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Published April 25, 2011 at 520 × 330 in Contemporary Pool Landscaping Design in Artarmon, Sydney. Packed with design ideas for your backyard and front yard, each issue features amazing gardens, beautiful plants, bold products, and insights from the world’s best designers.Subscribers get up to $36 off the cover price. Materials like stucco reflect a regional identity and look great next to Southwestern plants.
The Southwest is incredibly diverse, with different elevations and types of desert defining the landscape.
David Cristiani of Quercus, a landscape architecture practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has over 20 years of experience designing for the different regions of the Southwest. Do select native or well-adapted species that reflect the beauty of the region and will perform well with little water.
Don't use water-hogging plants like queen palm, cottonwood, willow, sycamore, aspen, ash, Bradford pear, or purple-leaf plums. To help his landscapes reflect a sense of place, Cristiani uses materials like tile, stucco (earth-toned or brightly-colored), plaster, modular pavers, and metals like steel or tin. Picking cucumbers make for teriffic eating straight out of the garden or chilled in a salad. The dark green skin of 'Calypso' helps set it apart from many other picklers, which typically have light-colored stripes or speckles. How to deal with a pesky pestThe cucumber beetle, 1⁄5 inch long, either spotted or striped, is the worst enemy of cucumbers, especially in the Midwest and East.
A layer of light row cover helps protect young cucumber plants from the rapacious cucumber beetle, but it must be removed for pollination.
Cucurbitacins, the bitter chemical compounds found in cucumbers and other members of the squash family, pose complex issues for plant breeders and those trying to fend off pests.
Cucumbers want warm, tender soilCucumbers are warm-weather plants, and will sprout readily if sown directly into warm soil.
Ruth writes: Yes, I can see how you would expect to find that info in this article, given the title. Even so, themes like earth-colored stucco, shade ramadas, and plants like cactus, native yucca, and desert spoon give Southwest landscapes their unique character.
Here are Cristiani's professional tips for creating a beautifully-designed Southwest landscape. Native plants like penstemon, agave, and mesquite add regional flair, while Mediterranean plants like rosemary, germander, and thyme also thrive under the hot sun. Desert natives with a finer leaf texture show up beautifully against gravel and grow well when mulched with it. Since trees need more water to establish than do groundcovers and perennials, but are usually on similar hydrozones, this is an easy way of ensuring that any excess water naturally flows where it's needed most. While rocks are certainly low-maintenance, they become so hot and bright in the sun that the landscaping can become unpleasant to live with, or look at. A young 5-gallon tree will need less water to establish than a 48" boxed specimen, and it will grow to the same size within five years. All of these species need either heavy irrigation, richer soils, or humidity to be happy, and simply don't perform well in the Southwest.
As he says on his website, "The built landscape should do justice to the adjacent natural landscape; not be Anytown, USA.


