Top Ten Reasons to Garden in Colorado

hudsongardens-littletonco_lah_0611Gardening in Colorado is not easy. Late freezes, early snow storms (though not this year), hail, drought, torrential rainfall, over 100 species of grasshoppers… there is plenty to complain about.

I was doing just that—ranting about the pocket gophers chewing their way through the roots in my perennial border, when I received yet another gardening ad in the mail. As I read the solutions they were offering for my garden problems, I began to realize… I really don’t have that many problems! Maybe our storm clouds have silver linings.

After some thought, I offer you my list of the Top Ten Reasons I love gardening in Colorado:

10. To conserve our limited water resources, we limit our lawns to a more practical size. Along with the water, we save on fertilizers and gas for our mowers—and Saturday mornings belong to us.

genista-tinctoria-broom-dbg-lah9. I love Scotch broom, and here I can grow all I want. Yes, it’s invasive in milder climates. Here, it’s just a beautiful landscape shrub.

8. Colorado has lots of sunshine. In fact, we have fewer overcast days (30 to 40) than Seattle has sunny days (58)! People and perennials thrive in all that light.

7. We don’t have kudzu.

6. Low precipitation levels mean that I don’t have to be concerned about root rot. We can grow all those plants needing well drained soil without having to worry about them drowning.

5. We don’t have snails, and only very few slugs. Again, it’s the climate. I used to garden in northern California, so I am on a first-name basis with the various gastropods found there. I don’t miss them here at all.

4. There’s no mud season in my yard. Once the sun comes out, the snow melts quickly. Another storm will come, but in between, the roads are clear and the ground soaks up all that moisture.

rosa_dbg_lah_1074-13. Roses don’t need spraying. What’s black spot?

2. We don’t have all that many bugs. I was recently scanning an old issue of Birds and Blooms which listed “7 Bad Bugs” when I realized I’d only ever seen one of them, and that was a lonely stray that wasn’t doing any damage. While gardeners elsewhere fight hordes of plant-chomping insects, most garden pests just don’t like our high and dry climate. Gee darn.

And the number one reason I love gardening here?

1. Gardeners get a break. Yes, I love to garden—but I don’t want to be responsible for my garden 12 months a year. Here, it eventually snows, most plants go dormant, and I can take a well-deserved rest until spring. What’s not to like about that?

What do you love most about where you garden?

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2 Responses to Top Ten Reasons to Garden in Colorado

  1. Karin says:

    what in the world is kudzu?

  2. Eileen Tully says:

    What I love most about my garden is the sense of peace it brings me as well as the feeling of wholeness and completion with the earth. This is my soil, maybe not really good soil, certainly not great soil, but it produces for me…and when the first buds of spring poke through the soil I never get over the feeling that it’s a miracle. I feel more like “me” in my garden than anywhere.

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