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  • Writer's pictureLara Cox

Neglect Me



They say it's tough to garden in Las Vegas and it certainly can be. The soil is abysmal, and it's hotter than Hades for a month or two, but I know a few people who have wonderful gardens.


My talented clients Marc and Jessica put in a beautiful and expansive vegetable garden which is creatively shaded as the days heat up. My coworker Paula Engel grows multiple vegetables and has peach, apricot, lemon, and fig trees which produce abundantly. My friend Stacey put in cool plant boxes and grows all kinds of vegetables from seeds. From seeds, people! Last summer, she gave me a seed grown grape tomato plant. It grew into a lush plant but produced only three tiny tomatoes, despite the fact that my husband removed three hornworms for me when I was too squeamish. She gave me two seed grown pepper plants as well, which produced one wrinkly pepper each. Sigh. My friend Greta is another successful gardener. Last summer she served me a delicious salad of various lettuces all snipped fresh from her grow boxes.


So. I know it's possible and I'm game to try again. I understand it's simply a matter of good soil and the right amount of water and sunshine. Alas, I haven't been able to crack the right-amount-of-each code.


Thus far, my speciality is succulents. I like looking out at my patio at the greenery in their cheerful pots. Some of them have an otherworldly under-the-sea look, others are prickly, and some have fat round leaves, but they all take minimal water and don't mind a bit of benign neglect, which so far has worked perfectly for my gardening style.


Succulents are sort of amazing. Like a camel, they hump water in their leaves for the dry times. I discovered by accident that they're incredibly easy to propagate too. Snip off the end of almost any succulent, remove the bottom leaves so you have a couple inches of stem. Let the tip dry out for a day or two and stick it in soil. I'd say seven out of ten will take. It's fun to share cuttings and give plants away. Anyone looking to cheer up their backyard with a container garden, shoot me an email or give me a call. I'd love to share some free cuttings with you!

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