It’s very nice to meet you. My name is Julie.
I live in Las Vegas, where I work at a local nursery giving plant suggestions and advice to people who are redoing their landscaping or wondering why their plants are struggling. It’s the desert, so as you can imagine, more often than not the problem is either that their tree or shrub isn’t getting enough water or that it’s getting too much sun.
It’s also pretty common that the person who I’m talking with is from somewhere else- California, Minnesota, Ohio- and they often want to tell me about the incredible garden they had when they lived there.
“Hydrangeas as tall as the house,” they’ll say. “And I never had to do anything for my plants there. You just throw some seeds out back and watch ‘em grow.”
“Forget everything you know about growing plants there,” I tell them right away. “You’re in the Mojave desert now. You might as well be gardening on Mars.”
I don’t tell them that a trained monkey could have an amazing garden in San Diego, but I’m thinking it. Show me someone who’s growing beautiful plants in the desert and that’s when I’m impressed. It takes real work to get a plant established in a climate this harsh, let alone to have it thrive, so when I see it done right, I want to shake the hand of the one who managed it.
This blog is meant to showcase the great trees and shrubs that I see in my city and in the world at large. And if I know me like I think I do, you’ll probably see at least a few really bad plants, too. Ideally, you and I will both learn something about plants in general or about a specific bit of greenery with every post. Just remember, there are a lot of truly fascinating, beautiful, weird and wicked plants in the world, so this could take awhile.