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Laurel Startzel & Sheila Schultz

Sheila and Laurel are a mother-daughter container gardening duo based in Tucson, AZ. Shortly after Sheila won her first Fine Gardening Container Challenge while living in Denver, they formed the Denver Dirty Girls, an aptly named container gardening business. Since relocating to Arizona, they have continued their partnership with DDG Container Gardening. They specialize in containers bursting with cacti, succulents and the unexpected. Laurel and Sheila are known for their lush designs combining succulents and other foliage plants that often include perennials, annuals and grasses. They will even throw in the occasional flowering plant when needed… as long as it is low maintenance and not too thirsty!

Sheila is a lifetime gardener and an award winning container garden designer with a passion for all things quirky. Sheila’s approach and style sets her apart from the rest.

Laurel is an interior designer with a love for gardening whose design eye blurs the barrier between the indoors and out. With years of container gardening and design experience under her belt, she has found her niche working hand-in-hand with Sheila to produce one-of-a-kind container designs.

  • Southwest Regional Reports

    Fragrant Blooms for the Low Desert

    When most people think of the low desert, sweet smells aren’t the first thing that pops into their minds. Typically, we’d think of cacti, palo verdes (Parkinsonia spp. and cvs.,…

  • Southwest Regional Reports

    How to Handle Microclimates Within Your Yard

    Microclimates can pose unique challenges as you plan for and maintain your yard and gardens. Although not all challenges are a bad thing, they can be expensive. For those of…

  • Southwest Regional Reports

    Southwest: October Garden To-Do List

    Now is a great time to spread some seeds. Think wildflowers and annuals such as desert lupine (Lupinus sparsiflorus, Zones 7–10), desert bluebells (Phacelia campanularia, annual), and snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus,…

  • Southwest Regional Reports

    Using Rainwater Wisely in the Southwest

    There are many ways to collect and reuse rainwater on your property to benefit both your garden and the environment. In the Southwest this is especially important. In this report,…

  • Southwest Regional Reports

    Southwest: September Garden To-Do List

    Late September is a good time to start planting cacti and agaves (Agave spp. and cvs., Zones 5–11). As the heat dies down and the evenings cool off a bit,…

  • Southwest Regional Reports

    Mistletoe in Our Desert Trees

    Most of us associate mistletoe with the Christmas tradition, but contrary to the feeling of yuletide cheer it brings us, mistletoe is actually a parasite that steals nutrients and water…

  • Southwest Regional Reports

    The Joys of Gardening While Aging

    We gardeners understand that digging in the dirt makes our soul somehow content, and even though at the end of the day we are often bone-tired, we feel good. Being…

  • Southwest Regional Reports

    Southwest: August Garden To-Do List

    Water your palo verde trees (Parkinsonia spp., Zones 9–11). These desert beauties love the summer sun and thrive in the heat, but don’t neglect them when it’s time for a…

  • Southwest Regional Reports

    Pest Alert: Agave Snout Weevil

    What is an agave snout weevil (Scyphophorus acupunctatus) you ask? We asked the same thing a few months ago when we noticed one of our American century plants (Agave americana,…

  • Southwest Regional Reports

    Mixing Annuals, Perennials, and Succulents in Containers

    Living in the low desert certainly has its pros and cons when it comes to gardening, but one particular benefit that we are quite fond of is the ability to…