Climate Change

Miracle Tomato Plant Survives Denver Blizzard

Like many gardeners in a cold climate, I always have to start my tomato seeds indoors early each spring. I typically start in March if I want to have tomato plants ready for transplanting into the vegetable garden in May. In more than 30 years of gardening, this year is the first time I’ve seen […]

Vegetable gardeners have more control when planting in container gardens

The 2015 vegetable growing season had a cool, rainy and slow start, but plants are finally responding to the warm dry days. After the first 95-degree day, I noticed every squash plant had blossomed overnight. Each plant had several large squash blossoms, with plenty of buzzing bees, because they were so happy to get the […]

How to Transform a Landscape into a Xeriscape

About 16 years ago, after months of house hunting, the realtor stopped in front of a little ranch-style house and I instantly knew I was home. This one definitely had curb appeal and it spoke to me. The house was shaded by a large ash tree on one side of the yard and a small […]

Dry Gardens Need Watering Rocks

Have you ever wished for a simple solution for keeping gardens watered? Then Watering Rocks is for you. Gardeners are always on the lookout for innovative solutions for ongoing gardening problems. One of my top gardening issues is finding ways to get water to the plants in the dry corners of the garden without installing […]

Gardening Projects for Citizen Scientists

Attention, Gardeners! Science needs you to join the army of citizens advancing the body of scientific knowledge. Citizen scientists are the extra eyes researchers need to help look for nine-spotted ladybugs, note the first tulips in spring or keep watch for endangered arboreal toads. They partner with scientists to provide valuable data that helps answer […]

Gardening in a Drought

What if we had a drought and the lawn didn’t notice? It’s time to rethink how to use water in the landscape. Because of the continuing drought, gardeners in the Denver metro area will have twice-a-week lawn watering restrictions starting April 1–no fooling. Along with these restrictions will be higher water bills for using more […]

Has it Really Been 4 Years?

Happy Fourth Anniversary to WesternGardeners.com! It was February 24, 2009, when I hit the “publish” button on my first gardening blog post. I wrote a short post about the predicted drought conditions in the West, with the headline: Warmer, Drier Forecast is Daunting! It seems like I could have written that headline yesterday, too. Over […]

Early Blooms Good for Bees

The earliest blooming shrub in my yard is this cold-hardy Nanking cherry. Last week I wrote about the Cherry Blossom festival in Washington being two weeks ahead of schedule because the trees are already in full bloom. The same thing is happening in my backyard with a mini-version of the annual event. The lovely white […]

Glimpse of Cherry Blossom Beauty

Last April I was in Washington, D.C., and was fortunate to see one lone cherry tree in full bloom. These famous trees that line the Tidal Basin typically bloom from March 26 to April 10. I stopped by on April 11 and almost all the blossoms were off the trees because of a big windstorm […]

The Urban Forest is an Environmental Tool

Trees aren’t the first things you think of when you think about New Mexico, but Albuquerque’s urban forest is a important environmental tool. Nick Kuhn, city forester, was one of the speakers at the New Mexico Xeriscape and Water Conservation Conference in Albuquerque last month. I guess it never occurred to me that cities in […]

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