Sombreuil Climbing Rose 1850


 Growers, Books, Organizations, Seed Companies, etc.

University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Maricopa County Extension

Events, classes, hot lines, free publications:
 Among the many publication they have that are for no cost to citizens
Landscape Watering by the Numbers
Landscape Plants for the Low Desert
 Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert
Xeriscape Landscaping with Style

Numerous publications can be downloaded and saved to your computer or copied for your use, such as a veggie planting calendar  http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/az1005.pdf 

And this publication "Flower Planting Guide for the Low Desert"  is an extensive, though not exhaustive guide with easy icons to help you know the what, when, why to plant many flowers.

Both publications are handy to take to the nursery with you when deciding if what you see can actually grow well at that time.

Articles, gardens, hot line, events, and classes:

If you haven't been you must!  I rarely say something like that but it is a treasure.  So Go!

Municipalities put on a lot of free "Green" classes, many of them are about landscape and irrigation.   Just check your local city website or even your monthly city bill.

Reference resource for descriptions of trees, shrubs, and other plants that do well here.  A wholesale nursery with excellent reference material that you can print to guide you on plant purchases and care.

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources  Many, many excellent publications especially from UC Davis.  The Home Orchard is a book for you fresh fruit lovers.  It is one of the few books to address growing fruit trees.

Purchasing & planting fruit trees:  We have unique soil and growing needs here.  Try to plant locally grown fruit trees as often as possible, unless you're feeling adventurous.  The Arizona Rare Fruit Growers are a great group to learn and taste and purchase fruit trees from.  https://m.facebook.com/AZRFG

If it is Citrus you want there are two great resources to learn and even purchase fruit and trees:

Greenfield Citrus Nursery on Lehi Rd in Mesa.  John & Debra have been growing there since 1975!  You can actually purchase trees from them.  Learn what you can to narrow the search and then the can help steer you to the tree of you r dreams.  They also have a useful ripening chart to help you decide which trees to plant.  Though they are open year round their hours are seasonal so check on their website before heading over there. Several garden centers also sell their "local grown" trees.  http://greenfieldcitrus.com   Their number is 480-830-8000.

Truman Ranch II Citrus U-Pick Farm is the former University of Arizona Citrus Agricultural Center, and is managed by James Truman since the mid 1980s. The farm is located at Greenway Rd and 188th Ave.  Truman is a Waddell/Surprise native, fourth generation Arizonan and has been in agricultural management since the early 70s in Hawaii and Arizona. The farm offers over 80 varieties of citrus when in season.  They can be reached at 623-546-1715.

The Maricopa County Master Gardeners usually hold a Citrus Clinic at both farms in January.  This is where you can learn every thing you ever wanted to know about growing citrus.  Sample tastings at the annual clinics are a great place to start.  Watch the Truman Ranch II or the Maricopa County Master Gardeners Facebook pages for dates and times.


Books I've found especially useful:
The Arizona Low Desert Flower Garden by Kirti Mathura - beautifully organized by height and includes info on what creatures are attracted to the blooms as well as growing needs
Extreme Gardening, How to grow Organic in the Hostile Deserts 
The Garden Guy, A Seasonal Guide to Organic Gardening in the Desert Southwest Both are by Dave Owens "The Garden Guy" is organized by the months and the other book by the plants.  He is committed to organic gardening and provides resources. 

Desert Gardening for Beginners How to Grow Vegetables, Flowers, and Herbs in an Arid Climate
Earth Friendly Desert Gardening
Desert Landscaping for Beginners
Desert Water Gardening for Beginners
Desert Gardening: Fruits and Vegetables, The Desert gardener's Calendar, Desert Landscaping: 
50 Common Insects of the Southwest
How to Start and Maintain a Healthy Landscape in the Southwest - by  George Brookbank oldies but goodies

Also books by Judy Mielke and Mary Irish are great for helping to understand how to grow here even if you don't want to grow natives and arid adapted.

Many books on Mediterranean gardens are useful here too.  And of course they in the Mediterranean have such classic ways of designing the their landscapes.

There are many newer books, and some I haven't read yet but all of the above helped start making sense out of the desert for me.

True even when you narrower it to just roses.  I have many beloved books, some for their practical information, some for their photos, others for their prose.  In no particular order I will add my favorites in hopes you too will find pleasure, inspiration and knowledge between their pages.

Roses In A Desert Garden by Hallie Beck.  This is the sprightly woman mentioned on the "About" page.  She gave me the confidence to plant many new unusual and antique roses as well as the English varieties.  How I wish she, my rose guru, could see my garden now!  Well... I suppose she might be gazing down on it.

