Updated 2/10/16:

I started a new forum at High Desert Food to organize the overwhelming amount of information on various gardening techniques, local resources and a lot more info on plants we grow.

Hopefully, soon I’ll post pics and a lot more info about the plants listed below, but next week 25 fruit and nut trees will arrive and we’ve been so busy preparing the orchard and I still have to decide what to plant where.

We are looking for plants that do well in our harsh climate and we hope to TRADE cuttings and starts with others.  We’d rather pay a local gardener than a big box store.
While this is by no means a complete listing of plants suitable for the high desert (temps from near 0 F to 115 F and extremely high winds), here’s a start:

Plants we grow

D = drought tolerant
N = nitrogen fixer


Palo Verde DN (5?), Chilean Mesquite DN (1), Fruiting Mulberry (2), Juniper D (1), Trees of Heaven  (Stink Trees, fast-growing and possibly invasive when not in the desert, fantastic starter, 5?), Chinaberry (1), Black Locust DN (Robinia, 1), Honey Locust D N? (2), Umbrella Tree D (1), California Pepper (had over 10, they freeze every winter, some came back from roots), African Sumac D (all but one that’s sheltered by a greenhouse died, it’s too cold here), Fuji apple (1), apricots grown from seed (2) and quite a few more trees, have to walk around the property to take inventory one day.

2014 plantings:

We got 20 each Black Locusts, Arizona Cypress, and Mimosa seedlings for the Arbor Day gardening club meeting and we are planting the seedlings that didn’t find new homes.   So far we probably planted 8 or so black locusts in our upper garden and about 8 or so mimosas and a few black locusts in the lower garden.   A few of the Arizona cypress trees are now on Jose’s acre and we still have several in gallon pots ready to go in the ground as soon as we find some suitable places for evergreens (don’t want to shade the winter-growing areas.)Several cuttings from the Chilean mesquite and mulberry seem to have roots.

This spring we’ll begin planting fruit trees and berries in our new mini orchard on Jose’s acre.


Chaste tree D (5? they do very well!), Pomegranates D (6), Grapes Thompson Seedless (3), Yellow Bird of Paradise DN (3), Willows D (2), Bamboo (5), Reeds (6), Blackberry (3), Fig (1), Chichiquelite (huckleberry, hundreds of volunteers in the hoophouse)

2014 plantings:  We still have several Chaste Trees and Palo Verdes in pots from last year and we’ll plant those on Jose’s acre.   We bought 34 Goji Berries D and many are still in pots, but several were planted in the various gardens and we’ll see where they’ll do best.

Purchased a boysenberry and planted it into the hoophouse.   We are transplanting many chichiquelite and sweet annie volunteers out of the hoophouse into the various garden in summer and amazingly, most survived.  We hope they had enough time to produce viable seeds and naturalize in the lower garden along the fences.

We also have a number of cuttings from willows, chaste trees, and blackberries that seemed to have rooted and we’ll see in spring how many leaf out.


Joshua Trees D (15?),  catsclaw D (2), various yuccas, cholla, Mormon tea, sage, black brush (many), barrel cacti (10?) and lots of cacti we started from leaves neighbors gave to us.

Herbs and medicinals:

Rosemary.D, culinary sage, various basil, thyme (started seeds for several thyme varieties for ground cover), oregano, chives, rue, German camomile, sweet annie.

2014 plantings:  Marjoram and savory and lots of cilantro, which we’ve had no luck with at all.  Fortunately, most herbs are perennials or self-seeding.

Ground cover:  strawberries (75 bare root plants, some in pots), rosemary D, rock thyme D


We have quite a few native flowers, including lots of globe mallows and desert marigolds. A beautiful sunflower and hot pink hollyhock are in the hoophouse.
2014 plantings:  Bought a couple of flats of vincas and we’re interplanting them throughout the gardens. Also have some sun flower seedlings in the gardens.

Plants we want: 

Mesquites (various), Fruiting Mulberries, and any other fast-growing, drought tolerant and possibly nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs.

We are also looking for NATIVES and EDIBLES such as prickly pear and any berries that do well in our soil. We’re hoping to get some lupines.

Is anyone growing hazelnuts?

I will update this list and link to the individual plants as we post more details at the LMCA forum.

We planted many natives from the Las Vegas State Nursery and I try to post info about their sales on the blog.  Unfortunately, their plants don’t come with labels and our own labels faded, so we have to identify many of those plants.

High Desert Gardening Club:  Please subscribe to our email list for updates and meeting reminders).  We usually meet on the last Thursday of the month.