Archive for June 2011

Westside Pocket Market - Thursdays 3-7pm

With the love for food and community, SPEC and Kits Neighborhood House (KNH) are putting together ten Pocket Markets this summer to nurture the growing local food movement and boost the local economy.

Pocket Markets play an important role in supporting the production and distribution of local food. The markets help bridge the gap for local farmers, urban backyard growers and local food eaters by providing an alternative market format that adds to the current make-up of the farmer’s market world.

Join us in celebrating community and the love for local food, starting every Thursday July 7 until Sep 8, from 3 pm to 7 pm at Kits Neighbourhood House (2325 7 Ave West). In addition to tasty food, SPEC will offer workshops on Winter Gardening, Eating Local on a Budget and plenty of other workshops! (We encourage curious people to keep an eye on our website for updates).

Vendors at the July 7th market

* Cherry Lane Farm
* SOLEFood Farm
* Salt Spring Coffee Co.
* Giddy up and Grow
* The World in A Garden

The vendors will vary from market to market. If you want to become a market vendor to sell eggs, fresh produce or baked treats, please contact Sara Blenkhorn at

Workshop offered on July 7
Workshop #1 - Climate Change and Year-Round Gardening.
Time: 5 pm to 6pm.
Is your garden prepared for an unpredictable climate? Explore how climate change can affect the productivity of urban farms and gardens and how certain practices can minimize greenhouse gases in small-scale agriculture. Participants will learn climate-modifying techniques to extend the season, including mulching, greenhouses, coldframes and cloches. (All workshop are free but donations are always appreciated!).

The Pocket Market Voucher Program
Eating local is unfortunately not always the most affordable option for your pocket. At the Westside Pocket Market we want ALL community members to be able to enjoy healthy food, this is why we are launching the Pocket Market Voucher Program. The vouchers program will help low income families and individuals to access nutritious food by taking the financial edge off eating local. For more information on how to access the Pocket Market Vouchers, please contact Kits Neighborhood House at 604-736-3588.

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Wheat Ridge Garden Tour 6.26.2011

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Would you like to see what's beyond the garden gate?

Well, now's your chance... my garden will be part of the first-ever Wheat Ridge Garden Tour!

See  the worm farm!
Meet the koi!
Relax in the shade of my favorite tree!

Jim and I will be here to show you the highlights and answer your questions about gardening, design, and landscape construction.

When: Sunday, June 26th, 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Where: Tickets and Maps at the Richards-Hart Estate, West 28th Avenue and Benton Street
Cost: $10.00 (sorry, no advance ticket sales)

Don't forget to bring your camera!

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Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day 6.15.2011

This may well be the most floriferous day of the year!! 

My garden is bursting at the seams with blooming plants; some are on the wane, some are in their prime, and others are just starting to emerge. Fifty-two different plants, to be exact.

Only a few woody shrubs flowering now: beauty bush, Apache plume, and and unknown variety of Potentilla. The Apache plume, Fallugia paradoxa, has simple (OK, boring) flowers, but just wait till you see the seed heads!

clearly a member of the rose family, Rosaceae

full of fluffy funness!

My small Syringa reticulata AKA Japanese tree lilac, is just barely starting to flower - a bit later than usual - but it will look like this in just a few days:

One plant that I always get questions about is this Allium christophii. The flower heads are typically softball sized on 12"-30" stems, but this one is spectacular!

Not a trick photo! My palm is on the flowers, my finger span is 7 inches.

I like the look of the dried seed heads, they remind me of fireworks bursting in the sky, so I've let them seed throughout the garden. A great on line source for these bulbs, and many others is Brent and Becky's.  Right now is the perfect time to order bulbs for fall planting!

Another plant that is starting to flower now is this pink Maltese cross, Lychnis chalcedonia
I love the dusty rose color, softer than the traditional - and more common - red form.  It can go fairly dry if it's sited to receive afternoon shade.

