IN 2005, I left my Maryland garden of 26 years and spent the next 12 years establishing a garden near the town of Sonoita, Arizona, about 45 miles (72 km) southeast of Tucson. The property consisted of five acres, of which I planted about one-third acre, mostly devoted to native and xeric-adapted shrubs and trees. A small portion of the planted area was dedicated to a rock garden. What remains of the entire garden sits at 5000 feet (1500 m) in the rolling, high desert grasslands between two mountain ranges, both reaching over 9000 feet (2700 m) in elevation. Since there is so much topography, the plant and animal diversity was extremely high.
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