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!
Poring over seed catalogs is a popular early spring pastime, planning for the warm summer garden season ahead. A neighbor requested a list of catalogs to take along as reading on her spring break trip. I thought I’d share my favorites with you.
When ordering seeds for the Rocky Mountain west from catalogs back east, it is important to pay attention to zone information, and days to maturity. Our growing season, even on the Front Range, is considerably shorter than the plains or Atlantic States. Our high solar intensity also requires some knowledge of plant suitability. Also, elevation information can be handy.
When planning your garden from seed, pay attention to irrigation requirements, and group your sowings according to like water needs. That’s an easy way to promote sustainability, and have a healthy annual garden. Happy shopping!