The Complete How to Guide to Xeriscaping - Albuquerque, New Mexico

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The Complete How to Guide to Xeriscaping - Albuquerque, New Mexico

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The Complete How to Guide to Xeriscaping - Albuquerque, New Mexico

  1. 1. THE COMPLETE OW T H O GUIDE TO XERISCAPING COURTESY OFTHE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE
  2. 2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS PRODUCED FOR LETTER FROM THE MAYOR The City of Albuquerque Water Conservation Office Katherine Yuhas, Dear Fellow Citizens: Conservation Officer I hope you will take advantage of this PHOTOS AND PLANT INFORMATION Courtesy of comprehensive guide on how to select and SANTA FE GREENHOUSES, INC. care for landscape plants that thrive in David Salman, President Albuquerque’s high-desert environment. In a community that pours nearly 13 billion PRODUCED BY Cooney, Watson & Associates, Inc. gallons of water over our landscapes every year, this publication will guide us in DESIGNED BY transforming our thirsty lawns to spectacular Ken Wilson Design, Inc. arrangements of native and drought-tolerant landscapes that love high, WRITTEN BY dry heat. Randall D. Schultz Our landscapes are wonderful forms of expression that beautify our ADDITIONAL PHOTOS BY Charles Mann, homes and neighborhoods. They can increase our property values and Judith Phillips, Hunter Ten Broeck, bring nature right to our doorsteps. However, growing plants of any kind Michael Melendres in Albuquerque’s high-desert environment requires careful planning, CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE constant attention and perhaps most of all, valuable resources. Martin Chavez, Mayor Please use this Xeriscape Guide – along with the City’s xeriscape Public Works Department rebate program and free irrigation guides, videos, and xeriscape design Charles “Ted” Asbury, Director Water Resources Division templates – to create something very special and unique to you and John Stomp, Manager your neighborhood. Call the City at 768-3655 for information. ALBUQUERQUE CITY COUNCIL President Albuquerque is a beautiful place to live. Rather than challenging Vincent Griego, District 2 our environment, let’s create landscapes that complement the desert’s Vice President beauty and grace. Hess Yntema, District 6 Miguel Gómez, District 1 Sincerely, Eric Griego, District 3 Brad Winter, District 4 Michael J. Cadigan, District 5 Sally Mayer, District 7 Greg Payne, District 8 Tina Cummins, District 9 Martin Chavez, Mayor Water Conservation Office, 768-3655 City of Albuquerque TTY 1-800-659-8331www.cabq.gov/resources/waterconservation
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION ost of New Mexico sits amidst the Great Southwestern Desert. In aM XERISCAPE BASICS 4 typical year, some of our cities get just 8 inches of precipitation. That’s not enough to keep Kentucky Bluegrass green and lush, nor is it enough to enable annuals such as pansies and petunias HOW TO PLANT 8to flourish and flower. So we add water. Lots of water. TREES & SHRUBS 12 During the hot summer months, more than 70% of all water use inmany New Mexico cities goes toward landscaping. Billions of gallons ofprecious water are applied to plants that, quite frankly, were never FLOWERING PLANTS 16intended to grow in our climate. To maintain our wonderful quality of life in the desert Southwest and DESERT ACCENTS 26to ensure adequate future supplies, we need to reduce our outdoor wateruse. Adopting the water-wise principles of xeriscaping is one way to meetthat goal. GROUNDCOVERS 30 The color photographs in this book feature some of the most beautifuland water-thrifty plants that will thrive in our sunny climate. By choosing TURF & GRASSES 35these xeric plants for your landscape, you can create a water-wise xeriscapethat will add beauty to your home— and help preserve New Mexico’senchanting quality of life. ALBUQUERQUE PLANTS 38 Albuquerque Water Hotlines: For information about water conservation, call 768-3655. To report water waste, call 768-3640. Statewide Information: NM State Engineer 1-800-WATER-NM or contact your local utility
  4. 4. XERISCAPE BASICS photo by Charles Mann XERISCAPING IS WATER-EFFICIENT LANDSCAPING THAT’S APPROPRIATE TO THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT eriscape is a complicated-sounding word for a Xeriscapes can save tremendous amounts of water.X very wise and simple concept. In a nutshell, xeriscaping is water-efficient landscaping that’s appropriate to the natural environment. In New Mexico, xeriscaping means using plantsthat don’t require much water. (The word xeriscape is An established, properly maintained xeriscape needs about one-third the water of a traditional turf-based landscape. Some xeric plants require almost no sup- plemental watering once they are established. An established xeriscape also requires less maintenancederived from the Greek word xeros, which means dry.) than a traditional landscape.The goal of xeriscaping is to create a visually attractivelandscape that uses plants selected for their water effi-ciency. 4
  5. 5. THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF XERISCAPING XERISCAPE BASICS 1. PLANNING AND DESIGN 2. SOIL IMPROVEMENTS pplying xeriscape principles to your tures and low-water-use trees and shrubs to Whether you’re an avid do-it-yourselferA home landscape will save water— but that’s just the beginning! You’ll also enjoy the beauty and diversityof native and other water-wise plants. Manydelightful varieties of grasses, flowers, shrubs provide privacy. Also consider the views you want to pro- tect or screen. It’s important to know the mature size of the plants and trees you select to ensure that you get the views or privacy and plan to design your own yard, or choose to use the services of a landscape design pro- fessional, a properly designed xeriscape can meet your needs and provide beautiful — and water-wise — surroundings.and trees do very well in New Mexico. you desire. SUN— What portions of your property 2. SOIL IMPROVEMENTSFollow these seven principles and you’ll be receive morning sun? What portions receive You may need to add soil amendmentson your way toward successful xeriscaping. hot, afternoon sun? Where are the shady before you plant. This will enable your soil to spots? The amount and time of sun expo- better absorb water. The water-retention abili-1. PLANNING AND DESIGN sure will affect the types of plants you select. ties of most New Mexico soil is improved with Any beautiful landscape starts with a the addition of organic matter (such as TIME— How much time do you want togood design, and a delightful xeriscape is no compost). spend maintaining your landscape? If you’ddifferent. Before you move a shovelful of dirt However, if