Archive for June 2012

Media Madness

Whew, it's been a busy couple of weeks, but I wanted to share with you a couple of projects I've been involved with recently. Last weekend I represented the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado on KMGH TV Denver's Channel 7 (ABC network affiliate).  The topic was "Improving Curb Appeal and Your Home's Value with Landscaping."  Here's the video clip:

I've also started writing for, an interactive web magazine that focuses on architecture and design.  My articles will feature gardening information and plants for the Rocky Mountain Region. Click on the Houzz button  — there on the right — anytime to follow along or see what's new. Here's my latest article, a profile of Chamaebatiara millefolium, fernbush.

fernbush at Kendrick Lake park in Lakewood, Colorado

To all of my friends in the scorched West: stay cool, stay safe, and may your gardens bring you peace.

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Cambie Garden June 17 Update

Good news and not so good news last Sunday at the Cambie Garden

we arrived to see the majority of wheat plants pulled out and the flowering Red Mustard plants broken in half - we were really looking forward to baking some bread with our wheat harvest, and the bees were so enjoying the mustard blossoms -

on a brighter note, our raspberries are just about starting to show some colour, and our mixed bed of chard, carrots and beets is looking really healthy - even the brussels sprouts are growing by leaps and bounds - and flower starts are visible on the zucchini

Summer here we come .............

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Powdery Mildew Tips from the YWCA Rooftop Garden

We put our summer out early, just like everything else at the YWCA Rooftop Food Garden.  A combination of row covers and black plastic mulch (we re-used black trash bags) kept them nice and warm, and hopefully will keep the encroaching horsetail at bay.  Squashes are starting to emerge, but so is powdery mildew thanks to our rainy BC springs.

The first 'Soleil' yellow squash starting to emerge

pesky powdery mildew

these small round zucchinis are called '8-Ball'
To counteract the powdery mildew, we've been mixing up a foliar spray of 1 part kefir (or milk) to about 3 parts water, and it seems to be helping.  The downsides of this method?  You have to spray about once a week and a sunny day can smell a bit like baby vomit.  Small price to pay for healthy squash though!

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Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day 6.15.2012

Many areas of Colorado's Front Range have been hit with severe hail storms this past month. Luckily, my garden has only had to cope with the endless, drying winds. Here are a few highlights of what's blooming right now --- my favorites that are tough and reliable, regardless of the crazy weather:

Dalea purpureum, purple prairie clover
Glaucium flavum, horned poppy
Nymphaea spp, hardy waterlily
Callirhoe involucrata, poppy mallow
Echinops ritro, globe thistle
Penstemon pinefolius 'Mersea Yellow', yellow pine-leaf penstemon

I hope you and your garden is faring well during the glorious month of June! Click here to join other garden bloggers via our host, Carol, of May Dreams Gardens.

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Cambie Garden Update - June 10

The garden is looking lush and green with all the rain we've had of late .......

Last Wednesday the City Hall daycare group helped transplant eggplant and peppers (under the hoop house), marigolds, tomatillos and tomatoes and direct seeded carrots, kale and swiss chard .......

Today we broadcast mild mesclun mix around the Brussels sprouts and direct seeded a wide row of Buttercrunch lettuce, one last row of cylindra beets and more nasturtiums - the beds are almost full - now we just need some sunshine to bring on the harvest

speaking of harvest - we had our first harvest today - white icicle radishes ........the Blue Russian potatoes are now in flower, and we even have blossoms on some of our tomatoes - the picture below shows Galina, Gurnsey Pink Blush, Medovaya Kaplya and Kimberley

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Mmmmm . . . Tasty!

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The serviceberries are ripening right now and I've been fighting off the robins to harvest a few.  Serviceberry, Amelanchier, is a wonderful genus of native  shrubs and small trees that I've written about here.  These plants are highly ornamental, and their fruit is as tasty as it is colorful.

The ripe berries are purple in color, about 3/8" in diameter, and taste like a cross between a blueberry and a grape — sweet and a bit musky. They're terrific right off the tree, and I like them with my morning bowl of yogurt and granola, too.  Or pancakes.  Or smoothies.  On ice cream.  Mmmmm.

Native. Ornamental. Edible.  What more could you ask for?

Don't forget: leave a blog comment here by 6.11.2012 for a chance to win a pair of free tickets to the Enchanted Gardens Tour of Northwest Denver.

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Cambie Gardens - June 3rd

Another lovely morning in the garden .... no need to water as we've had plenty of rain this past week.  We recovered the hoop house to allow for better air circulation for the soon to be transplanted eggplants and peppers - we are trying out red okra under cover as well - this crop needs lots of heat - so here's hoping for one of our rare hot summers.

Ladybugs have arrived - and the bees are enjoying the red mustard flowers.

Poona Kheera cucumbers were planted out today, the strawberries, potatoes, mixed salad greens, brocolli and wild arugula are all loving our weather ........... here are a few pictures of our garden in early June -

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Enchanted Gardens . . . Giveaway!

Lilium ssp
June is garden tour time, and one of my favorites is the Enchanted Gardens Tour of Northwest Denver.  This year's tour is slated for Saturday, June 16th, from 9am-4pm, rain or shine. What's so great about this tour?
  • The sponsor:  The Conflict Center, now celebrating 25 years of violence prevention.
  • The location:  great, early to mid 20th century architecture in some of Denver's most charming (and hip!) neighborhoods, including Highlands, Berkeley, Sloan's Lake, Sunnyside, and more.
  • The gardens:  personal, creative expressions that reflect each gardener's passion.
I always come away from this tour excited and inspired by what I can learn from garden makers who are not hide-bound by design "rules".  Bravo to the amateur gardener - follow your heart's desire!

Would you like to attend the Enchanted Gardens Tour? I have two pairs of tickets to give away!  Just leave a comment on this blog post, and I'll use the random number generator to select the winners on June 11th.

Find out more details about the tour here.

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