I wanted to talk about other garden sytels other than your traditional ones. Your typical garden requires you to have nutrient rich soil, and lot's of water. This type of soil and water is not found in your desert climates. So let's talk about creating a desert garden, a garden in hot and dry climates. Of course you will need plants that are adapted for long drought periods and the scorching sun. Native plants are better for our enviorment than plants from other region areas. If your thinking about transporting any plants from other regions, remember this. Those plants may end up as noxious weeds, and choke your native plants. However for regions with extremly cold winters, will not be able to grow a desert garden, at least not outside.
So let's get started on a desert garden. First you want to mark off the area of your yard that get's at least six hours of sunlight per day. Make sure your area has good drainage and good sandy soil. Next you will want to turn your soil over with a garden shovel. For area's not containing alot of sand add about a three inch layer of sand on top of your soil. You will then want to work the sand down into your exsisting soil, with a garden rake. To determine if your soil contains enough sand, grab a handful of the moistened soil and roll it into a ball. The soil will not form a ball if it is Sandy, it should crumble. This is what you are looking for.
You may also want to place medium stones around your area for the perimeter. Make sure you leave a few inches between the stones. This is a great visual for any desert garden.
Then begin planting, starting in the back. You will place in that area your large cacti. Barrel cacti if a good size to be the focal point of any desert garden. Make sure you wear leather gloves any time you are handling cacti. When planting barrel cactus you can avoid cuts and scratches by placing a throw rug, around the barrel as you are planting it.
Then you will want to plant flowering cacti around such as dorri sage. The dorri sage will bloom two toned flowers, that will reach eighteen inches tall. For desert wildflowers, choose the mexican gold poppy. It will add yellow to your desert garden. The desert lily is another blooming desert wildflower, and looks like it belongs in a tradtional garden. These plants will add a good combination of color to the garden.
Another good source of cacti is the agave soicta plant. The plant will stay small, which makes it a good choice for the border. These need to be planted eighteen inches apart, and six inches behind your stone border. The aloe brevifolia can serve the same purpose for your desert garden. Alternating the two is another good idea.
Laying two inches of pebble gravel is the next step. Add around the plants, choosing a color to complement your flowers or even your home. Then when finished it is important to water your plants. Making sure that you hold the hose close to the plants roots. For this type garden you will not need to water everyday, only once a week. If it rains do not water until needed.
Then sit back and enjoy your desert garden. Maybe adding some cast iron lawn furniture to admire the garden from.