you’re landscaping with native rather enjoy your yard than work in it,or plant a single flower, start with an overall plants, you may not need to add anything to choose low-maintenance plants!plan for your xeriscape. your soil. Many well-adapted xeric plants actu- The physical characteristics of ally prefer not to have soil that’s toothe site should be considered. Also rich. For these hardy natives, allconsider your needs and your aes- you’ll need to do is loosen the soilthetic preferences. Here is just a before you plant.sampling of the issues you shouldthink about when planning your 3. APPROPRIATE TURF AREASlandscape: If Kentucky bluegrass wereFUNCTION— Do you need an native to New Mexico, we’d call itactive recreation area? If so, for New Mexico bluegrass, wouldn’twhat activities? A small turf area we? Kentucky bluegrass is a “coolmay be what you need. Do you season” grass that requires a mini-need an “outdoor living room?” If mum of 40 inches of water per yearso, consider expanding your patio to stay lush and green. Remember,area with additional shade struc- 3. APPROPRIATE TURF AREAS some cities in New Mexico average 5
  6. 6. THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF XERISCAPINGless than 8 inches of precipitation and groundcovers are best wateredper year. That’s why we have to with low-volume drip emitters,water bluegrass so much here in sprayers and bubblers.the high desert. Remember, too, that even the If we’re going to be serious best-designed irrigation systemabout saving water, we have to must be maintained to retain itsrethink our lawns. Instead of using optimum efficiency! Fix leaks anda lawn to cover large areas of make sure the water lines areground, choose your lawn size to clean and unobstructed.fit your family’s needs. If you don’tneed a football field-sized turf 6. MULCHINGarea, try planting a smaller lawn. Mulches are soil coverings thatConsider planting water-wise minimize evaporation, cool thegroundcovers and shrubs. 4. LOW WATER USE PLANTS soil, reduce weed growth and slow Instead of using cool season grasses ing”— grouping together plants with erosion. Mulches can also provide visualthat need lots of supplemental water, consid- similar water needs. Plants that need very interest to a landscape while offering a pro-er drought-tolerant grasses such as little water are grouped together in a zone, tective cover until plants mature.Buffalograss and Blue Grama. while thirsty plants and lawns are grouped Organic mulches (bark chips, wood together in another zone. grindings, composted cotton burrs, etc.) are4. LOW-WATER-USE PLANTS commonly used in planting beds. Inorganic Choose native and low-water-use plants 5. EFFICIENT IRRIGATION mulches (such as gravel and decomposedwhenever possible. A wonderful variety of Proper and efficient irrigation saves granite) can be used to add texture andwater-wise plants can grow throughout New water. For the most efficient use of water, irri- color under trees and around shrubs.Mexico— from the low deserts of the south gate turf areas separately from other plant- Never use plastic sheeting underneathto the mountains of the north. Some of these ings. Design irrigation zones so low-water-use rock or bark. It prevents the soil fromplants are perfect for adding year-round plants receive only the water they need. breathing and encourages shallow plantgreenery and texture. Other native plants are Choosing the right kind of irrigation roots. A better alternative is a permeablegreat for adding a splash of seasonal color. can also save water. Lawns are usually landscape fabric. Xeriscaping uses the concept of “zon- watered by sprinklers. Trees, shrubs, flowers 5. EFFICIENT IRRIGATION 6. MULCHING 6
  7. 7. XERISCAPE BASICS CREATING YOUR WATER ZONES uccessful xeriscapes group plants of similar water S requirements together in “water zones.” Zoning your yard will help you create a landscape that is beautiful, functional and water-efficient. ZONE 1: MINI-OASIS The area nearest to your house is where the highest- water-use plants should be placed, creating the lushest zone. The mini-oasis zone includes your lawn area (if 7. PROPER MAINTENANCE you have one). This zone also includes the shady north7. PROPER MAINTENANCE and east sides of your home— typically the coolest parts Even though successful xeriscapes are low maintenance, they of a site. The mini-oasis zone can also include areas thataren’t completely maintenance-free. To ensure that your xeriscape receive rainfall runoff from rooflines and downspouts.stays beautiful and water-wise, you’ll need to periodically fertilize,prune, weed, mow and control pests. To ensure continued water savings, keep irrigation systems ZONE 2: TRANSITIONproperly adjusted. A well-planned and properly maintained xeriscape The transition zone is used to blend lush areas withrequires even less work as it matures. And that gives you more time the drier parts of a landscape. The intermediate zone into enjoy your yard. your yard takes advantage of low- and moderate-water- use plants. Choose plants ZONE 1 that need infrequent supple- mental watering (once a week or less.) ZONE 2 ZONE 3: ARID Farthest away from the house and removed from the most active areas of the ZONE 3 landscape, Zone 3 features the most drought-tolerant vegetation. Choose native plants and other varieties that rarely require supple- mental watering. 7
  8. 8. 10 STEPS TO A HEAL 1. SELECT THE RIGHT PLANT FOR THE RIGHT SPOT 2. DIG THE RIGHT SIZE HOLE1. SELECT THE RIGHT PLANT FOR THE RIGHT SPOT. 2. DIG THE RIGHT SIZE HOLE. Sun-loving plants should go into sunny spaces. Shade-loving plants should be The “right size” for trees and shrubs is about twice as wide and about 6” deep-placed under trees or beside walls where they’ll be protected from our harsh New Mexico er than the depth of the root ball. For annuals and perennials, the hole should besun. Also make sure the area is big enough to accommodate the plant when it’s reached about a foot deep and at least a foot wide. If you dig a hole that’s just big enough forits full mature size. (Remember, too, to place plants with similar water needs together.) the plant’s root ball, you actually encourage the roots to not grow and spread.5. SEPARATE MATTED ROOTS. 6. PLACE PLANT AND BACKFILL THE HOLE. Use a knife or sharp trowel to cut four vertical slits, one on each side of the Place plant in the hole, making sure that the top of the root ball is aboutroot ball. Make several similar cuts on bottom of root ball. Use your fingers to level with the surrounding soil. Shovel the soil around the plant’s roots to fill up“rough out” matted roots on sides and bottom. the hole. Leave a ridge of soil around the planting hole to hold water. This will allow the water to soak deeply to the plant’s roots. (In dry or hard-to-water areas, a shallow depression (1/2”) below the soil grade will help hold water near the plant even as the ridge of soil begins to erode.) 5. SEPARATE MATTED ROOTS 6. PLACE PLANT AND BACKFILL THE HOLE 8
