Archive for September 2008

Recipe for a Perfect Weekend

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Above: Looking north to Mt. Blanca between Fort Garland and San Luis, Colorado
Below: Scarlet gilia, Ipomopsis aggregata

Below: Looking north to Taos, New Mexico
Destination: Taos, New Mexico
Drive time: 4 ½ -5 hours from Denver
Weather: perfect warm autumn days and crisp, cool nights
Best lunch or dinner: Orlando’s New Mexican CafĂ© (505-751-1450). Try the blue corn stacked enchiladas with shredded beef and the caribe chile---my favorite! We always eat lunch there as soon as we arrive in town to get our vacation off to a great start.
Best place for a cold one: Eske’s Brew Pub.
Best place for live music: The Taos Inn---free every night (some acts better than others, of course) in the Adobe Bar.
Best place to stay: Casa Benevides Bed and Breakfast Inn; a small, charming (and, yes, rustic) hotel in an historic adobe building. Superior breakfasts and afternoon tea. Park your car and walk everywhere!

Add your favorite companion and enjoy! Above: Looking north up the Rio Grande river near Pilar, NM

Below: Rabbitbrush (or Chamisa, as they say in NM), Chrysothamnus nauseosus. See the praying mantis hanging upside down?

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On the Cover of the Rolling Stone!

Well, not exactly . . . but it was exciting to get one of my photos of a walkway at Denver Botanic Gardens featured on the cover of our regional industry magazine. Colorado has extremely progressive and active organizations for all facets of the green (landscape) industry, and this is the magazine they look to for the latest information on new plant introductions, water management, business practices, people in the news, etc., etc.
This particular issue is a hard-hitting focus on green---environmental and sustainable--- practices that we can, and should, implement into our everyday working practices and overall business plans. Stay tuned for more on this topic!

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Sorrento in September

Nancy, Laura and I spent three great days in Sorrento, BC participating in the BC Food Systems Network. The theme for this years conference was Food without Fossil Fuels: Re-establishing Local Cooperation and Interdependence. Laura and I presented our work from the demonstration gardens and the pesticides safe disposal project. There were many interesting and inspiring talks that examined food issues and amazing food projects from a local and global perspective. It seems there is much work to do to improve our food system and it was wonderful to meet people who devote their lives to this cause.

The gathering's youngest participant.

In addition to attending some great talks, there was also time to enjoy the beauty and land of the Secwepemc territory. The nearby Neskonlith reserve was home to Grand Chief George Manuel who was a leader in bringing aboriginal rights into the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The site and staff at the Sorrento Centre were very welcoming.

Laura enjoying a swim in the lake.

Nancy getting her apple supply for apple pie.

Laura picking apples.

The gathering was a wonderful way to refuel the soul and to get geared for fall.
Thanks to SPEC for the opportunity to attend.

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My Late Summer Garden

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Above: View to the southeast
Above: South border view
Above: West border view

These photos were taken late yesterday afternoon, before the rain began (yes! a whole glorious inch!). I'm always surprised at how many flowers I actually have still blooming this time of year ---Phlox, Sedum, Ceratostigma, Oenothera, Centranthus, Agastache, Zauschneria, Aster, Callirhoe, Coropsis, Geranium, Scabiosa, Perovskia, Salvia, Caryopteris, Buddleia--- and most of the asters haven't even begun to open yet. My favorite (and only) annual, Wave petunia, is at its peak now, and the cooler temperatures have the lawn (Kentucky bluegrass) looking its best since April. However, the wacky weather we experienced this spring and summer has left the ornamental (and native) grasses about half their ususal size, and many of my other perennials looking kind of puny too. Ah well, such are the vagaries of gardening in high and dry Colorado!

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Turning in the tomatoes for roof reno's

Its time to clear the roof in preparation for some roof renovations. We are getting ready to put in a new deck - so exciting! It means we have to close the shop down early for the season.

Volunteers are needed for Wednesday September 10 at 10am on the roof to help prepare. Please join us.

Carole picking the last of the tomatoes. Even though the poor plants were sickly with what we think is a potato blight they did manage to produce some lovely fruits.

Carrots did great growing in a container. We planted the seeds in mid July and harvested some lovely carrots in early September.

Members of the food committee enjoying fresh carrots.

Laura, our summer intern, has returned back to university for the fall. We celebrated all her hard work with a 'Laura Lunch'. We enjoyed the most delicious Indian food.

Ladies dining for Laura Lunch.

Our rainbow lunch at Akbar's Own. It was fabulous.

Its amazing that September is already here. We will keep you posted on how the rooftop renovations go.

Happy Harvesting!

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Hummingbird Bait?

You bet! I’ve had a couple of hummingbirds hanging out in the garden the past few weeks and the Zauschneria plants are some of their favorites (read more about these plants here). Mid August into early September is prime time for hummer viewing in my neighborhood. The rest of the summer they tend to frequent higher elevations, typically those areas that have native stands of ponderosa pine. I’ve never been tempted to hang a hummingbird feeder, but I do have a number of plants in bloom right now that they really go for:

Agastache, hummingbird mint
Buddleia, butterfly bush
Caryopteris, blue mist spirea
Centranthus, red and white valerian
Zauschneria, hummingbird trumpet
Above: Buddleia davidii
Below: Penstemon pinifolius 'Mersea Yellow'
What are the hummingbirds feeding on in your garden?

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