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On Giving Roses

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On Giving Roses

  A lot of people will send or receive a bouquet of roses today, and they will be continuing a very long tradition. Roses are one of the oldest of cultivated flowers—they have been grown across Asia for many centuries.  Roses first came to Europe from Persia and were already extremely popular in Greece by the time of Herodotus (5th century BC), who recorded his visit to the famous rose garden of Midas, son...

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Evergreens You Might Not Notice

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Evergreens You Might Not Notice

Plants, like most organisms, must overcome a number of challenges before they reach maturity.  Seeds are heavily preyed upon by insects, birds and mammals, and new seedlings face stiff competition from one another for light, water and nutrients.  Germinating in the fall or early winter when many competitors’ seeds are dormant is one of the strategies some plants use to overcome competition from other seedlings. Fall-germinating plants typically send down some...

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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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