  9. 9. ALTHY XERIC PLANT 3. AMEND THE SOIL 4. CAREFULLY REMOVE PLANT FROM CONTAINER 3. AMEND THE SOIL. 4. CAREFULLY REMOVE PLANT FROM CONTAINER. Add compost and soil minerals such as phosphate (and soil sulphur where Turn small plants upside down, supporting the soil with your hands. Tap the soils are very alkaline). Mix well with shovel. Fill hole just enough so top of root pot to loosen the soil from the sides of the pot, then lift the pot off the root ball. ball will be approximately level with or just under the surrounding soil. Pulling annuals and perennials out by the stems and leaves can damage the plant. Remember, however, that many xeric plants prefer unamended soil. 7. GIVE THE PLANT A GOOD SOAKING. 8. MULCH IT! Even water-thrifty xeric plants need a healthy drenching when transplanted. A thick layer of mulch (2-4” deep depending on the size of the plant) will Make sure you soak the plant’s entire root zone. (Keep in mind, too, that your new minimize evaporation, cool the soil and reduce weed growth. Crushed 3/8” or 3/4” plants will need more frequent waterings during their first year than during subse- gravel, coarse textured compost, and bark are three commonly used mulches. quent years.) 7. GIVE THE PLANT A GOOD SOAKING 8. MULCH IT! 9
  10. 10. 10 STEPS TO A HEALTHY XERIC PLANT TIPS ON DRIP: THE BASIC COMP rip irrigation is the perfect method for watering D most shrubs and trees. Drip irrigation systems save water because they deliver slow, steady amounts of water directly to plant roots. As a result, drip systems cut down on evaporation, runoff and overspray. 1. FILTER Keeps sand and silt from clogging 9. USE EFFICIENT IRRIGATION small drip lines and drip emitters.9. USE EFFICIENT IRRIGATION. The majority of xeric plants suitable for New Mexico landscapes can be mostefficiently watered using drip irrigation. Drip emitters save water because theydeliver a slow, steady dose of water directly to a plant’s root zone, significantly 2. PRESSURE REGULATORreducing water lost to evaporation. Lowers the water pressure to the ideal setting for a drip system10. MAINTAIN YOUR XERISCAPE. (approximately 20-30 pounds per Even a low-maintenance xeriscape requires some maintenance. Periodicallycheck your irrigation system for leaks. Clean filter and check drip emitters to pre- square inch (psi)).vent plugging. For trees and large shrubs, you may need to move emitters outwardand add extra emitters as plants grow so the water soaks the entire root zone. 3. BACKFLOW PREVENTER/ ANTI-SIPHON VALVE Keeps irrigation system water from being siphoned back into your drinking water. Backflow preventers are required by city ordinances. 4. MULTI-EMITTER HYDRANT Delivers water from a single riser pipe to multiple locations. Each outlet’s flow rate can be individual- ly controlled by using emitters that deliver different amounts of water. 5. MICRO-TUBING Delivers the water from a multi- emitter hydrant to the location of individual plants. 10. MAINTAIN YOUR XERISCAPE 10
  11. 11. XERISCAPE BASICSMPONENTS OF DRIP IRRIGATION HOW MUCH WATER IS ENOUGH? he chart below shows how much precipitation T Professional landscapers and irrigation companies Albuquerque receives each month, how much addition- can design and install drip systems. Drip irrigation kits al water the typical xeriscape needs, and how much are available at hardware stores, home centers and additional water a traditional “high-water-use” land- nurseries. The City also has a free Drip Guide and video. scape needs. You can see at a glance just how thirsty a tradi- tional lawn-dominated landscape is. The irony is that many lawns actually receive too much supplemental water! Collectively, we tend to pour more water on our lawns than is necessary for healthy growth and 6. DRIP EMITTERS maintenance. (The same is true for many trees, shrubs, and flowering plants.) Connect to micro-tubing and deliver Some studies show that typical lawn sprinklers apply water to specific plants at a slow, con- water at the rate of about 1 1/2” per hour. Unfortunately, the sistent rates. Flow rates are measured typical lawn can only handle about 1/2” per hour before in gallons per hour (GPH). becoming saturated. So, leaving your sprinklers running longer usually doesn’t help your lawn a bit — and usually 7. BUBBLER EMITTERS increases runoff waste. Instead, try a shorter water cycle, followed by an “off” Deliver water to a targeted location, cycle, followed by another short water cycle. This method gives usually at a higher GPH rate than a the first dose of water a chance to reach the roots— where it drip emitter. Bubblers are commonly does the most good. After this water has soaked in, the second used to water trees, shrubs and dense- dose of water actually helps push the first dose of water deeper ly planted flower beds. into the soil. ESTIMATED MONTHLY PLANT WATER NEEDS AND RAINFALL Based on 30-year Weather Data (Albuquerque, NM Region) 6 Since spray irrigation 5.74 systems are very inef- 5.10 5.14 5 ficient, it takes 40 inches or more to HIGH WATER A well-designed and TRADITIONAL maintain high water 4 managed xeriscape LANDSCAPE 3.54 landscapes. Expect to 3.66 Inches of Water should use 5 to 15 31 inches per year use 25 to 32 gallons gallons of supple- per square foot. Some 3 mental water per Albuquerque land- square foot per year. 2.21 2.02 scapes receive over 100 gallons per 2 XERISCAPE square foot per year! 1.15 1.41 1.42 0.74 1 0.51 0.80 0.93 0.37 8.5 inches per year 0.83 0.54 0.64 0.6 PRECIPITATION 0.4 0.39 0.45 0.46 0.47 0 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Inches x .623 x Sq. Feet = Gallons Gallons/.62/square feet = Inches of water 11
  12. 12. TREES AND SHRUBS photo by Charles Mann THE DESERT WILLOW IS A PERFECT TREE FOR ALBUQUERQUE’S HOT, DRY CLIMATE n hot, dry climates such as ours, people appreciate When deciding what types of trees and shrubs toI cool retreats from the fiery sun. One well-placed shade tree can transform a patio or deck from a scorching hot spot to a shady oasis. Buildings shadedby trees also require less air conditioning, which willsave summer energy costs. plant in your landscape, always consider the mature size of the specimen. Make sure the spot you select gives the tree or shrub enough “growing room” to reach its full height and width. Another consideration is winter color. Many land- Trees provide visual interest and add “character” to a scape designers recommend that at least 30% of yoursuburban landscape. There are many trees that adapt landscape should be filled with evergreen trees andwell to our local climate. The same is true for shrubs; a shrubs. That way, you’ll have some pleasing greenerydelightful variety are well-suited for our climate because even during the coldest winter months.they can handle our summer heat, winter cold, and dry The trees and shrubs shown on the next few pagesgrowing environments. are only a few of the choices recommended for the City of Albuquerque and similar Southwestern climates. 12
