Garden Photo of the Day

Sue’s container gardens in Nevada

Coleus, geraniums. 2 WAYS TO ENLARGE! Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sue Rogers

Today’s photos are from Sue Rogers in southern Nevada. She says, “My husband and I moved from Washington state about 4 1/2 years ago to the southern desert of Nevada. We bought an acre of land with nothing but sage, rabbits, and salt brush on it. We are still building after 4 years, but the need for a garden has driven me to work on the yard along the way.

Aloe and other succulents
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sue Rogers

“This spring we were able to pour a back patio. We added sod this fall and will continue the rock work during the winter. I’m looking forward to lots of planting come spring. The patio and steps called for some pots this summer so I’m sending some pictures of those now along with a beginning yard photo that will be more complete come summer next year. I think I read that you were still looking for a submission from Nevada so hopefully this will bring you closer to photos from every state.”

Indeed it does, Sue! I can’t even imagine what’s it’s like to garden in a Nevada desert. You HAVE to keep us posted and send in more photos! Starting with containers was very smart, and they look great! That sorghum is a keeper, too. The seed heads are beautiful.

This is a sorgum plant that my little helpers the antelope squirrels planted for me. I have a bird feeding area and they plant these all over my yard to save for winter but when the rains come their stashes all grow. It is great fun to see where they will come up next. This clump was so nice I had to snap a picture. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sue Rogers

***States we’re still missing: Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi. I KNOW there are gardens in these states…. Send in some photos, people! 🙂

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View Comments


  1. trashywoman62 12/12/2012

    Sue I commend your spirit...leaving the beautiful state of WA for a desert in NV! Were you on the coastal side of the mountains? As a gardener, I am sure the new challenges are very exciting for you. Your bright and unique container plantings give us a glimpse into your future garden. I am looking forward to seeing pictures next summer! Don't disappoint us!

  2. wGardens 12/12/2012

    Judging from these FABULOUS containers... we are in for yet another treat when we see the gardens that you create!

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/12/2012

    Love your plant combinations and embrace of color, Sue...your containers are like a movie trailer for your garden to come.I hope you will have a good source for compost type material since that will probably help the soil in your beds. If there are any horse farms within easy driving distance, maybe they would be willing to let you have some manure that you could take home and add to a compost pile. Fresh manure needs to age for about a year but eventually it transitions to black gold.
    Anyway, best of luck with your ongoing gardening adventure!

  4. sheila_schultz 12/12/2012

    Fun containers, Sue. Don't you just love the geraniums with variegated leaves? What a learning curve to go from gardening in WA to NV... have fun!

  5. tractor1 12/12/2012

    A gardner moving from Washington state to southern Nevada is like producing a '50s scifi movie. Everying in southern Nevada is anti gardening; no water, the poorest of soils, and extreme temperatures (120 deg during the day plunging to 40 deg at night). I know that some people build small irrigated garden plots around a miniscule swarth of irrigated sod. The rest of the property left to native plants that grow sparsely... I think the best one can hope for is to plant the hardiest of cacti and continue with the container gardening. I'm not even going to ask why anyone would move to southern Nevada. Beware of scorpions. Gook luck, Sue.

  6. NevadaSue 12/12/2012

    Tractor1, My daughter says, "scorpions is right" a while back she asked, "mom, how does a scorpion get into the washing machine when the lid is down?" We have been fortunate in that we have seen only about 5-6 in the 4 + yrs we have been here. As for the garden I have some big plans but it is going to take a while.

  7. NevadaSue 12/12/2012

    I do love the geraniums and have taken some cuttings of the ones in the big pots and put the little pots inside for the winter. The learning curve is huge but I'm still having fun. :)

  8. NevadaSue 12/12/2012

    Meander1 Thanks, as for the manure I've been hauling loads from the neighbor up the hill about a mile as well as buying loads of compost. We have a bin and I even hauled leaves from town but it seems like a drop in the bucket to what this place needs. I find courage from a place a few miles away that has wonderful soil after 15 yrs. of compost building. How does a gardener just sit and do nothing just because the job seems so daunting ? :)

  9. NevadaSue 12/12/2012

    I hope so....It really is my life line here. I've planted so much already and it seems like so little but its coming together.

    Trashywoman62, (Regina)
    I was in the Walla Walla area which is the south east corner of the state. It was very hard at first but I am able to see beauty in all areas so that has helped a lot. The gardening challenge is huge but I'm pressing forward and looking forward to the results a few yrs. from now. Just the few trees we have and the grass has helped tremendously. I planted a mimosa tree the first yr. that really feeds my soul every time I look at it.

  10. NevadaSue 12/12/2012

    I just must add that everyone here has given me so much inspiration and courage to go on with this challenge. I've learned so much from all the postings...I know this is the first time I have joined the conversation but I've been looking for several yrs. and being inspired. A number of yards have given me ideas to use as I design this yard. Thank you everyone for sharing pictures... I love them!
    Sue :)

  11. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/12/2012

    Sue, I love your "can do" spirit and refusal to look at the glass as half empty. Seems like you choose to view your relocation to southern Nevada as an opportunity to experience (and conquer) new challenges. Every baby step you take that gets you further along in realizing your vision will be highly satisfying and you will find your efforts validated because of your great attitude.
    The mimosa tree must be very flexible in its needs (it grows like a weed here in east TN) and its nice to read that one is doing well for you. Mimosa flowers have such an amazing sweet fragrance...they literally do perfume the air when in bloom.

  12. tractor1 12/12/2012

    NevadaSue: There are many web sites about gardening in southern Nevada, you may find them useful. and there are many books on the subject:

    At one point some 30 years ago I considered moving to Carson City, NV, even there gardening is difficult. I have a friend who lives in 29 Palms, CA, most folks there don't ever consider gardening... there are many gorgeous homes there but very few bother with any gardening... folks who live there say that's the beauty of living in a desert, essentially there are no outdoor gardening chores... some shift rocks about and rake their sand. I think for those who must do some gardening containers and raised beds is the way to go.

  13. pattyspencer 12/12/2012

    Beautiful containers - I love the mix of plants you've used. Best of luck gardening in that locale - I look forward to seeing future pictures as your garden grows.

  14. NevadaSue 12/13/2012

    Tractor1, you are so right about everything in this part of Nevada being anti gardening. This soil does have lots of the micronutrients but the conditions are severe. We are learning a lot and I appreciate the link you gave me. I have some of the books but see a few more I'd like to get.
    We have two shade houses for vegetables and are doing raised beds in those. I know some people are glad to not have any garden but I love gardening too much to not do it. I need some green and plants to feed my soul so we are doing the little "green area and working on the dessert area with native plants. The trees we plant have to have 4x5 ft. holes dug 3 ft deep then remove the big rocks and caleche then add compost and some manure to help them do well. We have planted 3 spruce trees and some fruit trees. Got a bushel of nice apples this yr.
    My husband went to a week long gardening seminar this fall and the instructor encouraged us saying that this soil can grow good vegetables because of the micronutrients. Several people in the area are doing really well with vegetable gardens. Adding nitrogen,phosphorous,compost is key. We are on a bench above the valley floor which makes our soil really rocky.
    "High and Dry" looks like a really good book for this area.

  15. NevadaSue 12/13/2012

    Thanks pattyspenser, I'll do my best to get some more pictures as things come along. I have a few of the process but thought I should save them until I get the end results to go with.

  16. cwheat000 12/13/2012

    I love those geraniums. You created some very nice containers.

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