The Living Desert

I had to laugh at Bert’s post about how warm it is in Michigan. Two days ago I drove to Vancouver BC from Seattle through a snow storm. Sigh. I’m already wishing I was back in Palm Desert…so today I’ll introduce you to The Living Desert, one of my favorite plant places to visit. It’s got stellar display gardens featuring the vegetation of the southwest desert ecosystems, all labeled, with tidbits of information on natural history, medicinal uses, etc. (American desert purists will need to grit their teeth and endure the exotic animal exhibits, the miniature railroad display, and Village WaTuTu.)

One of these things just doesn’t belong…

But back to the desert display gardens:

Note the sprinkler spray in the background against the sky.  It takes a lot of extra irrigation to maintain this planting density in a desert environment.

And here’s one of my favorite desert natives from last week’s postNolina parryi – on sale in their nursery:

I’m always a sucker for Bad Staking Examples and The Living Desert did not disappoint:

The Living Desert is a mecca for local wildlife, given the plentiful food and water available.  We had company for lunch:

Until next week, I’m in a warm, happy place…at least in my mind.

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - Books:

2 thoughts on “The Living Desert”

  1. I love the Living Desert Museum and the great variety of desert landscape themes to have created to illustrate various desert habitats found throughout the Earth. The last time I was there I saw the African theme. It was great. The Native Nursery from what i remember does a brisk business as well.

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