  13. 13. DECIDUOUS TREES DECIDUOUS TREES TREES & SHRUBSCHILOPSIS LINEARIS (Desert Willow)(see full photo on opposite page) Full Sun Low WaterMature Size: 8-20 ft. tall, 10-15 ft. wideBlooming Season: May-JulyFlower Color: Pale pink to rosy purple. A sturdy, heat-loving tree that’s native to warm deserts, especially in arroyos. Grows well in New Mexico’s lowlands, but may not be suited to eleva- photo by Judith Phillips photo by Michael Melendres tions above 5,500 or where PISTACHIA CHINENSIS QUERCUS SPP. (OAK)its cold hardiness is challenged. Compact and shrub- (Chinese Pistache) Full Sun Medium Waterby in appearance, its leaves are long and thin and its Full Sun Medium Water Mature Size: 25-60 ft. tall, 15-60 ft. wideprofusion of pink trumpet-shaped flowers puts onquite a show. Long, pencil-like pods give the tree year- Mature Size: 40 ft. tall, 30 ft. wide Many species of Oak grow well throughout most ofround character. Fast growing as a young tree, then Blooming Season: Mid- to Late-Spring New Mexico. Gambel Oak (Quercus gambelii) is aits growth slows as it matures. Flower Color: Reddish moderate-sized tree that’s native from Southern A wonderful shade tree when mature, the Chinese Colorado through the canyons and foothills of New Pistache can handle hot, dry desert conditions beause Mexico and Arizona. It grows slowly to 30 feet tall, of its deep taproot. Its glossy dark leaves put on a sometimes taller when water is available. Most other delightful fall show turning a bright crimson. Female oaks grow taller, including Valley Oak (Quercus trees develop small fruit if male trees are nearby. lobata), which can reach 40 feet, and Shumard Oak Stake young trees and prune lower branches to devel- (Quercus shumardii), which can reach 60 feet with op a crown high enough to walk under. Young trees a 60-foot spread. Most oaks have lobed leaves that may have a slightly awkward form when young, but turn from dark green to yellow-orange in the fall. the canopy fills out as trees mature. Tolerant of virtu- ally all soil conditions. PROSOPIS VELUTINA (Velvet Mesquite) Full Sun Low WaterFORESTIERA NEOMEXICANA Mature Size: 15-30 ft. tall, 10-25 ft. wide(New Mexico Olive) Blooming Season: May-June Full Sun- Part Shade Medium Water Flower Color: Yellow.Mature Size: 12-18 ft. tall, 10-15 ft. wide The various species of mesquite are trees synony-Blooming Season: Early Spring/ Flower Color: mous with the desert Southwest. All are slow to leaf photo by Hunter Ten BroeckYellow-Green. out in the spring, but they make up for their tardi- VITEX AGNUS-CASTUS ness with fragrant yellow flowers. Small, blue-green (Vitex or Chaste Tree)Depending upon your landscape needs and prefer- leaflets give Velvet Mesquite a soft, lacey appearance.ences, this native species can be pruned upward to Full Sun Medium Water Flat, narrow bean podsform an attractive small tree or left in its natural, Mature Size: 15-25 ft. tall, 10-15 ft. wide hang from the treerounded shrub-like shape. The bark of its multiple throughout the summer. Blooming Season: July-Augusttrunks is a smooth pale gray, and its branches fork at Its limited cold-hardiness Flower Color: Blue-lavender.odd, interesting angles. Clusters of small yellowish makes it a good choice Multi-branched, spreading, large shrub or small treegreen flowers appear early in spring; female plants where average annual that features distinctive dark green palmate leaves. Itsproduce small fruits that attract songbirds. Tolerates minimum temperatures low, open form can be pruned to grow more treelikedrought, but does best when roots receive a deep stay above 5 degrees F; to create a small and lovely shade tree. In mid-sum-soaking once or twice a month. other mesquites found in mer a profusion of 7-inch-long blue flower spikes the Plant List are about 5 creates a sweet aroma that attracts bumblebees. Does degrees F more cold best in hot areas. hardy. photo by David Cristiani 13
  14. 14. DECIDUOUS SHRUBS DECIDUOUS SHRUBS EVERGREEN TREESCARYOPTERIS CLANDONENSIS FALLUGIA PARADOXA (Apache Plume) CERCOCARPUS LEDIFOLIUS(Blue Mist Spirea) Full Sun Low Water (Curlleaf Mountain Mahogany) Full Sun-part sun Medium Water Mature Size: 4-5 ft. tall, 4-5 ft. wide Full Sun Low WaterMature Size: 2 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide Blooming Season: April Mature Size: 10 ft. tall, 6 ft. wideBlooming Season: July-August Flower Color: White. Blooming Season: Early SpringFlower Color: Blue-purple. This is one of the showiest of our native shrubs. In Flower Color: Yellowish.A vey popular, low-care shrub that’s perfect for land- spring it’s covered with tiny white, five-petaled flowers A shrub-like tree that’s native to dry mountain slopesscape or flower beds. It needs only average garden that look like miniature white roses. (Apache Plume is between 4,000 and 9,000 feet in elevation. Because itsoil to thrive. Hundreds of purple-blue flower spikes in the rose family.) But this shrub really stands out is very slow growing, it can make an excellent hedgecover the mature plant in late summer. Cut back 1/3 when the pink, silky-plumed seed heads cover the tips or small character tree. Small flowers appear brieflyof its previous year’s height in spring to encourage of its branches from late summer through fall. in spring, then yield to seeds with 2-3-inch-longheaviest flowering. Butterflies love this shrub! Plant it in well-drained soil in any hot, sunny loca- plumes. The bark is light gray, almost white, and the tion. Needs virtually no supplemental water once small leathery leaves are dark green above and fuzzy established. white below. Water to establish, then the tree can go unirrigated except in the hottest, driest weather.CHAMAEBATIARIA MILLEFOLIUM photo by Michael Melendres(Fernbush) RHUS TRILOBATA (Three-Leaf Sumac) PINUS ELDARICA (Afghan Pine) Full Sun Low WaterMature Size: 4-6 ft. tall, 5 ft. wide Full Sun-Part Shade Low Water Full Sun Medium WaterBlooming Season: Mid-Summer Mature Size: 3-6 ft. tall, 3-6 ft. wide Mature Size: 40 ft. tall, 18 ft. wideFlower Color: White. Blooming Season: April Pine trees provide visual interest in a landscape and Flower Color: Yellowish-green. much-needed greenery in the coldest, most barrenFernbush is a relatively little-known native plant An ornamental native shrub that is well adapted to a months. Afghan Pine is one of the best desert pines.that’s great for use as a single specimen or in groups wide range of soils from sandy to rock to heavy clay. It thrives in heat, wind, poor soil— and it is rela-and rows for visual screening and hedges. The showy Three-Leaf Sumac is a moderate to fast grower, tively drought tolerant. However, it cannot tolerateflower spikes resemble those of white lilacs. Like the depending upon how much water it receives. The temperatures below 0 degrees F. Its evergreen leavesApache Plume, this shrub is semi-evergreen. Its olive unremarkable tiny flowers are followed by tart, red (needles) grow in pairs and reach 5-6 inches long.green foliage remains on the ends of its stems in berries that are much sought after by wild birds. A This relatively fast-growing tree is great for wind-winter. Upright, fuzzy stems grow from center of good choice for screening and wind breaks, its leaves breaks and for creating a “visual screen” betweenplant, giving it a pleasant, round shape. This hardy turn glorious shades of red and orange in the fall. properties.plant loves south- and west-facing exposures andwell-drained soil. 14
