Gardening in A Rough Terrain
Living in a big city might limit your gardening ability even though you can tell what the season will grow by what you see the most in the supermarkets. The fall brings pumpkins and squashes and the spring brings grapes, apples and plenty more. Each season specializes in something and whether you grow it yourself or see it in the market because of where you live, this doesn’t change.
But gardening is not always about growing plants, whether you can eat them or not. Sometimes it is all about decoration, and not what you plant but how it looks. On a recent trip to the Arizona desert to visit my grandparents I saw different home and different ways the yards looked with each house. Living in a big city, picturing the desert made me think of dirt, sand and a lot of brown color. I was in for a shock when I say a lot of green, reds, yellows mixed in with the browns. (There was still dirt and sand but it was done in beautiful ways.)
Unlike places I’ve lived along the West Coast of the United States you will not find meditative sand gardens unless they are inside someone’s home. It could easily become a nesting ground for snakes, something you definitely don’t want in your yard, especially the rattlesnakes. There is rock and plenty of it, and depending on how well taken care of the house and yard is, it will be colorful.
Little to No Water
When you live in a place that has little to no water and there is no way to water your garden, you tend to move away from the plants that need it the most. You will need to choose plants that thrive in an environment such as this and the first type that comes to mind is cactus. While most cactus are full of prickly thorns and green flat leaves, this is not always the case. Some cactus is not completely covered in thorns and will grow in different ways. All of them bloom flowers and in some cases fruit such as the prickly pear.
If you have some moisture and are planting your cactus in a mix of soil and sand, you will get weeds and grass to appear which will need to be pulled. Try using rock or trim the thorns off the cactus near the bottom so that you don’t prick yourself when you are weeding. There are certain species of wild flowers that will grow, besides cactus that thrive in summer like heat with little to no water in them. Daylilies, Candytuft, Black-eyed Susan’s are all flowers that bloom quite well in a drought-like environment. There are also shrubs such as lavender that do quite well if you are still looking for the garden style in a low water place such as desert landscapes or dry environments.
Fountains for Substance
A water fountain can come in many shapes and sizes, but to make them work you need a way to recycle the water so that it constantly flows. If you are living in a place that has little to no water you probably don’t have a waterfall nearby so you need to create the flow of water yourself. Once your fountain is built you will need to place a pump inside. The pump is usually electric and sits at the bottom of the fountain where the water pools with tubes running to the top to push the water back to the top.
Or you can get creative and use a waterwheel to do the same thing. The fountain can then be filled with water of your choosing, but will probably need to be cleaned weekly to prevent build up and mold. Since the dry environment will evaporate the water over time you will want to keep it filled in every once in a while, or it could burn out your pump. These fountains are not only peaceful and provide a relaxing atmosphere but they can also be a place for animals such as birds to take a drink and to bathe, providing more entertainment.
All for The Birds
Speaking of birds there is more to add to the garden besides the fountains if you enjoy watching the birds. Typically, if you are living in a dry environment you might have a lot of space around you. Meaning there could be few neighbors around giving you a great view if you enjoy bird watching. But if you don’t or you want to have those birds a little closer for you to see you might want to try placing various bird feeders around the yard to attract some of the varieties.
Along with the fountains you give the birds a great place to visit and they might even begin to nest there or nearby. Watching the birds can be quite entertaining as you see their little personalities develop. First you will want to find out what the local variety of birds are before you pick the seed for the feeders so you don’t try and feed them something they don’t like or can make them sick. Besides bird seed there could also be hummingbirds which enjoy nectar instead. These are specialized birdfeeders that hold the nectar and have flower-like ports for the birds to drink from.
Once they are fed and if you don’t mind them sticking around you could add some decorative bird houses as well to give them a little place to call their own. There are many different shapes and sizes that you can find in the garden section of many different stores, or you can take the time to build your own. By building your own you can design it to match your decor or the fountains and bird feeders so it all blends in nicely.