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Sunday, June 2, 2013

PLANTING IN COLORADO

While I don't have any education in horticulture or botany, I have learned quite a bit through experience that I thought I could share with you.    Had I known then, what I know today I would have saved myself a ton of money over the years; you see, I have thrown a lot of money down the drain buying the wrong plants and flowers for my planters.

Colorado summers are brutal!  Intense sun, and cool nights with minimal moisture is a tough combination for most plants.  So many summers my flowers would look great until mid-July and then they would die a bitter death; they were just not the right variety for my yard.   But, I've finally figured it out and if my trials and tribulations help you out...then I'm happy.  The columbine is one of my all time favorites!  It is so unique.  I have them planted below some Aspen, so they get a bit of shade off and on through the day.  I didn't realize how many colors they come in until my husband and I took a trip to Crested Butte for the wildflower festival a couple years ago. 
Columbine (perennial)
For the planters that I have out front that face south and get blasted all day long....here are my go to plants.. the ice plant....these are great creepers with vibrant fuschia and gold flowers all season long.  They close up after the sun goes down....very cool!
Ice plant (perennial)
Snow in summer (perennial)

The snow-in-summer has beautiful white flowers and a minty green leaf. They bush out well and are about 6-8" tall.

I also like coleus, dusty miller and vinca vine.  They hold up great all summer long and they thrive, so much so that my whiskey barrel is overflowing by August/
September with the vine draped all over the edges of the barrel.    There are a couple vinca varieties that are perennials too!

The purple Loosestrife is so awesome.  Vibrant purple flowers from May-August...plus it's a perennial.  Love that!  There were honey bees all over mine working their magic this afternoon.
Coleus, Vinca Vine and White Lobelia
Loosestrife (perennial)
 Also, I have again learned this the hard way....but I never plant before Mother's Day.  I've lost a number of plants to a late frost....as much as you want to with all the months without color---don't do it.   Trust me on this one.
You may remember that I enjoy having a wreath on my front door as much as possible; I have several I've created that I change with the seasons.....another tip for you that I'm still trying to remember myself, don't put the spring wreath up too soon or the birds will nest in it!  I thought I had waited long enough this year, but apparently not...in just 24 hours, those little suckers had built a perfectly shaped nest on the backside of my wreath.  They were not too happy when I took the wreath down.  Happy planting!



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