me a line at azgardenfresh@gmail.com