When we look around at the majority of landscapes that're growing here in
Southern Nevada, there's not a great deal of variety. It's easy to find
heavenly bamboo (which is neither bamboo nor heavenly: it really suffers in
the summer). Texas Ranger is as common as here as privet hedges are in other
parts of the country, and I like lantana, but after a while it looks like
gardens are designed by cookie cutter.
This is, of course, not the case with some of my friends who've won the annual landscape prize from the water authority. Those gardens display a remarkable desert plant palette, full of color and texture, using little water.
But it's not essential to be a gardening guru to find a plant that's different, eye catching and easy to maintain. Some desert natives fit the bill nicely.
One of my favorites is a small shrub called "globe mallow" - its proper name is Sphaeralcea ambigua - Dr. Pat Leary at CSN also calls it "sore eye poppy". I've never rubbed my eye after touching this plant, and I don't plan to, either.
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