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Jim Martinez has been creating water-wise, environmentally friendly gardens in Dallas and Marfa, Texas for more than 30 years. He picks seven of his favorite plants to grow in desert regions, including Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
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Every now and then, we'll be linking to things that we covet. Today's pick is Polka Polka cushion, designed by Abigail Borg, a young Brit, whose retro floral prints manage to have a modern edge with sharp color palettes and delicate botanical detail.
The bluebonnet is a smart, strong flower, and, thanks to a state's embrace, a true Texan. And because they love them so, there are six bluebonnets recognized as state flowers.
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Botanical illustrator Sally Jacobs finds her subjects at Los Angeles farmers markets. A show of her vegetable watercolor portraits just opened at a gallery in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica. 
Vic Brotherson is one of London’s leading florists. The owner of Scarlet & Violet responds to our more bountiful times.
Photographer Edward Steichen was also a delphinium breeder. In 1936, New York's MoMA hosted an exhibit of new varieties that the artist had hybridized on his 10-acre farm in Connecticut. 
This new Japanese water iris has a poetic grace, with large flowers of lavender falls veined in violet and a dark-purple central clutch of “petaloids.” Adds a lovely accent to summer water gardens when grown in a partly submerged container. Hardy in Zones 4-9.  heronswood.com
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A host of tropical houseplants that have found new life in the great outdoors as annuals in the warm months are still happy denizens of windowsills and sunrooms when the temperature drops
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This high-gloss tropical foliage plant is such a deep shade of maroon that it's nearly black. Use it outdoors in the summer as an accent plant in a sunny border or container in which it can reach 4 feet. And it can easily be nipped back to keep it comfy in an indoor spot.
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Residents of Marfa, Texas, have created vibrant gardens that bring life to the desert plains
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