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A Bank You Can Trust: the Seed Bank

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A Bank You Can Trust: the Seed Bank

As the Greek government, its creditors, and the bankers at the International Monetary Fund continue to discuss Eurobonds and interest rates, my thoughts have wandered from the European Central Bank to another sort of bank altogether—the seed bank. In a previous blog post I described how before germinating many seeds commonly go through dormancy which can last a few weeks, a few years, or even a few decades.  Those patiently waiting...

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Seed Dormancy: Botanical "Hibernation"

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Seed Dormancy:  Botanical "Hibernation"

While taking advantage of the warm daytime temperatures in recent weeks to get some pruning in, I was hailed from the pathway nearby. "Do you ever worry about seeds coming up early during warm spells like this?" In a word, "no."  But why not? The seeds of most temperate plants have evolved a variety of mechanisms to avoid arriving on the springtime stage ahead of cue.  Together, these mechanisms are generally known as...

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How to make a simple hypertufa trough

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How to make a simple hypertufa trough

From time to time, the greenhouse team at Denver Botanic Gardens will build hypertufa troughs. These troughs are a great addition to a garden, especially for showcasing some of the rock garden plants, native wildflowers, and cacti that might otherwise be lost in a larger landscape. We sell our planted troughs at the Spring and Fall Plant Sales and occasionally throughout the season at the Shop at the Gardens. However, if...

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A STAR is born! Muhlenbergia reverchonii glows at dusk and dawn

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A STAR is born! Muhlenbergia reverchonii glows at dusk and dawn

The second and third pictures were taken in the Rock Alpine Garden last week. The lower the light the more vivid the color--alas, these were taken an hour or two before prime color. Scott and Lauren Ogden introduced this stunning grass, which is native to Eastern and Central Texas. It was first offered for sale by High Country Gardens, in New Mexico, where I suggest you order this winter to plant it...

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Plant Select and hummingbirds

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Plant Select and hummingbirds

Who isn't entranced by hummingbirds? This picture was taken and e-mailed to me recently by a visiting nurseryman, Erbin Baumgardner, last month in our new Darlene Radichel Plant Select Garden. You can still find hummingbirds buzzing the various Salvias and Agastaches in this garden almost any day of the week...and I've been thinking.

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Lilac Garden's Stunning Display of Colorful Irises

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Lilac Garden's Stunning Display of Colorful Irises

       Like several other bloggers here, I have really enjoyed the irises in bloom in the Lilac Garden.  They're stunning!  While we all rhapsodize about how colorful the blooms are, and how marvelous the experience is, I keep going back and finding another gem in the display.  (Of course, that is what we all do: whether it's Lisa's post or Joe's or Ellen's, you see the gems we've just uncovered and...

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The Weekly Bloom: Week of June 12

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The Weekly Bloom: Week of June 12

• Xeric Bounty: Now is a great time to stop by Dryland Mesa. The prickly pears (Opuntia aurea) whose pads were such a lovely red in the winter are now sporting eye-catching magenta flowers. Other cactus and desert plants are in bloom, and what looks to be this season’s sole agave flower is pushing up its gigantic stem. Favorite lunch spot this week: The benches on the west end of the...

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The Payoff for Gardeners

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I'm eating lunch right now.  (That's part of the reason there is no picture: you don't need to see me chewing.)  And this sandwich is my payoff for being attentive to my gardening.  It might seem to be just a leftover from dinner last night, but I know it includes the first harvest of homegrown spinach for the year.  Its fun to grow plants for their beauty, or the composition...

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