  15. 15. EVERGREEN TREES EVERGREEN SHRUBS TREES & SHRUBS photo by Hunter Ten Broeck photo by Hunter Ten BroeckPINUS NIGRA (Austrian Pine) ARTEMISIA TRIDENTATA (Big Sage) COTONEASTER BUXIFOLIUS Full Sun Medium Water Full Sun-Part Sun Low Water (Grayleaf Cotoneaster)Mature Size: 35 ft. tall, 25 ft. wide Mature Size: 3-7 ft. tall, 3-5 ft. wide Full Sun-Part Sun Medium WaterThe typical Austrian Pine grows in a dense, stout When most people think of sagebrush, it’s Big Sage Mature Size: 2 ft. tall, 4-6 ft. widepyramid-like shape with a uniform crown. Its ever- that comes to mind. This aromatic shrub is native Blooming Season: Spring-Summergreen leaves (needles) are dark green, 3-6 inches throughout the West in elevations from 1,500 to Flower Color: Pink.long, and sprout from the tree in pairs. The bark is 10,000 feet. Its small silver-gray leaves are narrow and Grayleaf Cotoneaster, like most species of Cotoneaster,dark brown or black. Its oval-shaped yellow-brown hairy, and they contrast well with its rough black bark. is a low-spreading shrub that is sometimes used as anfemale cones are about 3 inches long. Austrian Pine Its flowers are basically insignificant; this plant is informal groundcover. Can be pruned back to create amakes an effective windbreak, and it’s a good choice grown for its native, rustic look that remains virtually more formal hedge shape. The small pink flowerswhere winters are cold. unchanged year-round. Big Sage grows easily in virtu- become red berries that persist throughout fall. Its ally any sunny, well-drained spot. A great xeric small gray leaves clothe 3-6 foot arching stems year- plant— watering too much in mid summer can actu- round. Grows well in moderately fertile soil. ally kill it. photo by Hunter Ten Broeck photo by Judith PhillipsPINUS EDULIS (Pinon Pine) COWANIA MEXICANA (Cliffrose) photo by Charles Mann SPARTIUM JUNCEUM (Spanish Broom) Full Sun Medium Water Full Sun Low WaterMature Size: 30 ft. tall, 20 ft. wide Mature Size: 8 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide Full Sun Medium WaterBlooming Season: Early Spring Blooming Season: Summer Mature Size: 6-10 ft. tall, 4-10 ft. wide Flower Color: Yellow. Blooming Season: May-JulyPinon Pines are one of New Mexico’s most recognizable Flower Color: Yellow.native trees. Horizontal branches make for a bushy, Cliffrose makes an excellent companion for perennialsdomed shape when mature. Its needles, which grow in because its open-branched form casts light shade. Its Spanish Broom makes a great shrub backdrop for apairs, are short, stiff and dark green. Its spherical cones irregular shape lends a native touch to landscapes— perennial bed and can also be used as a foundationproduce seeds (also known as Pinon Nuts) that are which is appropriate since this plant is a New Mexico plant. The dense, evergreen twigs are almost leafless,prized by wildlife—and humans as well. Pinons are native. Fragrant flowers cover the branches in early but they are literally covered with fragrant, brilliantoften used as accent plants, and specimens with summer, a few of which remain virtually all summer yellow flowers in early summer. Thrives in alkalinegnarled trunks are especially prized. It grows best in long. Feathery plumes form in mid-summer and per- soils in full sun— to the point that it can crowd outfoothill elevations, but can stand up to the heat and sist into winter. (Consequently, Cliffrose is often mis- other plants. Responds well to pruning and will growcold of most New Mexico locations. taken for Apache Plume). It can handle the hottest back vigorously. south–and west-facing exposures. 15
  16. 16. FLOWERING PLANTS IMAGINE HOW GREAT YOUR GARDEN WILL LOOK WITH A BEAUTIFULLY MATCHED GROUPING OF LOW-CARE FLOWERS othing brightens up a desert landscape like names, plant types, water requirements and otherN flowers. In this section, we focus on flowering plants that are well adapted to our high desert growing conditions. Flowering xeric plants can beautify your yard andhelp to conserve our valuable water resources. characteristics of the approved plants. See page 38 for the list in its entirety). Although it can’t possibly list every plant that can grow in your area, the Albuquerque Plant List can serve as a terrific resource about hundreds of plants that will grow and thrive inChoosing the right xeric plants will attract butterflies much of New Mexico.and wild birds to your landscape. At the same time, a Please keep in mind that even the most drought-well-planned xeriscape can increase the comfort level resistant native plants need water more frequentlyof your home. during the first year or two to establish the extensive The plants featured in this section are but a fraction root systems that make them so tough. (For example,of those listed in the “Flowers and Flowering you may need to water young plants twice a month orGroundcovers” section of the 1998 Albuquerque Plant more during the hot summer months.) After plantsList. (The list specifies the common names, scientific are established, water less often. 16
