When my clever client’s 20 year-old bougainvillea succumbed to damages from recent construction, she found a terrific way to incorporate the old friend into a new piece of art for her dynamic entryway. A new bougainvillea from The Plant Ranch was installed to complement this awesome piece of sculpture. So glad we could help restore the vision of this wonderful mid-century modern home!
Pick a pollinator-friendly garden plant for Mom this Mother’s Day!
We all know that Mother’s Day kicks off the garden season in Colorado. After brunch, it’s fun to stroll the aisle of the local nursery and gather up blossoming perennials, annuals, and leafy veggies to get started on that home garden. This year, give Mom a gift that helps support the important role pollinator’s play in the environment.
Did you know that some scientists estimate that birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bits of food? According to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants and about 35 percent of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce. More than 3,500 specific of native bees help increase crop yields. Pollinators help sustain our ecosystems and support natural resources by helping plants reproduce. In an urban environment, the birds, butterflies, and bees can’t take action to preserve the habitats they need. They can’t create local sanctuaries where they can rest, eat, and breed. You can help.
Pollinator gardens use plants that provide nectar or pollen, bloom throughout the growing season, provide targets of native, or non-invasive species, and eliminate, or minimize the use of herbicides, and pesticides.
Here is a great list of pollinator-friendly plants to add to Mom’s garden today:
- Bee Balm
- Shasta Daisy
In addition to planting one or more of these nectar or pollen-rich plants, add areas of shelter, water and restrict the use of herbicides. By working with nature to control pests and disease, beneficial organisms and pollinators will be able to thrive. Shop with a purpose this Mother’s Day and help support the pollinators that play a critical role in our ecosystem.
With below normal precipitation for the month of January, and warm temperatures through the middle of February, it’s a good idea to give your trees and shrubs a drink. Many areas are suffering from sparse snow cover, low soil moisture and low humidity. Conditions like these can weaken or damage plant root systems. Evergreens, south and west-facing lawns, plants near south and west-facing walls and newly installed plants are most susceptible to dry winter conditions.
To give your trees and shrubs a good start on the new growing season, use these guidelines:
- Water when air temps are above 40 F.
- Use a soil needle, deep root fork, sprinkler, or spray wand
- Apply water to many locations around the dripline
- Insert the fork or needle no deeper than 8″
- Apply 10 gallons of water per inch of tree trunk diameter measured at knee-height.
- Apply 5 gallons of water twice a month to newly planted shrubs
- Small established shrubs need 5 gallons per month
- Large shrubs (over 6 feet) need 18 gallons of water per month.
Your garden will thank you with a hydrated, healthy start to the season!
What a great plant selection for our Rocky Mountain gardens. I don’t think I’ve met a penstemon that I don’t like. However, I have to admit that I have my favorites.
Husker Red Penstemon (P. digitalis ‘Husker Red’) provides an upright, vertical accent in the garden with distinctive burgundy foliage that provides a dark contrast in a mixed border in our bright, crystal-clear light.
Another favorite is the pine-leaf Penstemon (P. pinifolius), in both red and yellow. It’s best suited to the front of a border.
Penstemon, with their tubular flowers, attract pollinators. The red and yellow varieties are most attractive to hummingbirds, while the blue, purple and pink varieties are attractive to bees, and other insects. Planting in drifts, or grouping like varieties provides ample feeding opportunities for the pollinators.
I’m back at the drawing board, and that’s a good thing. Planning is essential to a garden that you can be sure your client appreciates. Elaine, my current client, is an octogenarian plus, and an excellent plantswoman. She really put me through my paces with this design for a small bed in her front yard. Time of bloom, color, texture, ease of maintenance, light, and water needs, and incorporating favorite existing plants all came into play as we planned this together.