• By Mary Kidnocker Special to the Green Valley News

It takes only a few seasonal storms laden with lightning-filled skies, thunder rumbles, and brisk rains to bring life to a sleeping brown desert. Landscapes burst with color and the desert floor turns to shades of green. Hummingbirds, ants, rabbits, songbirds, geckos and gardeners are filled…

  • By Mary Kidnocker Special to the Green Valley News

Mention June and up comes words like: hottest, driest, windiest and most miserable. Even newcomers speak of the challenges of this month and that this is the ideal time for a respite from the desert.

  • By Mary Kidnocker Special to the Green Valley News

Who could overlook the breathtaking color recently created by otherwise average-looking cactus? Many often-unused cameras have surfaced to record the splendor. Enjoying the huge, bright flowers is a delight for one and all.

  • By Mary Kidnocker For the Green Valley News

Saguaro, Arizona’s official state flower, is widely recognized as an icon of the Southwest. Like the saguaro, graceful Yucca plants have also become symbols of the desert. Currently in bloom, Yucca flower stalks are usually

  • By Mary Kidnocker For the Green Valley News

A large, well-hydrated saguaro can weigh more than 10 tons! This native cactus is protected in Arizona by regulations restricting the harvest or sale of wild saguaros. However, seed-grown plants are readily available from commercial nurseries.

Volunteer Sandy Bensen has found that socializing with hospice patients is a powerful experience and exceptionally rewarding.

  • Mike Touzeau Special to the Green Valley News

Perhaps the hardest part of life is leaving it, and I suppose that’s why many who are looking for a place to volunteer will hesitate on hospice. It probably seems daunting and depressing.

  • Linda Christensen photograph

Although quite young, this Desert Willow near the La Posada Treasure Shoppe is currently loaded with deep pink flower

  • By Mary Kidnocker Special to the Green Valley News

Currently, Desert Willow trees with their fragrant, orchid-like flowers are filling the Santa Cruz Valley with soft, spring color. Not a true willow, Chilopsis linearis is a member of the family of blooming plants that includes Yellowbells and certain trumpet vines.

  • By Mary Kidnocker For the Green Valley News

May is a prime time in the garden. Having experienced a warmer-than-usual April, soon we will find temperatures creeping into triple digits, accompanied by more dry winds. Therefore, there are a few important landscaping tasks to be completed this month.

  • By Mary Kidnocker

After World War II, a returning soldier brought bulbs to family and friends in coastal Oregon. Today, an area along the California-Oregon border is known as the “Easter Lily Capital of the World,” producing nearly 12 million bulbs for shipment to commercial greenhouses throughout the U.S. an…

  • By Donald J. Behnke

Some 120 musicians more than filled the Convention Center Music Hall stage at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s final Classic Concert of the 2016-2017 season last weekend. The occasion was the local premier of Richard Strauss’ monumental “Alpine Symphony,” which brought the season to a fitting…

  • By Donald Behnke Music Critic

There was a feeling of saddle horses returning to the stable in the next-to-the-last Classic Concert of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra last Sunday. Trail riders are all too familiar with the increased pace their mounts adopt as they sense the return to water, food and relief from the saddle a…

  • By Mary Kidnocker For the Green Valley News

It is logical that the large state of Texas would have countless people and plant natives thriving in our desert. Among the familiar plants are: desert spoon, Texas ranger, desert willow, Texas olive, Texas mountain laurel, lead ball, kidneywood, honey mesquite, flame bush, Texas ebony and betony.

  • By Betty Malesky

There has long been a saying in show business that “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.” According to Wikipedia, this means that one should not presume to know the outcome of an event still in progress. More specifically, the phrase is used when a situation is (or appears to be) nearing …

  • By Mary Kidnocker For the Green Valley News

Currently in full bloom is a perennial euphorbia most commonly known in our area as “Gopher Plant” (Euphorbia rigida). Look for clusters of stacked silver leaves waving their brilliant flower heads around. With the unique foliage, bright flowers, and humorous name, every garden should have a…

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