  17. 17. FLOWERING PLANTSACHILLEA TAYGETEA AGASTACHE RUPESTRIS ARMERIA MARITIMA (Thrift)(“Moonshine” Yarrow) (Licorice Mint Hyssop) Full Sun Medium Water Full Sun Medium Water Full Sun Medium Water Mature Size: 12” tall, 12” wideMature Size: 24” tall, 18” wide Mature Size: 24” tall, 24” wide Blooming Season: Late SpringBlooming Season: July-August Blooming Season: July-September Flower Color: Pink.Flower Color: Yellow. Flower Color: Orange. This plant is a rock garden favorite with its tidyHighly adaptive in its soil and water needs, but grows This southwestern native originates from the moun- mound of grassy foliage and profusion of rose-pinkbest in well-drained soils. The distinctive silver-gray tainous regions of southern Arizona and northern spherical flowers. Kept “deadheaded,” flowering willfoliage is a fine backdrop for the lacy, lemon-yellow Chihuahua, Mexico. It blooms from mid-summer continue throughout much of the summer. Wellflower clusters that keep coming all summer. It can through the fall with numerous spikes of gorgeous drained sandy or loamy soil is best for Armeria mar-be used in both xeric and traditional borders. Other orange flowers. The thread-like, gray-green leaves give itima. It appreciates regular watering during the heatspecies of Achillea offer flowers in lighter shades of the entire plant a very soft, wispy look. The fragrance of summer, although dryer conditions are fine foryellow and also in red, pink and white. of this plant is also wonderful, so place it where you cooler times of the year. Armeria is perfect for inter- will brush against it when you walk by. Loves well- planting with blue flowering Veronica and white drained soil with plenty of summer heat. It’s also a Greek yarrow, among others, for outstanding rock must for hummingbird gardens! garden color combinations.AGASTACHE CANA (Giant Hyssop) ANACYCLUS DEPRESSUS (Mat Daisy) Full Sun Medium Water Sun-Shade Low Water ARTEMISIA ABROTANUMMature Size: 24” tall, 24” wide Mature Size: 6” tall, 12” wideBlooming Season: July-September Blooming Season: Late Spring (Southernwood)Flower Color: Rose-Pink. Flower Color: White & Red. Sun-Shade Medium Water This little-known plant originates in the mountainous Mature Size: 36” tall, 36” wideTubular, raspberry-pink flowers make Giant Hyssop a areas of the Mediterranean, and has shown itself to be Blooming Season: July-Augustfavorite of New Mexico’s gardeners and humming-birds. The flowers are prolific and continue through an easy-to-grow, cold-hardy rock garden plant. Dense Flower Color: Yellow-Gray.the fall. Native to the mountainous areas of southern 1” tall feathery silver-gray foliage shows off the white The soft, ferny green foliage looks like it doesn’tNew Mexico and western Texas, Agastache cana does daisy flowers in early spring. The undersides of the belong to such a tough, indestructible plant. Rabbitwell in average garden conditions, mixing well with flower petals have a distinctive deep red color that is and grasshopper proof, this plant is invaluable bothother late-blooming perennials. It’s cold hardy to -20˚ revealed in the mornings before the flowers unfold. Mat as a fine backdrop to highlight other plants andF and also remarkably heat tolerant as long as it gets daisy thrives in poor, well drained soil. A good plant for ornamental grasses, and as a barrier plant to protectadequate water. edging gravel pathways where it will re-seed itself and other less hardy perennials from hungry foragers. colonize the area. When brushed, the leaves give off a powerful scent. 17
  18. 18. FLOWERING PLANTSARTEMISIA STELLERIANA CALLIRHOE INVOLUCRATA CENTRANTHUS RUBER (Red Valerian)(Beach Wormwood) (Poppy Mallow, Winecups) Sun-Shade Medium Water Sun-Shade Medium Water Full Sun Low Water Mature Size: 36” tall, 36” wideMature Size: 12” tall, 24” wide Mature Size: 24” tall, 24” wide Blooming Season: Late Spring-SummerBlooming Season: June Blooming Season: Late Spring-Summer Flower Color: Red.Flower Color: White-Yellow. Flower Color: Red-Pink. Red Valerian is a versatile plant, being equally atBeach Wormwood exhibits a remarkable range of The five petaled flowers of Poppy Mallow (also known home in both the xeric garden and traditional peren-adaptability, being equally at home as a ground cover as Winecups) are a rich pinkish-red color with a white nial border. Not fussy about its growing conditions,in a coastal garden or a frigid mountain planting. The eye, and cover the plant all summer. The low spread- the showy rose-red flowers are continuous from latescalloped, felt-like white foliage provides a fine carpet to ing stems make this plant useful on slopes or cascad- spring through summer. A willing re-seeder underplant under other xeric perennials such as Penstemons. ing over retaining walls. A valuable plant for hot favorable conditions, Centranthus ruber prefers well-Prompt removal of spent flowers or the flower spikes in south- or west-facing beds. Grows well in a wide range drained garden soil— not clay.mid-summer will maintain its rug-like look. Well of soil types including clay. Gently re-seeds itself andadapted to varying soil types and watering regimes. will slowly spread if you let it. Recommended compan- ion plants are Berlandiera lyrata (Chocolate Flower), Nepeta x faassenii (Catmint) and gray Santolina.BERLANDIERA LYRATA CALYLOPHUS SPECIES (Sundrops)(Chocolate Flower) Full Sun Low Water Full Sun Low Water Mature Size: 18” tall, 18” wideMature Size: 16” tall, 16” wide Blooming Season: Spring-SummerBlooming Season: Early Spring-Summer Flower Color: Yellow.Flower Color: Yellow. This spectacular native wildflower is ever-bloomingStep out into your garden on a clear summer morning with a profusion of large, bright yellow, four petaledand delight to the scent of chocolate that perfumes the flowers. The narrow gray-green foliage gives the plantair. This native wildflower blooms profusely all season a lacy look in the garden. Calylophus thrives in thewith cheery light yellow daisies; the sweetly fragrant heat, and grows well in a wide range of soils, as longblossoms really do smell just like chocolate! Easily as they’re well drained. This tough plant is the star ofgrown in a variety of soil types, this drought tolerant any dryland rock garden or xeriscape. A good shear-species readily re-seeds itself, making it a desirable ing before the growing season starts in late spring willaddition to any wildflower meadow or informal garden keep it looking tidy and loaded with flowers.area. Surround Chocolate Flower with Callirhoe (Poppy RED VALERIAN IS A GOOD RESEEDERMallow) for a bright summer-long show of color. 18
