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My High-desert Gardens

Posted by on 03/20/2010

Our house in Bisbee sits at just about 5050 feet on a south facing slope about five miles from the border with Sonora. Its a beautiful view, with panoramas down deep into the mountains of Mexico. On a clear day I swear you can almost see to the Sea of Cortez (You can’t, but it does seem that way!)

Bisbee is located between two deserts. The Chihuahuan to the East and the Sonoran to the West. Despite that, the altitude gives us wonderful weather throughout the year. Most years we receive all of our rainfall in the late summer when the tropical monsoons roll up from the tropics. You can actually watch the thunderstorms build to the South and roll up the mountains. Its really lovely.

Winters here are usually very dry (this year has been a bit of an exception…) and the difference between summer and winter moisture can be very challenging. Last year I built and extensive drip water system and put in a bunch of native, and low water trees and plants. The idea is to start off on the public water system and eventually move the entire system to rain water cache to provide the primary water supply for the plants. I am also looking at grey-water systems to provide some additional moisture in the gardens and for the trees.

Winter seems to be letting up here, and all of the trees, except for the Mesquite, are already budding out. The Mesquite are usually the last to come in.

So, I spent the last couple days walking the irrigation system and replacing some of the drip heads, patching pipe and resetting the timers for Spring. There is just something amazing about watching trees grow in this country and I can’t wait for the rest of the plants to start coming in.  Won’t be long now!

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