Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recipe for a Perfect Weekend

Above: Looking north to Mt. Blanca between Fort Garland and San Luis, Colorado
Below: Scarlet gilia, Ipomopsis aggregata

Below: Looking north to Taos, New Mexico
Destination: Taos, New Mexico
Drive time: 4 ½ -5 hours from Denver
Weather: perfect warm autumn days and crisp, cool nights
Best lunch or dinner: Orlando’s New Mexican CafĂ© (505-751-1450). Try the blue corn stacked enchiladas with shredded beef and the caribe chile---my favorite! We always eat lunch there as soon as we arrive in town to get our vacation off to a great start.
Best place for a cold one: Eske’s Brew Pub.
Best place for live music: The Taos Inn---free every night (some acts better than others, of course) in the Adobe Bar.
Best place to stay: Casa Benevides Bed and Breakfast Inn; a small, charming (and, yes, rustic) hotel in an historic adobe building. Superior breakfasts and afternoon tea. Park your car and walk everywhere!

Add your favorite companion and enjoy! Above: Looking north up the Rio Grande river near Pilar, NM

Below: Rabbitbrush (or Chamisa, as they say in NM), Chrysothamnus nauseosus. See the praying mantis hanging upside down?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On the Cover of the Rolling Stone!

Well, not exactly . . . but it was exciting to get one of my photos of a walkway at Denver Botanic Gardens featured on the cover of our regional industry magazine. Colorado has extremely progressive and active organizations for all facets of the green (landscape) industry, and this is the magazine they look to for the latest information on new plant introductions, water management, business practices, people in the news, etc., etc.
This particular issue is a hard-hitting focus on green---environmental and sustainable--- practices that we can, and should, implement into our everyday working practices and overall business plans. Stay tuned for more on this topic!

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Late Summer Garden

Above: View to the southeast
Above: South border view
Above: West border view

These photos were taken late yesterday afternoon, before the rain began (yes! a whole glorious inch!). I'm always surprised at how many flowers I actually have still blooming this time of year ---Phlox, Sedum, Ceratostigma, Oenothera, Centranthus, Agastache, Zauschneria, Aster, Callirhoe, Coropsis, Geranium, Scabiosa, Perovskia, Salvia, Caryopteris, Buddleia--- and most of the asters haven't even begun to open yet. My favorite (and only) annual, Wave petunia, is at its peak now, and the cooler temperatures have the lawn (Kentucky bluegrass) looking its best since April. However, the wacky weather we experienced this spring and summer has left the ornamental (and native) grasses about half their ususal size, and many of my other perennials looking kind of puny too. Ah well, such are the vagaries of gardening in high and dry Colorado!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Hummingbird Bait?

You bet! I’ve had a couple of hummingbirds hanging out in the garden the past few weeks and the Zauschneria plants are some of their favorites (read more about these plants here). Mid August into early September is prime time for hummer viewing in my neighborhood. The rest of the summer they tend to frequent higher elevations, typically those areas that have native stands of ponderosa pine. I’ve never been tempted to hang a hummingbird feeder, but I do have a number of plants in bloom right now that they really go for:

Agastache, hummingbird mint
Buddleia, butterfly bush
Caryopteris, blue mist spirea
Centranthus, red and white valerian
Zauschneria, hummingbird trumpet
Above: Buddleia davidii
Below: Penstemon pinifolius 'Mersea Yellow'
What are the hummingbirds feeding on in your garden?