  19. 19. FLOWERING PLANTSCOREOPSIS VERTICILLATA GAILLARDIA GRANDIFLORA HELIANTHUS MAXIMILLIANA(Threadleaf Coreopsis) (Indian Blanketflower) (Maximillian Sunflower) Full Sun Medium Water Full Sun Medium Water Full Sun Medium WaterMature Size: 24” tall, 24” wide Mature Size: 24” tall, 24” wide Mature Size: up to 120” tall, 120” wideBlooming Season: Summer Blooming Season: Summer Blooming Season: September-OctoberFlower Color: Yellow. Flower Color: Yellow/Orange/Red. Flower Color: Yellow.Coreopsis is a carefree perennial with fine, thread-like Blanketflower is one of the most dependable perenni- Maximillian Sunflower produces one of the mostfoliage and pale, 2-inch-wide yellow flowers that al bloomers. It’s easy to grow and tough enough to spectacular late-season bursts of color. The tall flow-cover the plant all summer. Performs best in com- handle hot micro-climates. The flowers sport red ering spikes, up to 20 or 30 in a mature clump, arepost-enriched soil. Add soil sulphur to keep the foliage centers; the petals are orange with yellow tips. The covered with up to 30 or more yellow, closely spacednicely green. It is relatively late to awaken from its flowers keep coming all summer— just remove the daisies. Place Helianthus against walls or fences orwinter dormancy, so be patient! The “Moonbeam” spent blooms and another crop of flowers will appear make a hedge with it, but don’t put it in the middlecultivar is one of the most drought-tolerant varieties in a couple of weeks. Although fairly drought toler- of your most fertile flower beds, as it will crowd outand bears flowers that are pale yellow. ant, regular watering produces the most prolific weaker neighbors. The more water it receives, the blooms. taller it gets. (Growing Tip: put it in a tomato cage early in the season and let the tall stems grow up GAURA LINDHEIMERI (Gaura) through it so they don’t flop over with the weight of their flowers later in the fall.) Full Sun Medium Water Mature Size: 48” tall, 48” wide Blooming Season: June-September Flower Color: White or Pink. A native to the Southwest, Gaura gives the garden a wonderful informality with its long, wispy stems of spider-like flowers. It responds with a profusion of flowers when watered regularly during the summer. Most vari-ECHINACEA PURPUREA eties of Gaura feature(Purple Coneflower) white flowers, but a new variety called HYMENOXYS SCAPOSA (Perky Sue) Full Sun Medium Water “Siskiyou Pink” (pic- Full Sun Low WaterMature Size: 36” tall, 24” wide tured at right) fea- Mature Size: 12” tall, 12” wideBlooming Season: Late Summer tures pink blooms. Blooming Season: April-AugustFlower Color: Pink/Golden. Other native perenni- Flower Color: Yellow.This favorite wildflower blooms heavily for many als that enjoy similar A wonderful everblooming yellow daisy that is bothweeks in late summer, making this plant invaluable garden conditions heat loving and drought tolerant. The narrow, silver-for brightening the garden in the dog days of sum- and combine well green foliage is evergreen and supports short stems ofmer. The center of each flower is a large, golden- with Gaura include yellow daisies starting in spring. A vigorous re-seeder,tinged conical globe, which is surrounded by purple- Echinacea (Purple it quickly colonizes harsh areas of the garden. Use itpink petals. The plant dies back to the ground during Coneflower) and to interplant with cold hardy cacti. Provide lean, well-winter, but returns strongly in spring. Prefers com- Agastache cana drained soil. Once established H. scaposa is very xericpost-amended, well-drained soil. (Giant Hyssop). 19 and needs little extra water.
  20. 20. FLOWERING PLANTS SUMMER-BLOOMING LAVENDER he genus Lavandula is a favorite T group of ornamental herbs native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean. These are sun- lov- ing plants that thrive in hot weather and grow well in the West in a wide range of soils, even compost enriched garden loams, as long as they are well drained. Heavy, poorly drained clay soils can be fatal to lavenders. In spring, before the plants begin toKNIPHOFIA UVARIA (Red Hot Poker) show signs of new growth, cut back the LINUM PERENNE (Blue Flax) Full Sun Low Water old stems by one-third to re-invigorate the Full Sun Medium WaterMature Size: 36” tall, 36” wide plant and encourage a good show of Mature Size: 18” tall, 18” wideBlooming Season: Summer summer flowers. Lavender plants require Blooming Season: Late Spring-SummerFlower Color: Orange. two to three growing seasons to reach Flower Color: Blue.A sturdy South African native known for its tough, mature size. Blue Flax is one of the favorite Western plants for gar-easy-to-grow nature. It has long grasslike foliage and The two major groups of Lavenders dens. These profuse blue flowers match the summerunusual bicolor flower spikes in shades of orange and include the English Lavenders (L. angus- sky. It is often used for meadows because it’s a strongyellow. A substantial plant that looks great alone or in re-seeder. Extremely cold hardy, it is a fine choice forlong beds lining driveways or entrances where dry- tifolia varieties) and the Lavandins (L. x cold, short season areas throughout the mountains.ness and alkaline soils might defeat even a daylily. intermedia varieties) which are hybrids An undemanding plant, it’s happy in any well-Particularly attractive with Yarrow. between English lavender and another drained garden soil or lean rock-garden mix. Trim off species, Lavandula latifolia. Generally the faded flowers and it will usually re-bloom, or speaking the English lavenders have the leave the old flowers to re-seed and naturalize itself. deepest flower color, while the Lavandins are taller plants with larger flowers and longer flower stems. The English lavenders are often preferred as a source of dried flowers while the Lavandins are typically used for oil produc- tion, potpourris, and lavender wands. NEPETA MUSSINI SYN FASSENIILAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (Catmint)(English Lavender) Sun-Shade Medium Water Mature Size: 8” tall, 24” wide Sun-Shade Medium Water Blooming Season: May-AugustMature Size: 36” tall, 36” wide Flower Color: Blue.Blooming Season: SummerFlower Color: Lavender. Catmint has become a cornerstone in many xeriscapes because of its hardiness and long period ofAn old favorite, Lavender is a dependable performer bloom. The first flush of blue flowers comes in lateblooming with pleasing purple flower spikes. In fact, spring. When deadheaded promptly, a second flushthis is the kind of plant that quickly becomes a blooms in late summer. Out of flower, the neatfavorite of everyone who grows it. Its compact silver- mound of gray-green foliage has a pleasing fragrancegreen leaves and gorgeous flowers combine well with and texture. Adaptable to any well-drained soil,many xeric and hardy garden perennials. A superb “PROVENCE”, A LAVANDIN VARIETY Catmint can handle a range of light from full sun toplant for edging walks and paths and wherever the light shade. Trim back in late winter for prolificaromatic flowers and foliage can be enjoyed. blooms the following spring. 20
