Amy Silverman’s Gardening Corner

Amy SilvermanJuly 6, 2023
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Photo courtesy Maricopa Native Seed Library.

Best Place to Put Your House Plant
Ali Schorman
We’ve seen clay thrown, molded and sculpted, but we hadn’t seen it carved till we ran into Ali Schorman at a holiday craft fair. Her ceramic work is more art than craft, absolutely stunning and unbelievably perfect for something homemade. Glazed in pastel candy colors, her pieces keep us craving more.

Best Seed Library
Maricopa Native Seed Library
From the “you learn something new every day” file, did you know that it’s harder to grow native seeds here in Phoenix than non-native? Raises a lot of questions. Luckily, there are librarians for that. Maricopa Community Colleges is home to the most extensive seed library in the Valley, offering free seeds to the community along with advice on how to plant them. And no late fees!

Best Fertilizer
Tony’s Magic Mix
When it comes to gardening in Phoenix, we need all the help we can get. It’s hot, it’s cold, it’s wet, it’s dry. That’s why Valley horticulturalist Tony Sarah is a godsend. His fertilizer’s not cheap, but it’s worth every penny, and we have the tomato plants to prove it.

Best Plants
Pueblo Life
The Pueblo folks kindly indulge our penchant for all things green in this sweet, sprawling nursery space on Grand Avenue. Along with house plants and advice on how to not kill them, you can pick up enough cute pots and other accessories that no one will notice if you do commit involuntary plant-slaughter.

1025 Grand Ave., Phoenix, 602-695-0834,

Best Place to Buy a Tropical Tree
Green Life
Money doesn’t grow on trees, but mangoes do – and you can grow your own mango tree right here in Phoenix for a price. If you start with a little advice and a tree or two from this South Phoenix nursery, you’d be surprised what kind of exotic produce you can coax from our hard desert soil. We’re still waiting for someone to show us how to keep an avocado tree alive.

8640 S. 19th Ave., Phoenix, 602-545-5804,

Best Online Advice for Local Gardeners
The Desert Smells Like Veggies
Melissa Kruse-Peeples is an accomplished gardener – and she’s more than willing to share tips, from what to plant to when to plant it to what to make with it when it grows. Catch her on Instagram
@the_desert_smells_like_veggies or check out her website for even more. Time to fire up those tomato plants.