where to I begin?

goofyyno(8)August 21, 2011


I am just finishing up a renovation of my back yard and preparing to start my plant research. After reading through many, many threads in this forum, my head is spinning with possibilities. here are some of my currant thoughts which i'm hoping to get advise from you experts.

I live in north scottsdale (grayhawk) and have a south facing wall- block for 3 feet, then iron rod fence. I would like fast growing vines, but it will be by a pool. I like the look of Queen's wreath, but don't think I wan't it to die out in winter, Pink trumpets look good. may want something with purple flowers though.

second, i have some big planters I'd like to have something like Slipper flower (Pedilanthus macrocarpus ) in the center and either trailing rosemary or yellow dot falling off the side. (all full sun)

now for the most important parts: I want a few fruit trees- grapefruit and peach. at least. I also am going to start a garden. I've grown herbs before and love it - My attempts at fruits and veggies were always squashed by the bunnies and birds. but now, my new dogs have changed the climate a touch. I"m not sure what I want to plant- Have two small raised planters- 4' x 6'. I am going to take this attempt much more seriously- and protect my little veggies from those nasty birds.

so some questions I have besides an I nuts about anything.

1) Is it better to buy locally or order over the internet? I have always bought at a nursery, usually summer winds- (I've never started with seeds).

2) Which are the best books to buy. Looking for how and when to do things.


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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I am in Zone 8 Central Texas so one has to take what I say and think about what is for your neighborhood. I tresspass on the Arizona forum because I want to hear what works there. Most things that I think of die back. Desert wisteria My first thought is Bowervine, but it dies back , Blue skyvine ( might not be able to take Arizona sun.), Crossvine (orange but does not die back and more drought hardy). Pleas correct me if I am off base on my recommendations. I would buy local if I could and not from a big box bit a nursery that knows your environment.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:22PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

1) I think it's better to buy locally since the plants have acclimatized to our weather already and not experience the shipping stress. But if you're looking for something really particular then go get it online.

2) I get all my info on the internet. I just google things or search the forums here for more info.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 1:37AM
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amadioranch(Phx 9a)

On the fruit trees...absolutely by local. Our soil is not like California's (where most of the mail order or home depot trees are from) and need a root stock that deals better with our high salinity. Ive been very very happy with the fruit trees ive purchased from RSI Growers. They graft to root stock selected for OUR soil and everything is grown in direct intense Arizona sun right here in the valley.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 10:55AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

I second RSI growers.

the owner is very knowledgeable and the prices he's selling his trees for are a fraction to what other local nurseries are selling theirs for.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 12:58PM
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RSI looks great- Is it only via internet or is there a physical location- (the address seems to be in a residential neighborhood, although close to where I work).

the pomegranate look good also.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 11:36PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

There is a physical place. I just ordered a fig tree from him a few weeks ago and I went over to pick it up.

I don't think he's able to update his website that often, because when I ordered my tree, it said on the website that he doesn't have a 15gal size available but when I got there he had lots of them. So try calling him instead or go over to his place. It's in a residential neighborhood but his backyard is huge and full of trees.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 1:51AM
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crista(Sunset 13)

You're on the right track! Be sure you pair the same watering requirements in your raised beds -- yellow dots and rosemary will need more water than the slipper plant during the summer. Hottentot fig and gazanias have more similar water requirements. I'm not sure about a vine that won't die back in the winter. For purple flowers I'd be thinking of a snail vine or royal purple bouganvilla, but both will need to be protected when night temps drop below 40. And yes, you need to get trees locally but avoid Whitfill and Moon Valley nurseries in addition to the big boxes (IMO). My dogs eat fruit and veggie plants except herbs and lettuce. Don't know if your dogs will be the same, but I've had them clear out garden veggies by both digging and eating (yes, even spinach), and now fence that area. The Desert Botanical Garden is a fabulous place to walk around because you can see what works really well in our area, and the volunteers are very knowledgable. Keep in touch with us and so we can watch your garden grow!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 2:36PM
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thanks, Love the help.

so my wife loves the look of the trailing rosemary from a pot, with something else, like the pots at Kirland commons. Those have sago palms, which not only is not the look we are going for, but also has a different water requirement (right?). so what else can I pair with the rosemary which is tall and thin to give clean lines and a zen like feel. (besides the garden, we are going to use lots of succulents) I like the look of bamboo but that seems to have greater water needs (and I don't know how they do in AZ with full sun).

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 2:09PM
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crista(Sunset 13)

I don't see a problem with pairing a sago palm and rosemary. Both like a good watering after drying out. Careful with bamboo...it looks awesome but can quickly take over. You might be interested in desert, or sometimes called twisted, myrtle. It is an interesting bush that can grow 6 feet tall and as wide, with curvy branches. The branching pattern becomes more obvious as the bush gets taller and some of the older leaves drop off the branches. What kind of look do you want overall? Will you be including grass or will you have some other kind of substrate on the ground?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 4:10PM
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pgde(Tucson Zone 9)

How about sugar cane instead of bamboo? And grapes as a vine?


    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 1:24AM
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my answer to you was somehow lost. I am going to plant these in 4 large pots, behind my pool, next to a large very colorful water wall. I am looking for a column type look with plants. a linear zen like feel. The twisted myrtle trunks look cool, but how long before I could prune them to show.

Sugarcane- WOW, that mat be it. It says wild, weird and wacky, just like the ret of my house. how would it grow with the rosemary in the same pot?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:50AM
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crista(Sunset 13)

I don't trim my desert myrtles unless a branch is obviously growing in a direction I don't want. When the bushes are smaller they're interesting because you can see individual branches that are covered with leaves - sort of like the long brush you used to clean refridgerator coils.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 11:22AM
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I like the twisted myrtle. Is it messy with dropping berries, etc.? is there a better time to plant them? is there a local sorce that's better than others?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 11:23AM
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