November 01, 2021
by Stacy Doolittle 130sc on November 01, 2021
The jojoba is a native of the Morongo Basin and thrives in home landscapes. Simmondsia chinensis is a wonderful plant for back of the border or to be used as at moderately-fast growing screen. Leaf color ranges from greens to greys. The leaves are small and the shrub can be kept compact in habit through pruning. It can grow from 4-7 feet high and wide. Care should be taken in higher elevations (up to 5000 feet) of our area as a hard freeze can kill a young plant. Despite needing good drainage, jojoba seems to tolerate and even appreciate clay soils. Deer prefer it but rabbits and other nibblers ignore it.
October 01, 2021
by Stacy Doolittle 130sc on October 01, 2021
One lovely grey-leaved shrub for Morongo Basin landscapes is the California native Desert Lavender (Hyptis emoryi). This fast-growing shrub (given a small amount of irrigation) is a delicate, multi-trunk contrast in the garden to the broad leaves of agaves or the green of the creosote bush.
September 01, 2021
by Stacy Doolittle 130sc on September 01, 2021
Texas Rangers are a welcome respite during the dog days of summer. Referred to as barometer plants, Rangers blooms occur with high humidity and rain. When this happens, the plants are covered with purple or magenta flowers.
A native of the Chihuahuan Desert and other locales in Texas, Leucophyllum frutescens is a powerhouse of a shrub for Morongo Basin gardens. When young, hungry rabbits can find this sage appealing, so cage it in hardware cloth for protection. Once mature, it is ignored by foragers. Here is a handy guide (pdf) to the different varieties, which you can buy at big box stores and local nurseries.
August 05, 2021
by Stacy Doolittle 130sc on August 05, 2021
Willow-like in appearance, the Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) is actually a catalpa tree, hence its other name: Desert Catalpa. No matter what you call it, this tree is ideal for Morongo Basin landscapes. Attributes such as fast growth, heat tolerance, ease of care, and drought adaptation make it a desirable addition to the water-wise garden. It can be pruned into a shrub or allowed to grow into a tree.
July 04, 2021
by Stacy Doolittle 130sc on July 04, 2021
A workhorse of a shrub for Morongo Basin gardens is the native Sugar Bush (Rhus ovata). Use this plant as a windbreak, for hedging or by itself as a specimen plant. It enjoys full sun and plenty of space to spread out.
June 13, 2021
by Stacy Doolittle 130sc on June 13, 2021
A delightful native wildflower for Morongo Basin is the Mojave Aster (Xylorhiza tortifolia). Featuring pale purple daisy-like flowers, Mojave Aster blooms from March to May in our area. After flowering, it often dies back but will return the next year. It can also reseed and form new plants in your garden.
May 06, 2021
by Stacy Doolittle 130sc on May 06, 2021
A spectacular blue-flowered sage, Cleveland sage (Salvia clevelandii) is native to the Southern California coast and Baja. This highly-aromatic plant is a fast grower and a spring bloomer (dried blooms are showy throughout the year). Showcase this plant either by itself as a specimen plant, or create groupings in the landscape. Allow room for this plant when siting as it gets larger.
March 02, 2021
by Stacy Doolittle 130sc on March 02, 2021
This fast growing desert native is a favorite among gardeners in the Morongo Basin and it is easy to see why. Brittlebush's (Encelia farinosa) grey leaves offset its profusion of yellow daisy-like flowers in a mounding habit. It has a long bloom cycle if given enough water. But not too much water as it is a true desert native and is used to an arid environment.
Desert-Wise Landscape Tour Inspiration Contest Winners 2023
Congratulations to the winners of the Desert-Wise Landscape Tour Inspiration Contest!In this year’s Contest, we asked Tour participants to submit their reactions to the Tour in either a short essay or a visual creation.Winner of the essay category and a $200 gift certificate to Unique Nursery in Joshua Tree is Allie Irwin. Here is her essay, which captures so well the spirit of discovery, as well as lessons learned, that MBCA...
MBCA has submitted comments to the Bureau of Land Management's Las Vegas Field Office about the proposed Golden Current Solar Project's effects on bird migration. Research shows that birds are killed near solar installations because they are attracted to reflective panels they perceive as water. This solar project plus three others nearby would create an excessive array of danger for birds. MBCA's letter includes graphic data of bird presence in the...
MBCA Awards Scholarships to Three Local High School Seniors
Morongo Basin Conservation Association has awarded college scholarships to three local graduating high school seniors. All three high schools in the Morongo Unified School District are represented this year.Recipients were selected from a competitive pool of applicants with demonstrated commitments to include conservation and environmental interests in their education and career plans. Each $1,000 scholarship goes toward the student's higher education expenses in the 2023-24 academic year. MBCA's Conservation Scholarship is the continuation of...
MBCA joined more than 40 local, state, and national organizations in support of California Assemblymember Laura Friedman's AB 1573, the Water Conservation in Landscaping Act, introduced on February 17 and currently referred to the Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife. Issues addressed include improvements to the existing model ordinance, and overall the bill's provisions would set "the strongest level of water conservation requirements for new or major rehabilitated non-residential landscapes." Read the letter and the bill....
Speaking at an water industry event at the Salton Sea near Mecca on Monday, March 27, Scott Slater, the CEO of Cadiz, Inc, the company that wants to sell water from the Cadiz aquifer for enormous financial gain, shared that the company is considering piping water "to bring water to disadvantaged communities within our reach." Slater also revealed efforts "to pursue a relationship with the Salton Sea Authority...and the Torres...
Wonder Inn Resort Proposal Denied by Planning Commission
In a 4-0 vote, San Bernardino County Planning Commissioners denied the Wonder Inn project opposed by MBCA and hundreds of Morongo Basin area residents. Almost 50 citizens made their comments in person at the meeting. The citizens' group Stop Wonder Inn spent a year doing research to demonstrate how the project if built would have significant negative repercussions not only for Wonder Valley but the entire Morongo Basin. MBCA's initial...