Tucked away in a private spot in Yucca Valley is the property of Kim Monnie and Scot McKone. These desert dwellers show what can be accomplished in a small space, with their "pocket" garden alongside the home. A carefully curated selection of drought-tolerant plants and trees populate the garden.
Max Thomas and Robin Maxwell live on a 22-acre parcel in Pioneertown that was burned by the Sawtooth fire in 2006. This is a story of birth and rebirth on the desert landscape. It is also a story of living off-the-grid with solar and wind energy and hauled water and landscaping with native plants.
"Homestead Chic" is what the Mendoza's of Twentynine Palms call their landscaping style, with quirky repurposed art amid rambling native plantings. The landscape has been transformed from a water-hungry design to one more desert-wise. Several native plants are showcased for their hardiness, including sugar bush (Rhus ovata) and bladderpod (Peritoma arborea). Also included is an exploration of their grey-water irrigation system.
The Wold landscape is the inspiring story of a scraped landscape and a learning curve for gardening in Joshua Tree. Permaculture elements such as catchment basins and contour swales surround the home and leverage rainfall to full effect. Here you'll see a selection of native and drought-tolerant plants ideal for our area. The homeowners share a surprising use for problematic caliche soil.
Join us on a tour of a Landers homesite owned by Mike Lipsitz. Hardscaping, sculpture and long-established plants come together to create a breezy oasis alongside Goat Mountain. Included in the landscape are tall pine trees and a large jojoba orchard. Don't miss the secret message visible only by aerial views.
The 2021 Desert-Wise Landscape Tour is virtual again this year with six featured properties. These videos showcase a variety of approaches to landscape and acknowledge the support of the different water agencies for MBCA’s desert-wise living programs.
Each video segment showcases an exceptional local property where drought-tolerant, native landscaping flourishes and offers a creative execution seen both at ground level and from high above in spectacular drone footage.
From the comfort of your own home, you will have a free, all-access ticket as you are guided through private sites in Twentynine Palms, Landers, Pioneertown, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Morongo Valley. A primary aim of the Desert-Wise Landscape Tour is to offer practical examples of inspiring, rich native landscapes.
Any size donation in support of MBCA’s mission “to advocate for the healthy desert environment that nurtures the region's rural character, cultural wealth and economic well-being” is most welcome. Or join us as a member!
The Desert-Wise Landscape Tour is sponsored in part by the Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency, Golden State Water Company, Hi-Desert Water District, Joshua Basin Water District, Mojave Water Agency, and Twentynine Palms Water District.
Imagine being off-the-grid in 1979. Morongo Valley's Perry and Kathy Derouen did so at their remote homesite. They also drilled a well and carved out their own road. MBCA is pleased to bring you this video of two modern pioneers, the first in our 11th annual Desert-Wise Landscaping Tour series.
What is "desert-wise living"?
If you are a long-time desert resident, you probably understand that it's about how to live in harmony with the desert environment, providing an enviable quality of life. You may already be following all of our Top Ten Tips for Desert-Wise Living, but take a look in case there is something more you can do.
If you are a new to desert living, you may find some significant differences in day-to-day life than what you’re used to. By following our Top Ten Tips for Desert-Wise Living, you will not only add to your enjoyment of desert life, but will help conserve its beauty and balance. Examples of harmonious living range from using low-water native plants in the landscape to save water, to preserving our starry night skies with low-voltage lighting.
MBCA has been hosting programs under the banner of Desert-Wise Living since 2011.