Snowy Blankets

Snow-covered yard_NSFT_COS_LAH_9309We have a lot of snow in our front yard. It may not seem like much to those who live in Minnesota, upstate New York, or Maine, but for us here along the Front Range of the Rockies, it’s a lot of snow. Colorado is dry. Colorado is sunny. We don’t get all that much snow, and what we do get melts the next day. The “real” snow is supposed to stay up on the ski slopes, not in our front yards.

When we picked out a lot for our new house, we were thinking about a longer growing season from our south-facing backyard, the spectacular view of Pikes Peak out the living room picture windows, the warmth of sunshine filling our bedroom. We carefully oriented our house to take advantage of all these.

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Gardening in the Zone

usda-zone-mapAfter all the bustle of the holidays, I finally have a chance to brew a cup of tea, snuggle into my favorite chair, and open that stack of garden catalogs I’ve been accumulating. As I skip past the annual seeds and browse through pages filled with gorgeous photos of lush, evergreen shrubs and flowering trees, the frustration begins to build.

See, they have this little box, usually inside the front or back page, or perhaps on the order form. It has a map of the U.S., with colored bands forming a predictable rainbow in the east, but looking a bit more chaotic in the west. This map tells me that most of the plants in the catalog will not survive my Colorado winters.

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