Garden Voices, Stories of Women and Their Gardens by Carolyn Freas Rapp.  Not what you may think it is, this book is a treasured gift from my sister.  A gift, I in turn have given many times.  While she doesn't share my love of growing in the garden my sister is the one who gave me my wonder and love of the nature.   So when a woman she knew published  this book she snagged an autographed copy for her little sis.  These stories are so different and so beautiful.  They gave me inspiration to forge ahead with my love of playing in the dirt, even if only I enjoyed what I did.  Thanks, Cath.

Extreme Gardening by Dave Owens, The Garden Guy, another avid, or is that rabid, organic grower.  He helped me to begin to understand what I was doing wrong in the desert and that I could have an even better garden than in the midwest.  So portable I've been known to leave it in the garden when using it to reference companion plants.

The Garden Guy by Dave Owens, the same Garden Guy.  This is a great companion because it is arranged by months.  If you, like me, have trouble remembering when to fertilize the citrus, or prune the roses and a host of other seasonal garden duties this is the book for you.   Also portable and lost in the garden.  Swallowed by compost?

Carrots Love Tomatoes and  Roses Love Garlic both by Louise Riotte Whenever planting Louise and Dave the Garden Guy are at my side.  I confess I am a wimpy, lazy gardener.  Add to that the Scottish side of me and I was meant for companion gardening.  Louise is all about companions.  She tells us how to make less work, and less waste by making good neighbors of our plants.  Try it!  You'll like it!

R is For Roses by Carolyn Parker.  Mmmm.  I'd buy it just for the cover photo.  This woman knows how to make her garden grow and then how to photograph it!  She goes through each letter of the alphabet finding a rose for each letter, telling it's story and showing it photographed in several ways, including arranging the roses to look like the letter that they represent!  Virtually all of the roses are from her personal garden.I'd like to apprentice with her!  Is your mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, sister, etc, etc  a lover of floral photography, roses or gardening then do consider this for a gift.

The New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman my hero, my crush until I learned he is the husband of Barbara Damrosch. Early preaching the value of home gardening as well as keeping it true with organic methods.  Watched and read about him in my early gardening days. Just can't bear to grow any other way.  And Eliot has designed many a wonderful, simple, effective garden tool.  He's the thinking farmers farmer.

The Garden Primer by Babara Damrosch wife of Eliot Coleman, co-keeper of the land at Four Seasons Farm.  Like Eliot she's all about organics and making growing efficient.  Not to be sexist but her book is a bit more appealing to la feme, as Eliot's may appeal more to the guys.  For me I like them both.  And Barbara has a section on...roses.  Do you wonder why I read books by people farming in Maine?  Well they have one short growing season and we have two.  One of the most valuable tips I learned came from George Brookbank.  It was he who explained that since we have two short seasons to grow veggies, select seeds designed for the short seasons of the Northern states.  It made all of the difference in my veggies.  Thanks George.  And yet Eliot and Barbara have lots of great ideas on how to have 4 growing seasons even in their Tundra.  Now if I ever find myself heading North I won't cry because I know Eliot and Barbara have figured out how to have 4 seasons in the snow, like we have here in the desert.

Growing Vegetables in Drought, Desert, and Dry Times The Complete Guide to Organic Vegetable Gardening without Wasting Water by Maureen Gilmore  Full of helpful drawings and photos.  The author lives in Palm Desert, sandier soil there, and has written many other books.  She draws from current understandings well as ancient knowledge and techniques from other arid lands.

How To Grow the Wildflowers by Eric Johnson and Scott Millard An oldie but a goodie with excellent photos and relevant information


Terroir Seeds  http://www.underwoodgardens.com
Local!  They grow in Chino Valley and we love their dedication to the Earth and all of the education they send in their newsletter.  Never been disappointed and the membership, for us it has be of value.  Fundraising programs are a fun way to give back.  Seeds you won't see from other growers.  Lots of planting tips.

Native Seed Search  http://www.nativeseeds.org
Also Local!  Down in Tucson a tiny but mighty group is working to save the seed diversity of our Southwest and Northwestern Mexico.  "Crop diversity is key to achieving sustainable food security both globally and within our own region of focus."  They are committed to good seed and education.

High Mowing Organic Seeds  https://www.highmowingseeds.com
From Wolcott, Vermont.  That works well for us because we have two short growing seasons, Fall & Spring and they have one, Summer.  High quality, heirloom and Non GMO.  They even have seeds for sprouting.  Flowers, herbs and veggies.

Johnny's Seeds   www.johnnyseeds.com
100% Employee owned.  Growing in Central Maine, another short season environment. Gets your head spinning to see so many varieties!  Non GMO and Conventional as well as Organic seed.

Renee's Garden Seeds  https://www.reneesgarden.com
Heirloom, difficult to find flowers, herbs and veggies with flavor, fragrance and productivity.  A number of heirloom.  We love how they grow, organize, and sell.  Great little hints, ideas and cookbooks.  Conventional and organic.