Nothing to Do?

Winter landscape with grasses @XG LAH 002Our gardens are sleeping, waiting for the warmth of spring. Here in Colorado there’s not much a gardener can do this time of year—or is there? If gardening is your passion, you can always find something garden-y to feed your soul!

Travel. It’s hard to leave our flowers and veggies during the growing season. Weeds put on a growth spurt the moment we leave town, zucchini grows to humongous size, and our favorite perennial blooms and fades while we’re gone. In winter, the garden lingers in a state of suspended animation. We’re free to leave knowing everything will be more or less the same when we get back.

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After the Storm

[This article, by Joan Nusbaum and I, originally appeared in the Colorado Springs Gazette in 2005. I have edited it to make it even more applicable after last week’s storms!]

m5auwe-golfballhail67-c-gazetteLast week, our part of the world was hit by a horrific hail storm. Drifts (if you can call them that) measured four feet high. Houses, cars, and, of course, gardens were ruined by hailstones the size of golf balls (as this photo by Pam Woodward proves). It’s quite shocking to watch from your window and see thousands of hail stones plummeting your favorite garden. Do not despair—the plants may recover! Hail usually does not damage the root system. Here are some things you might do to help your plants survive and even thrive:

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After the Freeze

rime-ice_blkforest_20091012_lah_3992-1We’ve come to the end of another growing season. Now that we’ve had a hard freeze, you can put up your feet, re-grow your fingernails, and turn your attention elsewhere. Or, you can use the cold months ahead to improve your gardening skills.

With the garden in hibernation, it’s time to:

Check out the new plants on the market. PlantSelect has introduced yet another round of recommendations for Colorado landscapes. See which ones should claim a spot in your yard.

Read up on the latest garden news. Learn about new tools, thumb through the new plant and seed catalogs, and catch up on those gardening magazines you didn’t have time for all summer. Which brings us to…

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DBG’s New Greenhouse Complex

boettcher-dbg_lah_6645-1Does chaffing wind have you pining for gentle tropical breezes? Do the empty branches of your shrubs and trees leave you starving for bright green foliage? Are you dreaming of the scent of gardenias and orange blossoms?

orchid_dbg_lah_6265You don’t need to buy a plane ticket. Just head over the Denver Botanic Gardens’ new greenhouse complex. Walk through the door and your senses are engulfed by luxuriant growth. Feast on the bright colors and fascinating shapes of plants from faraway places. Inhale the humid air that keeps these exotics healthy and blooming. Pretend you are far, far south of Colorado.

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