We’ve been negligent with our blogging lately, as we’ve been very busy, but we have several posts in mind for the next couple of days. To help get us back into the blogging routine, here are several photos of what’s happening in our yard currently.


A ripe pomegranate on our tree.


A blooming globemallow (Sphaeralcea sp.). This beautiful native plant is common within urban Tucson, and blooms in both spring and fall. We have several globemallows scattered throughout our yard.

Hansel, lime and graywater

Hansel, our kitten, watching the graywater go from our washing machine to our small lime tree.

Tamarind tree

A small tamarind (Tamarindus indica) tree we started from seed earlier this year. Tamarind is a subtropical species which produces delicious edible pods, used worldwide to flavor a wide range of dishes. Our winters may be too cold for them to survive here, but we’re going to try to grow this tree anyway! This winter we will bring it inside the house on frosty nights, and in the spring we plan to put it in the ground in the last remaining spot in our yard suitable for a large tree.


A tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) in our garden. I love tomatillos, and we attempted to grow a lot of them in our garden this year. Unfortunately, the plants had a really rough time: they were overshaded and then got hammered by both chrysomelid beetles and Manduca hornworms. Still, a couple of the plants are finally starting to produce a small crop of small fruits.

Tepary bean

A green tepary bean (Phaselous acutifolius). This is one of the few crops that we consistently have success with. These beans are native to northern Mexico and southern Arizona and were grown by the ancient Hohokam people, as well as by their descendents, the modern-day Tohono O’odham. The dried beans are delicious, though they take a long time to cook. The plants do amazingly well in very harsh conditions, requiring very little water. We have a number of them scattered throughout our gardens and growing up the chicken wire fence of our chicken coop. Next year we will try to grow a lot more of them, since they are so productive. The plant pictured here is growing up a native amaranth plant (Amaranthus palmeri).


We’re not yet sure what this cucurbit is, since we planted both lemon cucumbers and melons in this part of the garden. We’ll find out soon!

Devil’s claw

The devil’s claws (Proboscidea sp.) we planted are still going strong. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by how productive they’ve been. This is another plant we will grow a lot more of next summer.


We had less success with the okra we planted. We’ve managed to keep one plant alive through the harsh summer and fall we’ve had, and amazingly it seems to be about to bloom!


We had some success with sorghum, although birds have already gotten to most of the grain.


The fall and winter garden we planted is growing very slowly. It’s been a hot and dry fall – our high temperatures are still in the upper 80’s and lower 90’s, which is almost 10 degrees above the climatological average, and it’s been very dry. Still, the plants are hanging on, and we can just about start to harvest a little bit of onions and greens.