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.
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.
The CSU garden is complete with signage, and ready to help educate consumers! One garden, devoted to new, and smart plant choices highlights the Plant Select program, and shows a few of the new winners from the 2014 CSU annuals trials. The benefit of these plant choices are that they are proven by research to not only survive, but thrive in Colorado’s tough landscape environment with minimal inputs. These beautiful perennials and annuals will be in your local garden center this spring. Our good/poor landscape management choices gardens include research-based recommendations for proper homeowner care of turf and and other landscape plants. The plant diversity quadrant focuses on showcasing beautiful alternative tree choices to ash. And, what we expect to be one of the most popular garden quadrants contains a wealth of information gathered from the Colorado Department of Agriculture and CSU about the current threat of the Emerald Ash Borer to our urban and suburban forests. 20 Master Gardeners and CSU staff worked 2.5 long days installing the garden to showcase the educational themes. Be sure and visit the Colorado Garden and Home Show running from February 7-15, 2015 at the Colorado Convention Center. Your garden will thank you!
Day 2 at the install of the Colorado Garden and Home Show. 8 Master Gardeners, 6 carts of annuals, perennials, forced bulbs and grasses – a beautiful result!
One of the activities I enjoy most as a Master Gardener volunteer is the annual Colorado Garden and Home Show. Every year, the CSU Extension staff work with Master Gardeners to design the Education Garden at the show, which is designed to provide homeowners with research-based information about gardening in Colorado. This year, I was so privileged to help design the garden with good friend, and fellow Master Gardener, Martha Kirk, under the direction of James Klett, Ph.D. Our theme is Proven Solutions for Colorado Landscapes, and we’re covering a lot of ground with this one! We have 6 different gardens within the space, and we will address Tree Diversity, Small Space Gardening, Emerald Ash Borer, Common Turf and Landscape Maintenance Problems, and we will feature Plant Select plants as well as winners from the CSU Annuals Trials. There are a lot of learning opportunities packed into this 30’x50′ space. Tomorrow, we add all the color with blooming annuals and perennials. More to follow!