Monday, June 28, 2010

Scenes from Telluride

I recently spent some time vacationing in Telluride, Colorado. This old silver mining town (designated a National Historic District ), located in a box canyon high in the San Juan mountains of southwestern Colorado, has successfully maintained its character while surviving in a modern economy.  How?  Most of the development necessary to support their ski resort is located out of sight in the adjacent Mountain Village, accessible by a free gondola.  The core of Telluride maintains it's small-town ambiance with independent retailers and small residences.

The backdrop for main street is the stunning Bridal Veil Falls, visible in the photo above and in a closer view, here:

I enjoyed strolling down the streets and alleys, looking at the small pocket gardens and the architecture of this  active mountain community.

I loved this color scheme of palest lilac, periwinkle blue and soft, acid green.  Which came first, the paint or the plant ?:

This tiny back yard is well designed  to use every bit of available space for both function (parking) and relaxation.  Check out that ski lift swing!

Metal has become the building material of choice in Telluride. I think it speaks well to the town's mining past.  It's usually left to rust, and integrated with wood, stone, or brick. Here, corrugated metal and "hog wire":

Flat metal "shingles" for a less rustic look:

Metal sheathing over a cast concrete retaining wall carries the architectural detailing into the landscape.

Corrugated metal integrates with brick for a durable fencing option:

Sometimes it's a good exercise for the eye to focus on the non-plant materials that build our outdoor spaces and let the plants take a backseat.  Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Afternoon Garden Club 6.25.2010

It’s FAC time in The Art Garden!  Grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair.  You didn’t really want to work this afternoon anyway, did you?  Leave a comment to join the garden party.
Today’s topic:

The heat is on, and it's time to get serious about wise water use.  What do you think saves more water:  using drought tolerant plants or managing your irrigation system more efficiently?  Which practice is more sustainable? Does your municipality allow the use of rain barrels or gray water?  What are your favorite tips for conserving water in the landscape?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Afternoon Garden Club 6.18.2010

It’s FAC time in The Art Garden!  Grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair.  You didn’t really want to work this afternoon anyway, did you?  Leave a comment to join the garden party.
Today’s topic:

Today  I'm being even lazier than my usual Friday afternoon self; I'm in Telluride, Colorado, enjoying the annual Bluegrass Festival. Last night I listened to Alison Krauss while gazing at the Milky Way --- at an elevation of over 8,400 feet!

'll be back next week with photos from my high country adventure.  In the meantime, happy gardening!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day . . .

. . . Sans Photos!

I've been patiently waiting to participate in this monthly event that celebrates what is currently in bloom in gardens around the world (created by Carol ---visit her blog, May Dreams Gardens, to link to more).  All winter and spring I could only sit back and wait, while drooling over pictures of lush, floriferous gardens in warmer climes.

Unfortunately, late last week my computer suffered a viral attack and is still in the repair shop. So, no photos.  The best I can do is give you a "preview list", and promise pictures in the future!

Now blooming in The Art Garden:

I hope you're enjoying long summer days amongst the flowers in your garden!

PS, the blog spammers have gotten pesky, so comment moderation has been enabled...sorry.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Make the Most of that Garden Tour!

Early summer means garden tour time! (Saturday, June 12th, I'll be attending The Enchanted Gardens Tour of Northwest Denver.) I've gone on many, many garden tours over the years and would like to share some tips on getting the most out of a garden tour:

The obvious:

1. Hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Sun exposure time can really sneak up on you, best to be prepared.

2. Water. Some sites provide cold drinks, others do not, and it's easy to get dehydrated.

3. Food. Time flies when you're having fun, so why waste it trying to track down some place to eat? Carry a light snack instead.

The practical:

1. Bring a good street map of the tour area. Tour maps are notoriously light on information and rarely to scale. A real map allows you to organize the tour sequence in a way that works best for you.

2. Park and walk. Often times several gardens are within a few blocks of each other - really no need to drive from site to site. Plus, you never know what you may discover along the way.

3. Better yet, ride your bike!

Extras that enhance your experience:

1. Bring a camera. I find that a camera makes me slow down and look at the details, even in a garden that doesn't capture my interest initially. Select a theme or two for your photographs for that day: flower portraits, container plantings, hardscape details (fences, arbors, retaining walls, etc), lifestyle/decorating ideas, etc., etc. It's always best to ask permission before taking photos --- especially of private spaces.

2. Plan to take a few notes. Plant names, plant combinations, a particular hardscape material (where to buy it!), color combinations, or the name of the designer/contractor will quickly fade from memory!

3. Garden tours can be a fun activity with a like-minded friend, spouse, or older (10+?) child, but large groups or very young children can make it difficult to stay focused on absorbing and learning from everything you see. (Know what your priorities are going into the activity.)

More Garden Tours to visit:

Saturday, June 19 - Jr. League of Fort Collins 28th Annual Garden Tour

Saturday, June 26th - 2010 Evergreen Garden Tour

Saturday, July 24th - Summit County Garden Club Annual Garden Tour

Did I miss anything?

Have fun!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Garden Tour Ticket Winners---Last Call!

Angie and Mamoon!

Please contact me: jhcstudios at yahoo dot com by noon on Tuesday, June 8 (tomorrow!), so I can mail your tickets to you or give them to someone else...thanks!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Yin & Yang

The good news is: I'm eagerly anticipating the first ever (as in 20 years ever) bumper crop of apricots on my favorite tree.
The bad news is: we've already got a bumper crop of squirrels.

This could get ugly.

What are your worst garden pests? How do you manage them?

Friday, June 04, 2010

Friday Afternoon Garden Club 6.4.2010

Salvia argentea

It’s FAC time in The Art Garden! Grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair. You didn’t really want to work this afternoon anyway, did you? Leave a comment to join the garden party. Today’s topic:

Silvery-gray, woolly plants like the silver sage, above, are some of my garden favorites. The neutral foliage color works well with both warm and cool flower hues, and can be a great visual unifier when used repeatedly throughout the landscape. This kind of foliage also offers winter interest; not truly evergreen, but certainly ever-present. What are some of your favorite gray leaved perennials?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

You're Going to Disneyland!

. . . Uh, make that The Enchanted Gardens Tour of Northwest Denver!

Mamoon, Angie, and Valerie B

Contact me ( jhcstudios at yahoo dot com) with your mailing address, and I will send you your free pair of tickets, courtesy of The Conflict Center.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the drawing, and I hope to see you all at the tour!