High Drama Desert Garden
Golden Barrel Cactus
Huachuca Agave
Smooth-edged Agave
Mexican Palo Verde, Jerusalem Thorn
Golden Barrel Cactus

Common name:Golden Barrel Cactus
Botanical name:Echinocactus grusonii

Golden Barrel Cactus has a globe shaped trunk and vertical ribs lined with thick rows of golden spines. It grows slowly to 3' tall. It looks handsome in containers. It can thrive in full sun but prefers some shade in low desert. This cactus prefers well drained soil and rots with poor drainage.

Huachuca Agave

Common name:Huachuca Agave
Botanical name:Agave parryi v. huachucensis

This Agave grows slowly to 2' by 2'. It is lump forming with dense rosettes. It has short gray leaves with dark thorns on the margins. This is the largest of the subspecies of parryi with leaves 2' long. It is native to parts of AZ and is more robust, with larger leaves and broader panicles and larger flowers than the species. It is primarily found in oak and pine woodlands.

Smooth-edged Agave

Common name:Smooth-edged Agave
Botanical name:Agave weberi

This is a striking medium-sized Agave that can grow to 5' tall by 6'-10' wide. This agave has very fine marginal teeth and is sometimes spineless. Supplemental summer watering can prevent yellowing from heat stress in the summer. These plants are also moderately cold hardy and tolerant of temperatures down to 12 degrees F. It is more refined looking than americana. It is native in central Eastern Mexico. It is one of the largest of the Agaves.

Mexican Palo Verde, Jerusalem Thorn

Common name:Mexican Palo Verde, Jerusalem Thorn
Botanical name:Parkinsonia aculeata

The Mexican Palo Verde has prickly stems. This tree is very fast growing with sparse foliage and very long narrow leaves. Yellow flowers with orange red throats bloom sporadically. It is very messy, thorny, weedy and short-lived. This tree is usually found on limestone soils in areas with moisture but is strongly drought tolerant. It can withstand saline conditions. It can be cold or drought deciduous. It is beautiful in form being light and airy looking, with green bark.

Permeable Surfaces

If you have impermeable paving that you would like to make permeable, there are two main methods for doing so:
1. Break up hard paved surfaces to create spaces for water to seep through.
2. Remove and replace the surfaces with permeable paving.

Click in the green box for more information


High Drama Desert Garden

Photographer: GardenSoft

Soils and Compost:

Practice grass-cycling by leaving short grass clippings on lawns after mowing, so that nutrients and organic matter are returned to the soil.

Integrated Pest Management:

Attract, or buy beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings to control pest outbreaks in your garden.