  21. 21. FLOWERING PLANTS THE PLEASING POWER OF PENSTEMONS n essential plant in any xeriscape, A Penstemons are unsurpassed in attracting hummingbirds to your garden. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this wonderful group of plants, we’ve included descriptions and pho- tos of three of the most popular varieties. Because many Penstemons are adapted to grow in harsh Western habitats, it is impor- tant to keep a few considerations in mind when bringing them into your garden:OENOTHERA BERLANDIERI 1. Plant only in well-drained soils. Wet clay soils(Mexican Evening Primrose) and Penstemons aren’t compatible. Avoid overly enriched soils. Too much compost can actually short- Full Sun Low Water en their life spans.Mature Size: 12” tall, 60” wideBlooming Season: June-September 2. When putting container-grown Penstemons into PENSTEMON PINIFOLIUSFlower Color: Pink. your garden, plant high, leaving the top of the root- ball just above the surrounding soil to avoid burying (Pineleaf Penstemon)A heat loving plant that thrives in sunny, dry areas the crown of the plant. Full Sun Low Wateralong sun-baked south- and west-facing walls and 3. Mulch with gravel mulch. This not only keeps Mature Size: 12” tall, 20” widepavement areas. Spreading rapidly on shallow roots the plant’s crown dry over the cold, wet winter Blooming Season: June-Julywhen the hot summer weather arrives, give this beau- months but it will encourage the plants to re-seed Flower Color: Orange.ty plenty of room to grow as it will overrun smaller,less vigorous plants. Everblooming, its showy pink and increase their numbers. Pineleaf Penstemon is an outstanding but often over-flowers will last from early summer through fall. 4. To keep some of the shorter-lived Penstemons looked species from southern New Mexico andPreferring unimproved, well drained soils, this plant going, allow some of the plants to set seed. (Don’t Arizona. Blooming for 6-8 weeks in mid-summer, therequires little extra water once established. Makes a “deadhead” them— in other words don’t cut off all tubular orange flowers are profuse, attracting hum-good planting companion for Russian Sage the spent flower stalks.) The volunteer seedlings will mingbirds from miles around. P. pinifolius is long-(Perovskia) and Gray Santolina. be more vigorous and longer lived than the original lived and grows easily in both xeric and traditional parent plant. perennial gardens. As the plant matures, the stems become woody, forming an attractive evergreen shrublet with bright green needle-like foliage. PENSTEMON CLUTEI (Sunset Penstemon) PENSTEMON STRICTUS Full Sun Low Water (Rocky Mountain Penstemon) Mature Size: 24” tall, 24” wide Blooming Season: June-July Full Sun Medium Water Flower Color: Pink. Mature Size: 24” tall, 24” wide Blooming Season: May-June Sunset Penstemon is a very Flower Color: Purple. sought after species that’s thought to be a natural A native Penstemon of the foothills and mountains of hybrid between P. palmeri the southern Rockies (sometimes known asOSTEOSPERMUM BABERIAE and P. pseudospectabilis “Beardtongue”), this plant grows well in central New(Hardy African Daisy) Penstemon clutei is native Mexico. It grows well in full sun, yet can tolerate to a very limited area in and some shade. Its tall, showy spikes of purple flowers Full Sun Medium Water around an extinct volcano last for over a month in the late spring. SpreadingMature Size: 4” tall, 12” wide north of Flagstaff, Arizona. steadily via stolons to form large clumps of denseBlooming Season: Summer The large sunset pink flow- green foliage, RockyFlower Color: Purple-Pink. ers are set on tall spikes above the crinkled blue-green MountainThe compact growth of the Hardy African Daisy Penstemon is one of foliage. Remove faded flowering spikes to prolongmakes it a choice plant for the front of a perennial the longest lived blooming throughout the summer months andborder. Plant it in well-drained, compost-enriched soil and most easily extend the lifespan of the plant. P. clutei requires a(it doesn’t like heavy clay). Maintain even soil mois- grown of the very fast-draining, compost-free soil.ture, taking care not to overwater. Cold hardy for Penstemons.Central New Mexico’s climate, but doesn’t likeextremely hot micro-climates. 21
  22. 22. FLOWERING PLANTSPEROVSKIA ATRIPLICIFOLIA ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS “ARP” SALVIA OFFICINALIS (Garden Sage)(Russian Sage) (“ARP” Upright Rosemary) Full Sun Medium Water Full Sun Medium Water Sun-Shade Low Water Mature Size: 24” tall, 24” wideMature Size: 5 ft. tall, 5 ft. wide Mature Size: 6 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide Blooming Season: August-OctoberBlooming Season: June-September Blooming Season: Summer Flower Color: Violet-Blue.Flower Color: Lavender-Blue. Flower Color: Light Blue. Yes, Garden Sage is an aromatic herb. Its leaves canRussian Sage is an indispensable plant for the Known primarily as an evergreen shrub, Rosemary is be used to flavor meats such as pork, goose andWestern garden. It is native to the harsh, high deserts a bushy plant featuring stiff upright stems and soft sausage. Equally impressive is its beauty in the gar-of Afghanistan and thrives in Albuquerque’s growing blue flowers in summer. Rosemary officinalis “Arp” den. The fuzzy leaves of Garden Sage are a delightfulconditions. Russian Sage blooms for several months has proven itself to be a cold hardy selection, extend- gray-green. Two-foot-tall spikes covered with violet-beginning in late summer, when the white stems and ing its use into New Mexico’s higher elevations. A blue flowers appear in late summer and last until fall.aromatic silver-gray foliage are crowned with smoky- great choice for hot walls and corners and other Handles drought well once established.blue flower spikes. Deep rooted, heat loving and xeric, areas that get intense reflected heat. Plant in combi-it’s not the least picky about soils, and it thrives in nation with other heat-loving plants like Zauschneriaalmost any location. A fine companion plant for californica (Hummingbird Plant), Lavandula, andornamental grasses and flowering perennials. Calylophus (Sundrops).RATIBIDA COLUMNIFERA(Prairie Coneflower, Mexican Hat) Full Sun Low Water/Mature Size: 32” tall, 32” wideBlooming Season: June-SeptemberFlower Color: Yellow-Orange.The roadsides of northeastern New Mexico light upwith color in mid-summer when large stands ofPrairie coneflower come into bloom. This drought-tolerant plant is easy to establish, and it naturalizesreadily so you can grow your own stand of wildflow- SALVIA GREGGII (Autumn Sage)ers. Prairie Coneflower (a.k.a. Mexican Hat) is a Sun-Shade Medium Waterheavy bloomer, with a mature plant producing hun- Mature Size: 24” tall, 36” widedreds of flowers with distinctive mahogany-red petals Blooming Season: May-Septemberedged in yellow. Cold hardy and able to handle hot Flower Color: Red.summers as long as it gets deep watering twice amonth when flowering. Autumn Sage (sometimes called Cherry Sage for its cherry-red blossoms) is a valued xeric plant for its tightly branched upright growth and its profusion of flowers that begin in early summer. Culturally unde- manding, Autumn Sage tolerates a wide range of soils— as long as they are quick draining. Just a bit of extra water during dry spells encourages more PRAIRIE CONEFLOWER (MEXICAN HAT) flowers. 22

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