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Making the Most of Out of Your CSA

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Is this the first year you’ve joined a CSA and you’re a little worried about what you’re going to do with all that produce? Or have you been hearing lots about CSAs lately and you’re wondering if a CSA would be a good fit for your family? Wonder no further  - Denver Botanic Gardens and Chef Elizabeth Buckingham have all the answers you need.

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Meet Your Local Medicinal Plants

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echinacea

Did you know that many of the plants growing right around you have medicinal properties? From weeds like dandelion and mullein to natives growing in the nearby hills like willow and arnica, as well as culinary garden plants like thyme, lavender and sage. You are surrounded by nature’s pharmacy! All of these and so many more are easy to find, grow, preserve and use. 

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Basics of Floral Design

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floral bouquet

Arranging fresh-cut flowers in a vase brings extra hours of joy for everyone in your home. Here are some easy-to-use techniques to give longer life to your flowers and foliages when harvesting from your garden:

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Garden Whimsy

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garden roosters

Would you like to own a playful garden that makes people smile?  You can--simply by incorporating whimsical elements into your landscape. Whimsy can take all forms, from perky plants to gleeful garden art. Try filling pots with colorful or unusual plants, such as pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli), paddle plant (Kalanchoe luciae), pumpkin on a stick (Solanum integrifolium) or foxtail fern (Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers'), which resembles a jester's hat. Watch out for pencil cactus' irritating, milky sap, however.

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Fruit Tree Growing Tips

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If your fruit tree doesn’t produce well or you’re considering planting a new fruit tree, the following are some tips to keep in mind. The age to bearing of fruit trees after planting is 3 to 5 years depending on species. Because fruit trees are an investment in time, carefully consider planting location. Location will affect available light, temperature and perhaps your ability to provide water.

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Fragrant Roses

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Fragrant Roses: picture of Abraham Darby rose

While it’s quite wonderful to receive a dozen long-stemmed red roses on Valentine’s Day, what better time to daydream about and plan your very own lusciously fragrant rose garden? You can then create your garden of long-lasting, disease-resistant roses in the colors and fragrances (fruits, flowers, spices and many others) of your choice. 

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Garden Myths and Secrets

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The use of passed down pearls of wisdom and urban garden myths to improve plants and landscapes is as common as homemade cold and flu recipes. Has someone in your garden circle suggested some fool-proof miracle cure, product or technique to fix what’s ailing your plant or make it grow better? 

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Plant safari in South Africa

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Drakensberg at sunrise

As a professional photographer you dream about the day when someone calls you and asks if your passport is up to date. The answer, of course, should always be YES! As the contract photographer for Denver Botanic Gardens for nearly fifteen years, I’ve been lucky enough to get that call twice.

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Beekeeping Basics

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In winter, there isn't much a beekeeper can do to help the bees other than watch your hive entrances, keep them clear of snow, inspect the bottom board for activity in the hive and be sure the hives are protected from the wind! If you have a window in a top bar hive, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of the winter cluster (the huddle of bees in a ball). It's a good time to catch up on reading bee journals, repair and replace old equipment and render wax for candles, salves and balms. 

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Playing with Flowers

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dahlia

In the depths of winter I love to amuse myself with flower crafts. Winter weather allows you the time indoors to pull out the craft box and let that inner artist dance around. A snowy weekend afternoon is perfect for this - after the prerequisite smoked salmon benedict brunch and nap under the covers. Revived, you can pull out easy, inexpensive ingredients and spend time off immersed in the colors of summer. Fun to do with the kids, also. I loved watching the concentration exerted by my macho nephews when we made floral candles for Christmas gifts one year.

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