I'm someone who lives in the Sonoran Desert and likes it. I love the oddball seasons, the monsoons, the dry heat and the wet heat and the fact that the weather here can change in a violent, spectacular way within hours.
I like to watch my yard and my garden through the seasons, to get my hands dirty, and to leave weeds alone just to see what they'll turn into. And I like to try and find out names and information about the plants and animals in my yard, although I don't always succeed.
I like eating food that I grow, especially herbs.
I also like the idea of sustainability and coexisting with the native plants that are already in my yard, or would grow here without too much coaxing. I love learning about permaculture and food forests. Partly this is because I just think it's neat. Partly this is because I'm a lazy sod who never has enough time and if there are plants that provide shade or food and I can set them up and then never worry about them again, I'm all for it.
What I am not, however, is a botanist. I'm not an herbalist, either. I'm just someone who is picking up information by observation, research, and word of mouth, and I can easily be incorrect. Please do not take what I say as the last word in, well, anything. Double check it. Explore. Make sure there aren't plants that look similar to the ones I think I have - because perhaps I have something entirely different! There is almost nothing in my yard I've ever been able to have verified as being X plant with a professional, so truly, it's all from an amateur's perspective.
However, I hope that as an amateur, I can give you information that can help you, too. Maybe I can provide those little details that professionals may not worry about, because they have more experience, more skill, more tools and resources that some of us just don't have.
Also, while my gardening may be limited because of numerous allergies and how that affects what soil amendments we use, that may be of use, too. Because you know what that means? I garden CHEAPLY.
I don't buy mulch, I don't buy soil, and I don't buy lots of expensive amendments. I have some moss because it was given to me by a friend moving out of town. I have a few pots that were hand-me-downs plus a few I picked up on sale. I have some digging tools and a screen I made myself to sift out rocks. That's about it.
I make my own compost. Okay, it mostly makes itself. I'm much less of an influence on the whole compost making than I could be, really. I make my own mulch from weeds in my yard. I use veggies from the store to make veggies in my yard. And if weeds look useful without causing too many problems, like they are attracting good bugs or butterflies and bees, or providing good shade, and not sucking down too much water, I let them grow near and in my garden.
I don't know what my garden will turn out to be in the end. I am hoping for something that I can eat out of all year round. Considering I companion plant like mad, I imagine there will be a lot of variety, but not as much volume. Since I cannot add too much to the soil at one time and I'm in the desert, I think that this may be for the best, because I don't have the resources soil amendments might be adding to the soil to feed large amounts of just one crop. I hope that over the years my compost will slowly be improving the soil to the point that I might be able to have a better crop.
In any case, good luck with your own desert gardening, and I hope that what I've learned can help you along the way! ^_^