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Natives in fall

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Natives in fall

The benefits of growing native plants are many - they are easy to grow, they increase native biodiversity, they reduce the risk of introducing invasives, and they use little water to name a few. In fall though, probably more than any other time of year, the overriding reason is their beauty.

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Leaves of Grass: Autumnal bounty

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Leaves of Grass: Autumnal bounty

Is it a coincidence that Walt Whitman named his revolutionary collection of poetry "Leaves of Grass"? Grass is the dominant vegetation in our region, and ornamental grasses have revolutionized horticulture across America in recent decades. If I had to pick a favorite grass, right now I would have to say that Giant Sacaton (Sporobolus wrightii) jostles at the top of my list with Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans) and a dozen or more other contenders.

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Why Baby Vegetables are a Luxury, and Other Thoughts on Preparing for Winter

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Why Baby Vegetables are a Luxury, and Other Thoughts on Preparing for Winter

Preparing for winter? Yes, I've been thinking about winter for a couple months now, ever since I decided to try to eat more local foods. I won't be limiting myself to eating only foods grown in Colorado, especially over the winter, but I am wanting to pay more attention to where my food comes from. And, I have extra incentive, since local foods tend to be cheaper these days than foods relying on expensive long-distance transportation!

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Season of Inspiration

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Season of Inspiration

This is the season of inspiration.  I know everyone talks about gardening in the spring, but this is the time of year that motivates me.  Every garden has come into its own.  Yards, parks, estates, landscapes: by now you know what they are going to be.  Thick slabs of watermelon, backlogs of zuchini, fulsome fruit and fields of flowers: even the weeds seem mastered by an all-encompassing abundance.  The failures (we've...

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Record Agave Blooms

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Record Agave Blooms

  Though a common occurrence in parts of the southwest, century plants  (Agave sp.),  blooming in Denver are rare. Most years there is one blooming somewhere in Denver and we all take trips to visit it and marvel at the huge flower spike. This year we are lucky enough to have three blooming here at the Gardens. Ok, so only one is the insanely tall (about 18 feet) flower spike of Agave...

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Strange things end up on my desk...

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Strange things end up on my desk...

I guess it's not a plant that is easy to love, but I can't help but admire something that has adapted so incredibly over time to the point of losing a fundamental facet of its "plantiness": it's not even green!

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Aloe Envy

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Aloe Envy

  I have aloe envy. I recently saw the diversity of plants that thrive in the Souther California climate.  The aloes they have there are incredible.  More than any other plant (and there are lot of plants), I wish I could walk among the aloes on a regular basis.  Just look at them! The large one pictured is Aloe candelabrum: Can you imagine that on your window sill?  It's magnificent.  It reminds me of Dr....

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