Gardeners and Rocky Mountain weather

June is known for its wild weather patterns from late frosts to thunderstorms and hail.

rocky-mountain-gardening-blogWhen he wrote “The Complete Guide to Rocky Mountain Gardening,” Herb Gundell knew from experience that “you can’t count on the weather, seasons or soils of the Rocky Mountain territory, so don’t let any weather changes take you by surprise.”

It could be a coincidence, but yesterday was the anniversary of one of the latest frosts in the Denver area. Imagine how gardeners coped with that in 1951.

Herb’s book was published in 1985, but it still serves as an excellent resource for how to garden in the Rocky Mountains. I like his common-sense approach to everything from the unpredictable weather, varying climates and growing seasons. His down-to-earth advice about improving poor-quality soil can make the difference between success and failure in the garden.

One of his Rocky Mountain tips is helpful today after an especially rainy day yesterday and a night so chilly the furnace kicked on:

“If you don’t like today’s weather, just wait and it will change. A shift in the jet stream is all it takes. Be prepared for the worst, but be happy when it does not happen.”

You can still find copies of Herb’s book at used bookstores and online, too. I think it’s a helpful reference that includes everything gardeners needs to know about improving their Rocky Mountain landscapes including lawns, trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, annuals, perennials and even indoor plants.

Herb spent many years as a professional horticulturist, yet he still enjoyed the first rose in his garden as much as “the scratches, the bugs and some disappointments” from gardening.

“I have learned not to count on the unexpected,” he wrote. “Rather to enjoy it when it happens along.”

What’s your favorite gardening reference book? Please share it here.


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