TWOQC Members Embrace Gardening in the Sonoran Desert

Back row (left to right): Lynne Carr and Cheryl Richardson (Garden Group leaders) and Heidi Blackburn and Michele Pettiti (Garden Group team members); front: Kathy Stone, speaker at the most recent Garden Group gathering

Sharon Pulcinella

If you are like me and are used to gardening in an area of the country that is a lush green during the spring and summer, you may have arrived in Green Valley never dreaming that you could actually garden in a desert environment. It may have taken a season or two for you to realize that the desert can be a beautiful place, and the gardening, though totally different from “back home,” can be every bit as enjoyable and rewarding.

But where to start? Dorothy Lehmkuhl, a member of The Women of Quail Creek (TWOQC), proposed starting an ongoing Garden Group for those interested in embracing the challenges of learning a whole new approach to gardening. She called an organizational meeting to gauge interest and to seek members who would be willing to serve as organizers and leaders of the fledgling group. Two of the ladies who became involved right from the start were Cheryl Richardson and Lynne Carr. Although snowbirds, they have devoted a lot of creative energy to getting this group off the ground and to building momentum.

Cheryl and Lynne started with the questions they themselves had about gardening in the Sonoran Desert, and then sought local gardening experts who would be able to answer them. Over the past year, they have brought in several knowledgeable speakers, as well as arranging field trips to some very special gardens of residents right here in Quail Creek. The group has also enjoyed tours of Desert Meadows and Arid Garden, two local treasures.

On May 11, 12 Garden Groupers enjoyed Pati Shuey’s spectacular cactus garden, which was featured in the Green Valley Gardeners tour in April. Pati provided them with many helpful tips on the growth and care of these unique succulents.

The TWOQC Garden Group is open to all TWOQC members and meets in the Mesquite Room at Kino Conference Center on the third Wednesday of every month, unless they have a special event or excursion planned. The regular meetings have unlimited RSVP space, but you do need to reserve on GroupWorks, so watch for the event posts. The excursions have limited space based upon the number that the hostess or guide is able to accommodate.

Cheryl and Lynne are always looking for ideas, co-leaders, and team members, especially during the months that they are away in greener climes during the summer months. If you would like to know more about TWOQC’s Garden Group, please contact Cheryl Richardson at [email protected] or Lynne Carr at [email protected].