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Blooming on a Sunny Afternoon

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Blooming on a Sunny Afternoon

Early mornings in the gardens are definitely  peaceful and cool, however some gardens, like some people, are not at their best until well after lunchtime. The south end of Dryland Mesa is currently one of these gardens and the cacti flowers, which are at their peak right now, are definitely late risers, refusing to open until the sun is at its fullest. Admittedly an early morning visit does have the reward...

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Green Roof – a year-and-a-half later

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Green Roof – a year-and-a-half later

The green roof at Denver Botanic Gardens opened in November 2007. Within a year and a half, this garden has established very well creating a green space where once was a regular cemented roof. Situated above our former gift shop (soon to become a bistro), this one-of-a-kind green roof features native and drought tolerant plants that thrive well in our semi-arid climate with limited water. The green roof was initially established...

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Living within Nature's Landscape Cont'd.

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Living within Nature's Landscape Cont'd.

When I wrote that I was unsure how to live within a Western landscape in drought, it it immediately seemed that Nature took offence and sent snow and precipitation directly at us.  We're still in a drought, but the winter storm that forced us to reschedule Susan Tweit and Jim Steinberg certainly illustrated another way to live within the landscape. 

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Living in Nature's Landscape

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[gallery] I've been watching the quiet declaration of drought conditions with an eye more curious than fearful.  The US drought monitor classifies the current conditions as moderate drought, or D1, which is pretty low on the scale. The gardeners around me, however, range from "not on my weather radar" indifference to head-shaking, ground-staring, "I knew this day would come" pessimism.  It would make a fascinating study of human personality, I think,...

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Eating Locally--The Year Begins in March!

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Eating Locally--The Year Begins in March!

It's March, and my gardening year has begun! I've planted seeds for lettuces, spinach, and scallions, and put in my baby onions to get fat. Some people have luck with peas, but they've never worked for me, between our instant summer weather that is just too much for them, and the birds who love the fresh shoots. Still, I plant them every year, in eternal hope, since I love them.

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Eating Locally: the View from February

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Eating Locally: the View from February

Dinner last night was homemade pizza, featuring homegrown basil pesto, tomatoes from my garden, and red peppers, picked from the garden and roasted till the skins fell off. Dessert was a cobbler of farmer's market Colorado peaches, and blackberries from my incredibly prolific vines. No, you're not in a time warp, it is most definitely February in Colorado!

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What do horticulturists do in winter?

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This is one of our most frequently asked questions. In the middle of spring insanity I look forward to the peaceful time in winter when I can finally catch up on all those things I have been ignoring; yet now, in the middle of January, most of those same things are still waiting to be done. I know this is not just true for me but for most of my...

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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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