A Colorado Gardener

PaintMinesCO_20100405_LAH_1277As a gardener, I’ve often dreamed of living someplace where plants actually want to grow. Colorado is definitely not that place. The weather is wacky, we’re short on water, and the soil dirt runs to extremes—we can either make pottery or fill a golf course bunker.

You might wonder how anyone could grow anything in such an inhospitable location, but there are definite advantages. As we look forward to another growing season, and I am looking forward to it, I want to focus on the positives. Here’s how an optimist views gardening in Colorado.

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Wildflower Hike, part 2

Dodecatheon pulchellum_Shootingstar_Emerald Valley-EPC-CO_LAH_3597If you’ve just joined us, we’ve been taking a hike to look at some early summer wildflowers. See last week’s post for plants along the dry, sunny trail.

We wake from our unintended nap, eager to continue on our hike. After a couple of miles, we finally reach the stream we’ve been hearing. The trail steadily gains in elevation as we move upstream, and we find ourselves breathing a bit harder. The plants here are more adapted to partial shade, and thrive in damp conditions.

The first flowers we notice are a scattering of Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon pulchellum). May’s rain has resulted in a profusion of their delicate blooms, and they grow in the saturated stream-side soil.

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