Not sure what will grow in Arizona?

DBG spring 2012_094

The new 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.

The Phoenix valley has been assigned two zones, roughly the area east of 17 and south to the I-10 falls within the 10a zone which has an average minimum winter cold of from 30-35 degrees F, west of 17 the zone is a bit cooler with lows of from 25 to 30 and is designated as zone 9b. 

No posters of the new USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map have been printed. But state, regional, and national images of the map can be downloaded and printed in a variety of sizes and resolutions.

The Sunset magazine has assigned the section of Arizona surrounding the Phoenix valley  a 13 designation, using a range of temperature wider than the USDA scale. We will refer to the Sunset magazine planting times and tips because we receive their information monthly while only annually do we hear from the USDA!  

All of the Arizona zones are subject to extreme temperature variations for short periods, and any home gardener must pay attention to the weatherman and protect plants that are supposed to survive any given temperature either high or low.  

Get out and get cycling

My husband Rick is a cyclist.  He heads out early every weekend and rides for several hours, many times getting 70+ miles in during the ride. That isn’t exactly my idea of fun, but for him, he loves it.  I am the one with the cruiser.  I am more likely to stop and take a photo along the ride to catch my breath.  Luckily we live in Scottsdale and we are both in great shape for going on a ride.

Scottsdale is being awarded the Gold Designation from The League of American Bicyclists.  There are only 14 Gold Designated cities in the country, and the highest level of Platinum has been given to only 3 cities.

So why is Scottsdale so bike friendly; with 112 miles of bike routes, 124 miles of bike lanes, and my favorite, the 119 miles of paved bike paths as well as 218 miles of unpaved trails, is it any wonder that Scottsdale is a bicyclist’s paradise.  Whatever your preference!

So with cooler weather here, hop on your bike and explore the area!

PFChangs rock and Roll attitude

PFChangs rock and Roll attitude

Originally uploaded by IreneHammond

I wish I could get out to the festivities this weekend. I have clients in from out of state and will be missing it.

The PF Changs Rock and Roll Marathon is always fun to participate in as well as encouraging the athletes. With the same 6 bands returning again this year, the course will keep you moving. The post race concert is featuring Everclear and should finish out the afternoon with a splash.

Come out and cheer these amazing athletes on! Check out the spectator info, and there may still be time for you to volunteer and help out. It takes a ton of volunteers to make an event like this one come together.

Have fun!

Happy New Years!

Welcoming in 2010, there are a few big events to consider bringing in the New Year!

Besides these events there are many, much more intimate gatherings.  Check with your favorite restaurant or club to see what they have planned.

And have a very Happy New Year!

Mighty Mud Mania

I missed it.  I forgot to add it to my calendar and totally missed the Might Mud Mania in Chaparral Park.  The event initially was created by "Shout It Out" stain remover.  When the Arizona mud was too much for the spot remover, SC Johnson who makes Shout, never returned.  The City of Scottsdale found the event to be very successful and incorporated it into their summer activity program. The event is for the kids, but looks like the adults are having just as much fun. 

The Camelback Walk

The Camelback Walk is a multi-use path that is available to anyone.  It meanders behind the communities, along the parks, golf courses, lakes and commercial areas.  It is one added bonus of living in McCormick Ranch.


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So easy to get almost everywhere

101_1017 It is so easy to get to so many places from Arizona and Scottsdale.  It is one of the many things I love about this area.  With a relatively easy drive of under 7 hrs you can get to San Diego, Las Vegas, Sedona, Flagstaff, The Grand Canyon, Rocky Point Mexico, or  Disneyland, to name a few.  With a few more hours in the car, or better yetSedona-view, a quick flight you can get to New Mexico, Salt Lake City, Colorado, Dallas and San Francisco.  Yes, the east coast is a bit of a haul, I like the west it has so much to offer, see & do. 





Night Blooming Desert Beauty

Best of cactus The desert has many beautiful flowers.  Sometimes you have to look carefully and at the right time.   This is a photo of my neighbors Night Blooming Cereus.  By morning the bloom is closed, and will fall off in a few days.  To view some amazing studio photos of this flower check out Robert Fovell’s photos. 

There is more going on at night in the desert, and you can check it out at the Desert Botanical Gardens, evening program; Flashlight Tours.


Keeping it clean

My brother lives in Alaska, a big difference from Arizona.  (we only visit him in August!) He has come out this way a few times, in January of course

.  His observation was that we sure do have clean cars in these parts.  He is right.  With average rainfall in Arizona at under 8 inches a year, we don’t exactly have to be worried about cleaning of the mud and muck.  We Arizonians do like our pretty cars.  Most full service car washes even come with a guarantee.  Two days, if it rains bring it back and get the outside washed for free at Arizona Auto Wash.  Be sure to print off your coupons before you head out and sign up on their contact page to get a free wash on your Birthday.  Lets keep it clean!  

 100_0923 (that’s my CRV getting all shiny)

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A great Race in Old Town Scottsdale

It was a great day in Old Town Scottsdale for a bike race. That’s my sweetie in the front of the pack. The temps were perfect, it was delightful sitting outside Fine’s Cellar in the shade and watch the racers fly by. The course was fast and demanding and the racers had a great day. Good news, no injuries. I like that! This was the second annual Cyclo de Mayo , a big thanks to Scott Delaune who worked so very hard putting this race on the past 2 years.