A happy couple of Red-shafted Northern Flickers took just a week to create this impressive nest.
John brought me up-to-date on what was happening at the homestead and before ending the call he said, “I have something to show you in the backyard when you get home.”
My imagination was set in motion, but I wasn’t prepared for what was about to unfold.
A pair of Red-shafted Northern Flickers was preparing a nest in our neighbor’s old cottonwood tree.
It was our incredible good fortune this happy couple decided to build the nest within direct eyesight of our office window.
Over the course of a week, we watched the pair share the construction duty. Each took turns pecking at the tree with long, curved bills and discarding the wood chips on the ground below.
One of these days it’s going to stop snowing so we can start gardening. If you’re a gardener in the Rocky Mountain region, you know how challenging gardening can be. After all, it was 60 degrees yesterday and 29 degrees today. That’s a shock to plants and gardeners alike.
Here are some of my top tips for Mountain Region gardeners from my Creative Ideas Team blog.
Easy Gardening Tips for how to:
45 timely tips for what to do in your garden, from March through December.
If your garden is lacking spring color, you need to make a list of these spring-blooming bulbs that are perfect for fall planting.
New gardening books are published every year, but this crop is especially fruitful.
If you need inspiration to help you add more vegetables to your family’s menu, look no farther than this new cookbook from the folks at the Baker Creek Seed Company. The cookbook, written by Jere and Emilee Gettle with Adeena Sussman, is a natural follow up to the Gettle’s first book called “The Heirloom Life Gardener.” If you didn’t grow up enjoying Grandma Nellie’s Garden Soup, don’t fret. Her recipe for homemade vegetable soup is included in the new collection of more than 125 recipes in “The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook” (2012, Hyperion).
“Vertical Vegetable Gardening” is a Living Free Guide (2012, Alpha Books) that adds to the body of creative ideas for using every square inch of gardening space. Chris McLaughlin has gleaned ideas from gardeners across the country for the best ways to grow vegetables vertically.This user-friendly how-to guide is organized into four parts that make it easy to find information. While beginning gardeners may want to delve into The Basics: Soil and Seed, experienced gardeners might turn right to Vegetables and Fruit that Enjoy Growing Up.
The new gardening catalog from Territorial Seed Company is about twice the size of other seed catalogs.
I’ve written about Territorial Seed Company in the past and have placed orders with them. But the company’s garden seed, plants and supply catalog for spring 2013 is something special.
This catalog is huge and features 240 new gardening products for 2013.
Territorial Seed, located in Cottage Grove, Ore., was the first mail order catalog to offer the Mighty ‘Mato grafted tomatoes after trialing them in its gardens.
Gardeners responded to the superhero status of the Mighty ‘Mato and Territorial Seed sold out most varieties last season. The double variety (‘Sungold’ and ‘Sweet Million’) was especially popular with gardeners who wanted to grow two flavorful cherry tomatoes on one plant.
Grafted vegetables are included in the 2013 catalog including grafted peppers. One eggplant variety, ‘Rosa Bianca’ is also in the catalog.
All the grafted vegetables are grafted by hand.
Renee’s Garden is introducing a new range of organic seed for the 2013 gardening season.
This year Renee’s has added a complete range of USDA Certified Organic vegetable and herb seeds.
Some of new line include heirlooms like ‘Chioggia’ beets, ‘Royalty Purple Pod’ bush beans, ‘Jade Green’ container lettuce, ‘Marvel Stripe’ bicolor tomato and much more. The complete line is featured in the online catalog.
As with all of the vegetable, herb and flower seeds offered by Renee’s Garden, the organics were selected after testing them in her own trial gardens. Detailed instructions for planting and growing are included on every packet.
Years ago when I first heard about Renee’s Garden, I had an image of a gifted gardener named Renee starting a specialty seed business selling based on the plants grown in her own garden.
Please join us for an online Garlic Planting Party sponsored by Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply! Simply post your favorite way to use garlic and you’ll be entered to win a prize package that includes 1 pound of Purple Italian organic garlic seed.
Join the Garlic Celebration
The folks at Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden have partnered with 8 garden bloggers for a one-of-a-kind online Garlic Planting Party to celebrate Allium sativum.
It’s easy to join the party. All you have to do is post a comment on this blog and on as many other participating blogs as you like. The party starts on October 10 and ends October 17.
Each blog will offer a different kind of organic garlic seed from Peaceful Valley/Grow Organic.com, experts in growing garlic. I chose the organic Purple Italian because it’s a classic garlic that’s perfect for all kinds of Mediterranean recipes.
‘Cayennetta’ is an All-America Selections vegetable winner for 2012 and a blue-ribbon winner for me.
I entered 5 different produce competitions and came home with 5 blue ribbons. Here’s to beginner’s luck!
At the Denver County Fair, my ‘Cayennetta’ entry of two fire-engine red peppers must have gained the judge’s attention. These were the only red peppers in the category that included large green jalapenos, purple jalapenos, Spanish ‘Padron’ and even a plate of Naga-Bih Jolokia ‘Ghost’ peppers.
‘Cayennetta’ is a new pepper variety and was selected by AAS as a top vegetable for 2012. AAS is a non-profit organization dedicated to testing new garden seed varieties, selecting the very best as “winners” and then introducing them to gardeners to grow in their own gardens.
Please join us on Friday, August 10, at the Denver County Fair for an organic vegetable gardening event featuring Jane Shellenberger. Jane will present her program starting at 4:00 p.m. on the Farm and Garden Pavilion Stage and at 5:00 p.m. sign copies of her new book “Organic Gardener’s Companion: Growing Vegetables in the West” at the WesternGardeners.com booth.
To get you in the mood for Jane’s presentation, here’s a glimpse into the pages of her book:
If you’ve tried to grow an organic vegetable garden in our region of the country, you know that gardening is difficult here. Lean soils, little precipitation, low humidity, harsh winds, and inopportune freezing weather make vegetable gardening an extreme undertaking.
Another way to celebrate National Pollinator Week on Saturday, June 23, is to join the Ute Trail Community Garden for its annual Outreach Festival.
This community event is an opportunity to see the beautiful gardens, learn from some local garden gurus, and have some fun in the sun.
The garden is located at 13130 W. Jewell Avenue, Lakewood, Colo. (80228) with the entrance just west of the Jewell and Yale intersection.
Festivities begin at 9:00 a.m. and will end around 3:00 p.m.
Some of the free activities include organic gardening classes taught by Denver Urban Gardens Master Gardeners, electronics recycling, vegetable and herb seed giveaway, and garden tours.
Special guests will include award-winning children’s author, Susie Shride, Councilmen Dave Wiechman and Adam Paul, the West Metro Fire Department, and a variety of local groups promoting environmental sustainability.
When you’re in the garden this week, be sure to thank a bee. That’s what Pollinator Week is all about.
The third week in June is designated as National Pollinator Week and there are celebrations planned from coast to coast to raise awareness of the valuable contribution provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and beetles.
Pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food that we eat.
In the U.S. bees alone undertake the astounding task of pollinating over $15 billion in added crop value, particularly for specialty crops such as almonds and other nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables.
In northern Colorado, the Colorado State Beekeepers Association, Northern Colorado Beekeepers Association, Boulder County Beekeepers Association and BBB Seed Company are partnering with 16 nurseries, garden centers, and stores for a special event on Saturday, June 23, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.