Archive for September 2011

Meet . . . Berlandiera!

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Berlandiera lyrata, chocolate flower
Chocoholics, rejoice! This may not look very chocolaty, but the fragrance - oh, my!

This was a banner year for chocolate flower in my garden - it started blooming in June and is still going strong now. It loves poor, dry soil and lots of sunshine. Plant chocolate flower in full sun at the front of the border (it grows 10-20 inches tall) adjacent to a sidewalk or stone path. The warmth from the hard surface seems to enhance and prolong the fragrance of the flowers, and you'll get to enjoy it every time you walk by.

Once established, it needs very little - or no - water, and no fertilizer. Berlandiera is native to the desert southwest and the high plains of Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma. It may reseed and naturalize in gardens of USDA zones 4-9.

Chocolate flower was a Plant Select winner in 2004.

No need to diet when you've got Berlandiera - give it a try in your garden!

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Garden Designers Roundtable: Getting from Here to There


Gateways are the physical transition that take us from one space to another space, 
to another frame of mind, 
to another world . . .
Casa Benvenides, Taos, New Mexico

Gateways from the public space to the private;
Let your needs for security and/or privacy guide your choice of height and density.
Village of Rowdat, Afghanistan, 9.26.2011 - photo courtesy Jonathan Hooper, USDA
Classic walled garden:  RHS GardenWisley, Surrey, England - photo courtesy Elenor Welshon
The Waring House, Denver Botanic Gardens
 Taos, New Mexico
Classic picket fence: Denver, Colorado
design by Jerry Nelson Landscape and Design,Greeley, Colorado

Gateways that create a sense of place;
Let the culture of your region guide your choice of materials.
Adobe and traditional blue trim (to ward off evil spirits): Taos, New Mexico
Wood & flagstone in Denver, Colorado - design by Phase One Landscapes
Asian influenced design: northern California

Gateways  reflect your personal aesthetic;
Let the architecture of your home guide your choice of design.
Classical styling for a Georgian home - Denver, Colorado
Custom artwork (23rd Ave Sculpture Studio) for a contemporary home - Denver, Colorado
Simple contemporary styling for a mid-century home - Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Southwestern gateway styling complements home in Denver, Colorado
 Now it's up to you to make that gateway meaningful by creating a personal outdoor environment that fulfills all of your dreams!

Need some help? Click on the tabs above to learn more about my landscape design and coaching services.

Be sure to visit my fellow members of the Garden Designers' Roundtable and our esteemed guests for more on Getting From Here to There:
Debra Prinzing & David Perry:  A Fresh Bouquet
Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX
Scott Hokunson : Blue Heron Landscapes : Granby, CT
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA
Jenny Peterson : J Peterson Garden Design : Austin TX
Susan Cohan : Miss Rumphius’ Rules : Chatham, NJ
Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA
Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK
Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA

ETA: photo from Afghanistan;  brother-in-law working as agricultural consultant with USDA.

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Ginormous Colorado Asparagus!

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This beauty is the flowering stalk of Agave Gracillipes, Guadalupe Mountains century plant. Although native to Texas and New Mexico, this specimen is growing - quite happily! - in one of the rock gardens at Timberline Gardens in Arvada (Denver metro), Colorado.

Timberline Gardens carries several varieties of agave, including the two that I profiled in an earlier post here

These beautiful, sculptural plants are wonderful assets to the garden, as long as you can provide them with the right growing conditions: sun, heat, and dry soil (especially in the winter).

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Sept 18 Fall Clean Up Begins

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Look at the length of this spaghetti squash vine!! Mildew had taken over the leaves and no more fruit visible - so out it comes

Compost in our three bins has really worked down over the hot weather - this is the second full bin that has been emptied into our beds - lots of eggshells, fruit and veggie peelings mixed with dry leaves saved from last autumn and dry straw .... the best amendment for your garden

Cherry tomatoes are producing well now, although we did lose a good part of our crop to unidentified taste testers, and the red mustard keeps on growing and growing

Almost time to start saving leaves again ......

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Sept 11 - Flowers Aplenty - Red Mustard Takes Over

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What spectacular end of summer weather we have been enjoying -

bouquets of flowers from the garden

and the red mustard planted for winter harvest has taken over its bed ... this bed was amended with a whole composter worth of compost just prior to planting seeds; the brussels sprouts transplants are also growing well, although suffering somewhat from pest damage

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Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day 9.15.2011

Instead of plant portraits this month, I'd like to show you the bigger picture: my September garden is lush and full of color!

View of the west border: Cerastosigma, Aster, Gaura, Oreganum and Sedum in bloom
A closer view shows how foliage plays an important role in this garden, too.
View to the east and south side of the bluegrass/clover lawn; Perovskia, Sedum, Ceratostigma, Aster and Chrysothamnus!
View across the south border, looking east: Buddleia still blooming! Sculpture by Mark Burton.
View to the "vegetable" garden: a bit of formality tames the chaos of the grass garden.
View from the patio: water lilies and water lettuce starting their slow decline.
Oh, and Lightening says "Hi!"

Thanks for visiting my garden today, and a special thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting this monthly extravaganza - visit her site for links to gardens all over the world!

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