Archive for April 2011

On the Street . . . Little Raven Street, Denver

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This scene caught my attention a few weeks ago. The bamboo, boxwood and pansies all looked great, considering the dry and windy winter/spring we've experienced. These are all water loving plants in a hot (west facing) urban setting.  Obviously they are hardy, but what a missed opportunity to showcase more drought tolerant, sustainable plants.

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Garden Designers' Roundtable: Go-to plants!

Best plants. Favorite plants. Go-to plants.  This month's edition of the Garden Designers' Roundtable is all about the plants!  Be sure to visit our web site for a wonderful introduction to this topic and the links to today's participants.

Most landscape designers keep a mental Rolodex of plants on call for specific sites and uses.  This file is constantly being updated and edited as new plants are introduced to the market and others fall out of favor. However, there are some plants that I know I can depend on; they are hardy, relatively trouble free, and have multiple growth (cultural) or decorative qualities to recommend them.  So, without further ado, here is my list of go-to plants:

Deciduous Trees                                         

Hackberry, Celtis occidentalis                          
Kentucky Coffeetree, Gymnocladus dioicus                          
Oak, Quercus sp.                                                      
Honeylocust, Gleditsia triacanthos
Japanese Tree Lilac, Syringa reticulata
Serviceberry, Amelanchier sp.*
Hawthorn, Crataegus sp.*

Deciduous Shrubs

Gro-Low Sumac, Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-Low’
Apache Plume, Fallugia paradoxa

Western Sand Cherry, Prunus besseyi var.Pawnee Buttes’
Fernbush, Chamaebatiara millefolium
New Mexico Privet, Forestiera neomexicana
Blue Mist Spirea, Caryopteris incana

Barberry, Berberis sp. *
Lilac, Syringa patula sp.
Butterfly Bush, Buddleia davidii
Beautybush, Kolkwitzia amabilis
Golden Currant, Ribes aureum
Spirea, Spiraea sp. *
Cameo Quince, Chaenomeles japonica ‘Cameo’ *
Cotoneaster, Cotoneaster sp. *
Viburnum, Viburnum sp.*
Ninebark, Physocarpus sp.*
Annabelle Hydrangea, Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ *

Evergreen Trees

Pinon Pine, Pinus cembroides var. edulis
Ponderosa Pine, Pinus ponderosa
Vanderwolf’s Limber Pine, Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwolf’s Pyramid’

Evergreen Shrubs

Oregon Grape Holly, Mahonia sp.
Euonymus sp. *
Hardy manzanita, Arctostaphylos x coloradensis
Hillside Creeper Pine, Pinus sylvestris ‘Hillside Creeper’*
Yucca sp.

Big Tuna Mugo Pine, Pinus mugo ‘Big Tuna’

Perennial Flowers, Grasses and Groundcovers

Whirling Butterflies, Gaura lindheimeri
Powis Castle Sage, Artemesia ‘Powis Castle’*
Moonshine Yarrow, Achillea ‘Moonshine’
Creeping Speedwell, Veronica sp.
Giant Silver Mullen, Verbascum bombiciferum

Autumn Joy Sedum, Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’
Sunset Hyssop, Agastache rupestris

 Variegated Iris, Iris pallida
Orange Carpet Hummingbird Flower, Zauschneria garrettii
English lavender, Lavandula angustifolia
Plumbago, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides*

Penstemon sp.
Red Valerian, Centranthus ruber
Missouri Evening Primrose, Oenothera macrocarpa
Globethistle, Echinops ritro

Zagreb Coreopsis, Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb’
Sunrose, Helianthemum nummularium
Paeonia sp. *
Geranium sp. *

False Indigo, Baptisia australis
Russian Sage, Perovskia artiplicifolia
Candytuft, Iberis sempervirens 

Little Bluestem Grass, Schizachyrium scoparium

Blue Avena Grass, Helictotricon sempervirons
Maiden Grass, Miscanthus sinensis *
Switch Grass, Panicum virgatum  *

* These plants (or related species) will need moderately moist conditions.

This list may seem short - considering the many hundreds of plants that grow well in our area - so think of it as a super-deluxe "top 10" list! You will notice that most of my go-to plants are tried and true main stays of the mid-west, inter-mountain west, and upland southwest regions of the US.  Hence, the name: "go-to" plants!  The bulk of any landscape or garden should consist of well adapted, low maintenance plants and this list is a great place to start. (Read this post to learn about a few oddball plants to throw into the mix.)

Please visit these participating members of the Garden Designer's Roundtable for planting inspiration for your region and beyond... 

Nan Ondra : Hayefield : Bucks County, PA
Andrew Keys : Garden Smackdown : Boston, MA
Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA
Genevieve Schmidt : North Coast Gardening : Arcata, CA
Ivette Soler : The Germinatrix : Los Angeles, CA
Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO
Laura Livengood Schaub : Interleafings : San Jose, CA
Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In the Garden : Los Altos, CA
Rochelle Greayer : Studio G : Boston, MA
Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA

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April and things are happening in the City Square Communal Garden

We've had every kind of weather this April but our cold hardy seeds planted in late March have grown into their first leaves. Things like radishes, arugula, spinach, peas and kale can all be planted outside early.

The garlic we planted last fall is going strong. Last week we nestled some strawberries in the garlic bed.

We've also made sure to plant flowers to attract pollinators to our garden.

Come join us at the garden! we are meeting every 2nd Sunday at 11am, next one is May 1st

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Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day 4.15.2011

Mid April finds a few more flowers blooming in my Colorado garden, although it's the greening of the landscape that is most evident right now! Here are a few bloomers to share with you:

These little species tulips bloom happily in the buffalo grass of my prairie garden
Don't forget to look inside your tulips!

I can't really capture the perfect blue of this hyacinth - nor the exquisite fragrance

Daffodils are pure sunshine!

'Cameo' quince buds ready to burst

Serviceberry 'Autumn Brilliance' is pretty brilliant in the spring as well!
Don't forget to visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to find links to other gardens from around the world that are sharing their colorful blooms today too!

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A Special Invitation . . .

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Girlfriends Night Out at Echter's Garden Center is a Party With a Purpose!

Join me on April 14th, 5:00-8:00PM in this beautiful, flower-filled venue to benefit the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, supporting cancer research and treatment.

Local restaurants and caterers will offer wine and food samplings as you stroll through the greenhouses and enjoy live musical entertainment. Other businesses will showcase their jewelry, handbags and accessories, body care products, financial advise, travel opportunities, and more! I'll be available to answer your questions about landscape design, plant selection and care, and the latest garden trends for 2010. Door prizes and special discounts will be part of the fun.

Tickets are $15.00, with $10.00 of your ticket price going directly to the Vera Bradley Foundation. Echter's is also donating 15% of the evening's sales. Tickets are limited, so call 303-424-7979 in advance to purchase yours.

Bring your girlfriends for a special evening; you won't want to miss this Party With a Purpose!

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