Crambe cordifolia is another WOW plant this time of year. The large foliage - think rhubarb sized leaves -  adds bold texture, and the five foot tall (yes!) inflorescence  is spectacular.

The beautiful silver foliage of horned poppy, Glaucium flavum, is a treat all summer, but the orange blooms are certainly cheery in the garden now:

Be sure to join Carol at May Dreams Gardens to link up with all the other gardeners showing their favorites today!

Now, just one more before I go... bearded iris, Iris germanica, are - oddly enough - still going strong. All of my iris have been acquired as giveaways from friends, so I don't have a clue as to their "proper" names.  This one is a favorite:

If you like this iris photo, just wait till you see my Photo Friday post...stay tuned!

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Meet. . . Kolkwitzia!

That's right; coal-QUIT-see-uh! Also known as beauty bush, Kolkwitzia amabilis is one of those great, old fashioned shrubs that's experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Why?

First, it's incredibly floriferous at a time - right now! - when few other shrubs are in bloom.  The bell shaped flowers are a soft  pink that blends well with other colors, cool hues in particular.

I love the golden, lace-like pattern hiding inside the flowers

Second, the pale, exfoliating (peeling) bark is unusual and a great feature for winter interest.

Third, its large vase/fountain form makes it ideal to use as a single specimen.  In fact,  with a bit of focused pruning, this plant could function as a small, ornamental tree; mature height is 10-15 feet.
A giant beauty bush in old north Denver

Last, Kolkwitzia is very adaptable. It tolerates full sun or partial shade and has low water needs.  Companion plants for my beautibush (below) include Centranthus, Ceratostigma, and Allium christophii.
this young Kolkwitsia 'Pink Cloud' in my garden will max out at 6-10 feet

Bonus points if you guessed that this photo - featured last week on Wordless Wednesday - is Kolkwitzia!

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Summer's Fast Approaching June 3

And a few more pictures of progress to June 3. Notice how healthy the leaves of the Oriental greens are with no flea beetle or slug damage. The toy choi needs to be harvested - flower buds just starting.

Due to the number of days with rainfall during May the garden did well with a once or twice weekly watering - with the weather so far in June we will have to keep an eye on our newly seeded beds.

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Fast Forward To May 19

Well May's weather was not much better than April's but that didn't stop our crops from growing. Here are a few pictures of the garden's progress on May 19. Spicy mesclun mix, toy choi seeded in bed 1 on April 26th. The bed also contains larkspur and strawflower transplants. I'm sure the leafy greens' progress can be attributed to the alfalfa meal added prior to seeding.

Also, we have overwintered garlic and potatoes starting to take off in two of the garden's other beds.

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Enchanted Gardens Tour and Free Tickets!

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Saturday, June 11th from 9am-4pm
rain or shine
The Conflict Center
4140 Tejon St, Denver, Colorado
This is one of one f my favorite garden tours in the Denver area because it showcases fun, funky, intriguing, and very personal landscapes. Most of the featured gardens are the result of the homeowners' own creativity and passion for gardening. There are no cookie-cutter, production style landscapes here, no sir!

From the tour sponsor:
Tour a variety of Northwest Denver's unique and inspiring gardens and bid on Fantastic auction items (including a design consultation with yours truly!). Then unwind at the after-party, located at the 23rd Avenue Sculpture Studio at 23rd and King.  All proceeds benefit The Conflict Center, celebrating 24 years of violence prevention.
For more information on The Conflict Center or the Garden Tour, call 303-433-4983 or click here.
Win Free Tickets!
And now for the really fun part: The Conflict Center has given me two pairs of tickets to give away to my blog readers! If you would like to win a pair of tickets for the tour (a $30 value!) simply leave a comment on this post by midnight, June 6th. A random drawing will be held on June 7th, and the winners announced here.  Remember to leave  your contact information! 

Thanks for participating, and good luck...

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