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We at MBCA are big believers in the idea that conservation begins at home. Every year we sponsor a highly-popular landscape tour to encourage locals to consider wildlife- and water-friendly gardens. 

Part of successful desert-wise living is knowing what constitutes desert-wise. These values include landscaping that keeps in mind water and energy conservation, off-the-grid living, native and/or drought-tolerant plantings, and permaculture ideals.

  • Some of our favorite native plants are featured in our Plant Spotlight, and on our Plant Spotlight page. 

  • Finding native or drought-tolerant plants can be challenging, but you've got to know where to look. Here is a listing of nurseries sourcing such plants. Note also that the Joshua Basin Water District has a native plant sale in the spring, as does the Mojave Desert Land Trust, in the spring and fall. 

  • One way to learn about desert-wise plants in the landscape throughout the microclimates and elevations of the Morongo Basin is to participate in our Desert-Wise Living Landscaping Tour, usually held in April. The tours for 2020 and 2021 are virtual due to COVID-19, so you can watch and learn in the comfort of your own home. For 2022 we held a hybrid tour of videos and in-person sites. 

  • Find landscaping and irrigation plans, plant lists and more on our Resources page

  • Tour public demonstration gardens at the Joshua Basin Water District and other locales.

  • Only grow the plants you want and avoid invasive plants.
  • Featured post

    Plant Spotlight: Barrel Cactus

    Posted by · September 01, 2022 2:40 PM
    Photos by Susan Gillingham
    A native cactus of the Mojave Desert is the barrel cactus, or Ferocactus cylindraceus. The Latin name Ferocactus means fierce or wild cactus. 
    The bright pink-red spines of the cactus are particularly apparent after a rain. Older plants form a medium or tall column. Flowers are yellow, appearing in spring and early summer, while the fruits are bright yellow. 
    According to ethnobotanist.com, the "Havasupai collected seeds from the fruit and ground them into an edible, porridge mush. These people also warmed the red spines by fire, then bent the spines into finger rings." The fruit itself is described as "not very tasty."

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