‘Harison’s yellow’ rose is one of the undaunted plants recommended by Lauren Springer Ogden in the Summer issue of Zone 4 Magazine.
This is one of the most reliable performers in my Western garden and it gets more beautiful with each passing year.
If I had to find fault with this hardy bloomer is that it only blooms once a year. I love the small yellow roses covering the thick thorny branches that cascade like a river down the canes.
The flowers are delicate with just a hint of fragrance, but they’re perfect for giving honeybees another early-season food source.
I’ve written about Harison’s yellow before because it’s an old rose that pioneers brought with them when they came west. They just had to have these roses in their gardens wherever they lived and I understand why.
I didn’t plant this Golden Currant, but I sure appreciate the birds who did.
Every spring it blooms with brilliant yellow tubular flowers that have a fresh spicy scent and these flowers grow into berries that birds love. Which is only fitting.
A bird must have stopped by for a drink at the birdbath several years ago and “planted” the seed for this broad-leaf native shrub. Golden Currant (Ribes aureum) is a member of the rose family, it has a nice upright habit and can grow to 6 feet tall.
Even though I didn’t plant this shrub, I might have if I had known how easily it would grow in my garden. And I might have planted it in that exact spot, too. When it’s in full flower it practically glows in the afternoon sunlight.
I had a great time helping gardeners learn ways to garden on the cheap in Pueblo on Saturday.
A big thank you goes to the planning committee for the fifth annual Western Landscape Symposium in Pueblo this weekend. I was delighted to be part of the program.
The symposium is a wonderful educational experience for gardeners interested in creating sustainable landscapes in southeastern Colorado, especially when it comes to water-wise gardening practices.
My “Gardening on the Cheap” talk gave gardeners 10 steps for becoming cheerful cheapskates in the garden and I shared many of the ideas I’ve used in my own landscape for cultivating a green thumb without going into the red.
Because one of my suggestions is to always be on the look out for free or low-cost options, I gave away tomato and pepper seed packets donated by BBB Seeds in Boulder for the Plant a Row for the Hungry effort.
The end of the year–and the decade–is a good time to look back at some of the changes I’ve seen in the world of gardening.
The exceptionally dry summer of 2000 caused me to change the way I thought about my suburban landscape.
Using only a spade and an old wheelbarrow, I dug up most of the front lawn and replaced the bluegrass with drought-tolerant flowers and shrubs.
Now I’m seeing more yards with less lawn and more homeowners interested in planting xeriscapes and learning about sustainable landscaping practices.
Here are a few other positive gardening and landscaping trends I’ve noticed over the last 10 years:
1. More people are thinking about how their individual lawn and garden choices impact the environment.
2. Nurseries and garden centers are carrying more environmentally-friendly lawn and garden products.
3. There are more xeric and native plants to choose from.
4. The eat-local movement took hold and more vegetable gardens are being planted.
Old-fashioned hollyhocks are the perfect plant for gardeners who like to go to seed.
When I was in Albuquerque for the annual Water Conservation and Xeriscape Conference in February, I bought several envelopes of hollyhock seeds at the book sale. A local gardener must have collected them from the garden, packaged them for sale, and donated the proceeds to the conference organizer, the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico.
I’d been wanting to add more hollyhocks to my cottage garden, especially the old-fashioned kind with large single flowers and, at 50 cents an envelope, the price was right for me.
I started the seeds in a planter as part of the patio container garden this summer with the idea of planting in fall so they’ll bloom next summer. Fall planting means these plants will have time to develop a strong root system before the ground freezes.
If it’s October, it’s time for the annual New Mexico sunflower show in my backyard.
The nice green leaves make such a lovely backdrop in the perennial garden, that it seems they’ve always been there.
It isn’t until the yellow flowers start to bloom up the tall stems that I remember how much I like this plant.
The flowers start as tight buds that slowly unfurl one by one to create a beautiful hedge of green and gold. I’ve written about sunflowers many times before, but may have neglected to mention this steady performer.
One of my favorite things about this native prairie plant, in addition to its drought-hardy nature, is that it’s the last plant to put on a show in my garden. It waits until late September or early October to start blooming and won’t quit until the first hard freeze.
The dedication of the new Darlene Radichel Plant Select Garden was part of yesterday’s Celebration of Collaborations hosted by Plant Select and the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Plant Select members, propagators and green industry representatives met at the Denver Botanic Gardens to recognize the program responsible for “bringing the industry and its customers the best plants for western gardens.”
An important part of the event was the dedication of DBG’s new Plant Select garden. I had the chance to see the garden in June after it was first planted (shown in the image above) and I couldn’t believe how a few short summer months had transformed it.
I’m a big supporter of the Plant Select program and enjoy sharing information about how these plants do in my own xeriscape with other Western gardening enthusiasts.
The Brown-eyed Susan is a native biennial plant that acts like a perennial because of its prolific self-sowing.
I’ve been talking about my vegetable garden a lot lately, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the flowers in my cottage garden. One of my all-time favorites is the Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba) because it brightens up every corner where it appears.
My crop of Brown-eyed Susans started years ago with one plant I bought at a garden club plant sale. That one plant bloomed the following summer and I loved its little yellow flowers with dark brown centers.
The next year there were more Brown-eyed Susans that had self-sown along the side of my driveway. The next year they had spread to the front bed. And sow they’ve sown themselves, year after year to create fabulous fall borders. These flowers make gardening so easy.
If you’ll be traveling to New Mexico in early August, you may want to plan a stop in Taos for the Los Jardineros Garden Club’s annual garden and home tour.
I got a nice note from Jeannie Admire of the Los Jardineros Garden Club in Taos inviting WesternGardeners.com readers to join the group for its annual garden and home tour. This sounds like a terrific event for any gardener headed to New Mexico August 7.
The tour includes four private homes with fabulous southwestern gardens. According to the garden club’s website, the tour includes:
A custom built, free form adobe that sits on two landscaped acres featuring a meditation garden.
A contemporary adobe filled with one-of-a-kind furnishings surrounded by architectural outdoor entertaining spaces opening onto natural pinon and sage.
A family home in Ranchitos with water features and an abundant vegetable and flower gardens.
A rambling rancho in Las Colonias surrounded by an orchard and specimen gardens filled with roses, succulents and edibles.
Today’s edition of Workshop Wednesday will appeal to those who like small-scale gardening. Alpine plants, succulents and other low-growing plants grow well in trough planters. Here’s how to plant a hypertufa container garden.
I’ve always enjoyed planting container rock gardens, so I was delighted to find a table of hypertufa trough planters at the recent Denver master gardeners’ plant sale.
I’ve loved the look of hypertufa planters ever since my in-laws made a batch years ago, but I haven’t worked up the gumption to tackle the process to make my own.
Hypertufa planters look like they’re made of stone or rock, but they’re a light-weight container made from cement mixed with other materials like vermiculite, perlite, peat moss and sand.
If you’d like to make your own hypertufa trough planter, there are good tips included in a recent Denver Post article on using alpine plants to create container rock gardens or miniature xeriscapes.