It has been a feast for the eyes at the Farmers Market, downtown, around town, and even my own backyard this fall harvest season in Santa Fe. I am absolutely loving the colors, smells, flowers, and food—not to mention, a great place to sit outside on our deck and watch clouds over the mountains with a coffee in the morning, or by sunset at night.
Choosing drought-hardy flowers this summer, I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about some of the varieties that will thrive here in the high desert environment. I am so happy with the first-year’s growth my newest plants have established so far: butterfly bushes, roses, Russian sage, salvia, yarrow, moss roses, Mexican heather, and poppies.
As for a vegetable patch, I have had some success with raised beds and drip irrigation this year. This is the second summer that we have tried growing tomatoes, Swiss chard, salad greens, herbs, squash, melons, peppers, and herbs, in the desert. It was a quick learning curve to see the mint (a.k.a. strangler vine) trying to choke out everything else in its bed.
I also planted a June bearing and a day neutral strawberry vine this fall, and am very excited to see how they do next year; this year, we got one berry. But, I am still proud of that one perfect red berry.
Back to figuring out more ways to eat copious amounts of Swiss rainbow chard, which has proven to be the happiest, strongest, most resilient, and dauntless member of our growing plant family by far!