Rustic wood is another material commonly used in the region, and mortared rock can be used in walls to create interest. If the plants are protected until they need pollination, chances are they will produce a decent crop before the wilt strikes, if it strikes at all. They are irresistible to cucumber beetles, which home in on the cucurbitacin scent to find the plants they love to eat. Cucumbers are naturally monoecious, which means that they have male and female flowers on the same plant. You can gain a little time on the season by starting the plants indoors, but be forewarned that cucumbers, like all cucurbits, resent having their roots disturbed. I think you could add a small section to the bottom about how to keep cucumber seeds for next year. When plants are grouped by their water needs, it's easy to use different irrigation zones to water each type of plant appropriately. Plants with larger leaves like roses, Indian hawthorn, or photinia are adapted to soil with more organic matter, so mulch them with a shredded cedar or cypress mulch.
Embracing one's sense-of-place is why landscape architecture is vital to our quality of life in the high desert." While Cristiani has lived in a variety of places, he chose to settle in the Southwest because as an architect, he felt drawn to the potential of creating that strong sense of regional identity there. He draws inspiration not only from his surroundings in the Southwest, but from similar climates in dry regions of the Mediterranean, Africa, or Australia. You’ll join thousands of design-conscious readers to get gardening inspiration and innovative design solutions for enjoying outdoor spaces. You won’t really know their habit until you try them, but in general, the newer hybrids, which means picklers as well as standard cucumbers, tend to have shorter vines.
Worse, the beetles may infect the plant with a disease called bacterial wilt, which blocks the flow of water through the plant’s stems.
Planting successive crops a few weeks apart assures me of fresh cucumbers all season long, even if the beetles do in one or more of the plantings. In tests, cucurbitacins laced with insecticide have been used to lure cucumber beetles to their doom. Gynodioecious varieties produce only female flowers, which makes them capable of producing nearly twice the number of fruits as monoecious varieties, because only female flowers produce fruit. If you choose to use seedlings rather than seeds, start them in peat pots no sooner than three weeks before you intend to plant them outdoors and transplant carefully to avoid root damage.Sow two or three seeds together, in the ground or in a peat pot, and let the young plants grow up together. So peel the cucumbers, cut them into the shape you need, salt them, and place them in a colander. Watering deeply every two weeks in summer and once a month in winter is just right for the Southwest. Cucumbers are soothing, inside and out.Aunt Eleanor had the space to indulge her love of pickles, but you can enjoy the crunchy goodness of just-picked cucumbers without surrendering the entire garden to their rampant vines. At the time of the pharaohs, Egyptians ate brine-dipped cucumbers at every meal.Those early cucumbers were probably more closely related to the West Indian gherkin (Cucumis anguria) than to the juicier, sweeter cucumber (C. But they can be left covered to exclude cucumber beetles right up until harvest time, a boon for beetle-plagued areas.Seed catalogs generally describe pickling cucumber varieties as either white-spined or dark-spined, referring to the color of the prickly spines, which rub off easily. Hybridizers have been busy making cucumber plants more compact, as well as more productive and more resistant to disease. On the other hand, burpless varieties may be less susceptible to damage from the cucumber beetle.Meanwhile cucurbitacin lures are part of the growing field of Integrated Pest Management.


If your garden has heavy clay soil, lighten it up with compost or peat before attempting cucumbers. Picklers are prolific and quick to produce, with some varieties bearing in as little as 45 days. Cucumber vines are attractive enough that a pot of them wouldn’t look out of place on the patio.
The fruit is 96 percent water and contains only a small amount of vitamins A and C, with most of that found in the peel.
The beetle must first pick up the disease bacterium, usually from weeds that may not show symptoms of the disease. Although some kinks remain, such as how best to deliver the compound, what has worked in research may one day be the salvation of home garden cukes, too.
White-spined varieties will ripen white, and dark-spined will ripen yellow, but at that stage the cucumber is over the hill anyway. Picklers for crunch and eye appealThe first picklers were selections from the original cucumbers, and all of them were rangy of vine and stingy of fruit, like the fearsome and prickly West Indian gherkin.
But the risk of wilt is always there if the cucumber beetle is present.Young plants are the most susceptible to striped cucumber beetle damage. If you use commercial, granulated fertilizer, mix a generous handful into the soil at planting and sidedress at least once during the season.Adequate moisture is criticalCucumbers need a deep soaking once a week, at a minimum.
Once a plant has developed at least three pairs of true leaves, it can tolerate considerable damage to its foliage without reducing yield.
Harvested young, when the seed cavities are small, any variety of pickler is fine for fresh eating—in a salad or out of hand. You can protect young plants from cucumber beetles with a polyester row cover, but eventually it must be removed to let bees and other insects pollinate the flowers. It will help prevent the soil from drying out between waterings, and it will keep weeds down. Pickler varieties aren’t uniformly dark green like the slicing-type cucumbers sold in the supermarket. Many a parched gardener has found quick relief in the cucumber patch without the necessity of heading to the kitchen for a glass of water.Unless, of course, the gardener happens to grab a bitter cuke.
They are paler green, sometimes with light-colored stripes running lengthwise down the fruit. Cucumbers produce natural compounds called cucurbitacins, which are responsible for the bitterness that sometimes develops in the skin. Cucurbitacins at high levels can cause stomach distress, and in any case they give the cucumber a strongly bitter flavor. They respire through their skins and get wrinkly, hence the supermarket cuke with its protective coat of wax or shrink-wrap.
But twice that many people are hypersensitive to the bitter taste, which is why plant breeders have been working to reduce the level of the compounds that cucumbers produce.



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