Archive for February 2011

The Edible Garden

Fruits and veggies, and herbs . . . oh, my! Today the Garden Designer's Roundtable is talking about how to incorporate a bounty of food into your garden and keep it looking fabulous. Although I'm not contributing a post today, I'm eager to read what my design pals have to say on this timely topic. Won't you join me? Click here to read the introduction and find the links to all of the participating bloggers.

Then, join me tomorrow at my garden forum (click on the "forum" page listing above for all the details), and we'll pick up the discussion live and in person!

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Front Range Tree Recommendation List©

Hot off the Press!

This new study was created for landscape professionals by a committee of landscape professionals from four disciplines: landscape architects (CCASLA), nursery and greenhouse growers (CNGA), municipal arborists (via the Colorado Tree Coalition), and horticulturalists (CSU Extension). The study creates a working list of readily available trees "...with the ultimate goal of a healthy, diverse,  and geographically appropriate landscape and urban forest." The study focused on Colorado's Front Range, from Colorado Springs north to the Wyoming border and from the foothills to the eastern plains.

Nearly 300 trees were evaluated and rated as:
A - Generally recommended
B - Conditionally recommended
C - Potential/Unproven
D - Not recommended
Thirteen different cultural factors that could affect the ratings were listed as critical or cautionary. Water needs and availability were also noted.

 So how did the trees in my own garden rate?
Japanese Tree Lilac, Syringa reticulata - A
Red Oak, Quercus rubra - B (develops chlorosis in alkaline soils)

Autumn Brilliance serviceberry, Amelanchier x grandiflora - B (basal suckering;use as shrub)
Apricot, Prunus armeniaca - A (rarely sets fruit)
Autumn Purple ash, Fraxinus americana - B (susceptible to sun scald)
Common hackberry, Celtis occidentalis - A (re-seeds)
 Looks like I'm on the right track!

Although the list is not exhaustive - for example, I was surprised to see that no ornamental plums were included -  it's a great starting point and is meant to be a work in progress. If you are interested in viewing and downloading a copy of the Front Range Tree Recommendation List©, click here.

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ProGreen EXPO 2011

Last week I attended ProGreen EXPO, a conference/trade show for landscape professionals working in Denver and the Rocky Mountain region. This year's show featured 650 booths and 141 seminars! Impossible to see everything, but I always learn something new and get inspired for the season to come.

These photos are from the Proven Winners booth. I loved the geometric arrangement of the succulents to create distinct color blocks (almost quilt like). The planting design was perfectly matched to the sleek, black containers.

Hmmmm....I think I see a succulent quilt garden in my future!

Thank you, Proven Winners!

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It's official, spring is on its way. As you flip through seed catalogues or take stock of your own seed collection and plan this year's garden don't forget the first step in gardening - assuring healthy soil.

Here is a site with a good list of different soil tests you can do to see if your garden is ready Dave's Garden

Ways to improve soil included adding leaf litter (hopefully you did this last fall, and your leaves are all molding and breaking down nicely) - shredding leaves with a lawn mover is also great. Sea weed collected and rinsed to remove salt can add valuable nutrients back into your soil. Again, shredding would be useful. You can add well-rotted compost and/or organic fertilizer before you plant your seedlings out in March (too early and the nutrients will leach out with rain). The jury is still out on Dolomite Lime, with local master gardeners suggesting only adding the amendment if a soil test shows low pH.

Happy preparations!

- marnie

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