You don't want to see this. Do you?

Sometimes, we decide to just give up on gardening in the sauna heat of the desert monsoon season. But do we really want to be greeted by a dead pot every time we come home this summer?

If you were to see something like what’s in the picture above every time you entered your yard, how would that make you feel? In my mind, even an empty pot with groomed soil is better than one like this, with dead plants. Dead plants say to us that we have more work to do.

When we are struggling with the heat, who wants more work, especially outdoors?

We do have a few options when contemplating these dead plants:

• Clean out the dead plants, and make the soil look neat and tidy. As mentioned above, it looks better than seeing death all the time.

• Plant an easy-care summer flower that will love the heat—such as the vinca in the picture here. They will fill in nicely with a minimum amount of work. Be warned: They do need daily water, though!

• Plant your favorite sun loving succulent or cactus. Pay attention to any cacti with thorns if you have low-stature pets or kids!

Yes, we can still enjoy living potted plants while we dream about the fall season.

Marylee is the desert’s potted garden expert. Email her with comments and questions at