Joshua Tree

Mormon Tea (Ephedra)

Mention of our mid-June desert road trip on Instagram this morning has compelled me to share a little nugget of knowledge that I gleaned on the trip. The plant in this photo is Ephedra (I don’t know which species as there are several), commonly known as Mormon tea. Those of you who are not from

Old Motel Saguaro

Saguaro Cactus Trees

They were so much more than I imagined they would be. Bigger. More imposing. Majestic. Awesome.

Joshua Tree

Yucca Valley Yard Sale

Day three of our desert road trip, we decided to “take it easy” with a short jaunt to the Yucca Valley and up hill to Pioneertown, which is at a higher elevation and promised to deliver slightly cooler temperatures. I did not like the drive up into the mountains and so it was difficult at

Apricot Mallow

Apricot Mallow: Tiny and Tough as Nails

I saw a lot of amazing plants on the desert trip, some with fascinating stories and critical ethnobotanic ties to the region. Yet, with so many to choose from and so many photographs far better than these, even I find it a little bit odd that I chose to begin with one so tiny and

multiplier onion tohono oodham iitoi

Sonoran Desert Multiplier Onion: Tohono O’odham I’Itoi

I have long sung the praises of the perpetual aka perennial onion. Allow a few to multiply each year and you will have them forever. I started growing one such type, ‘Egyptian Walking’ onion (Allium proliferum) aka tree onion in my community garden plot well over a decade ago. The exact date is a lost

Desert Road Trip Map

Ten Days in the Desert

We arrived home last night from what I can only describe as an epic desert road trip. I had planned to start doing posts on specific places and plants today, but decided that one more overall post is in order. I saw, learned, and experienced so much in those ten days… my head is absolutely

cholla garden Joshua Tree National Park

Teddy Bear Cholla in Joshua Tree Park

We are still on our desert road trip. Yesterday we drove through Joshua Tree National Park, down a road that took us through a box canyon with some crazy terrain, and then down along the east coast of the Salton Sea. I was surprised to see a lot of agriculture out there in the middle

agave queen victoria

Dispatches from Two Deserts

We arrived in Phoenix, Arizona on the hottest day of the year. We got a car at the airport and hightailed it to the Desert Botanical Garden where a day that started out unbearably hot got worse. And worse. Few people were in the garden that day, except us, the crazy Canadians.

Santa Fe Cholla

And Away We Go

I’ve packed an arsenal of high SPF sunblocks, camera gear, and several light, long-sleeved shirts and am now on my way to the desert. The forecast says it will be 111°F in Phoenix when we arrive and I am already imagining myself in the Arrested Development scene where Michael reaches for the door handle of

Sonoran Desert Food Plants

Books to Take with You to the Desert

T-minus just a few days before we leave on our 10 day desert trip and the madness is in full swing around here. I am never again going away on such a long trip at the height of planting season. Lesson learned. Still, I figure I will stop fussing and fretting about my own garden

desert_sun

Desert Road Trip

Davin and I recently celebrated our 20th anniversary together and to REALLY celebrate we are going on a road trip through the Mojave and Sonoran deserts! !!!!! !!!!!! [Infinite exclamation points here.]