Sunday, September 18, 2011


The title is in honor of my youngest son. He sees the tank and thinks there is a snake living inside of it. So he always walks up to it and says SSSSssss.

This past Christmas my Husband truly surprised me. He purchased a new terrarium for me. I started years ago in high school with an anole. Very easy to care for. I graduated to a pair of Gold Dust Day Geckos. They went to college with me. I had them for about 10 years.

I sold my set up a couple of years ago. I knew that when I was ready to jump back into this hobby that I would want one of these new setups. I kept most of my old items, but they have become outdated.

Sadly, it has taken me almost this entire year to get this one setup with the animals. I finally found someone that breeds them here in Denver. I was very lucky to have found this young man on FB. Otherwise I would have had to pay huge shipping fees.

I picked up my new set of Geckos last week. They are still very small and young. Only about half their adult size at 3". But I am so partial to the Gold Dust Day Geckos and they are only moderately priced compared to some of the others available. They also require moderate care. I ordered a small waterfall that I installed yesterday. I feed them flightless fruit flies, small crickets and a mixture of crushed papaya and peach babyfood. So Far so good. Love them.

Today I added a sprig of Pothos, an orchid I had purchased at Lowe's and a couple of stalks of bamboo that I had in the Kitchen. These were plants already on hand and easy to add. The other plants are fake. Perhaps someday I will phase out the fake and add more live growth, but for now the fake is also very easy to care or to not care for...

I will get some photos of the actual little guys soon. I have them on my cell phone, just haven't transferred to my computer yet. These little guys are such gems. They are too young to sex still. Hopefully someday I will have a pair that will lay eggs. But I am happy just to have them again in this wonderful tank. I am still working on getting some more automation to the misting that needs to happen throughout the day, the lighting, and heating systems. So things are not on all of the time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wildlife Interrupts Coasting

WILDlife is beautiful...

This is Blitzen's Cousin. He visited our greenbelt on Saturday evening. It was a pleasure to have such a gentle, friendly giant visit us. Nonplused by us, he feasted on what the outside of our fence has to offer. Our apples, chokecherries, and alfalfa.

Enjoying some chokecherries.

Hmm, where should I go next...

I see you, seeing me through the tree.

WILDlife messes with the wrong gal...

Aspen twigs strewn about on the ground.

I got up this morning - early - to re-stake my poor little weeping spruce
hoping that I could save the top. He broke the top two foot out of it. And it
isn't even a year old. I found this on my Aspen trees.

And these... Hoof tracks... Oh, Mr. Elk, I have been trained by the best eye.

While out watering my annual pots I noticed my weeping spruce.
I started to weep. Thinking it was my sweet, little two-year-old. He has
been known to pull apart my plants. My husband, said Nathan wouldn't do
that. I chalked it up to never really knowing.

Well, look at what other gardening chore he helped me with (my words filled with controlled, seething anger)... He dead-headed the roses, ALONG with the new buds!

Most people that know me, know I was raised by a hunter. I grew up part of my life in the mountains and the eastern plains of Colorado. Learning to respect wildlife and natural world the Lord blessed to us, our keeping. Learning the signs of these animals. Learning how to stalk these animals. Times that I would never trade for anything in this world. I relished going with my dad. They also know I could never kill one of these animals.

The other thing people that know me, know about me, is my passion for my yard. My yard is my third child. I spend at least 6-8 hours in my yard this time of year and twice that during a project in the spring or the fall. It isn't just a hobby to me, a lifestyle, or the way I make my money. It is literally in my blood. My grandparents on my father's side were gardeners and farmers. My grandparents and great-grandparents on my mother's side were avid gardeners and my great-grandmother was a famous gardener in her own right-a flower judge and has a park named after her.

Since living here, I have dealt with evicting skunks living under our front porch, raccoons and skunks digging holes my garden. I have handled these things in stride as they are out of my control. This Elk, I am stumped. We have been here 8 years and have not had a creature such as this visit us. Must have followed the creek down. We back to a creek/open space greenbelt. All I can do is try to rectify the damage. I know him scraping the Aspen is a sort of death sentence for this tree. While they withstand this type of damage/activity in the mountains, at this elevation they have so many health issues. This will surely open it up to canker. I am going to try to save my weeping spruce. It should be a 20 foot weeping tree in time, if I lose the leader out of it, it will only be a four foot tall weeping spruce and very fat. Doesn't work for the space I have it in at that point.

Well, Mr. Elk, I hope you enjoyed your visited to my garden that had so many comforts of home and delicacies to be enjoyed. Please move on now. We enjoyed your visited, briefly.

So now I pray that he does not return-oh, he can return, as long as he stays in the back!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dog Days

Dog Days of summer have arrived. The days are slowly growing shorter in Denver and summer will start singing it's swan song soon. The mornings have already grown cooler and i know in a couple of weeks I will that sense of fall in the air. The growing season here is all too short, going by way too fast. Our days are still hot. We have not had rain for two weeks now.

My oldest returns to school in a week. We are very busy at work getting ready for our big finish of fall services and are booked for a month with pruning work. Awesome!

My kentucky bluegrass lawn looks ill and shows the fall out of the moisture and the heat: symptoms are faded browning and weeds galore this year. Moisture of July also brought on some other uninvited pests to the garden: grasshoppers (more than usual) and mosquitos. Living in Denver we don't see grasshoppers too often. We back to an open space green belt with a creek so this brings both these creatures into my urban haven.

Many of my plants are stressing. My hydrangeas in the shade garden are usually sad by the end of the day-even after their morning sprinkle. My miniature balsam fir burned up in the heat. My canberra grass (appears a moss, but its not) burned up in the heat. Not sure what happened to it. Supposed to be full sun. Perhaps not here in Colorado. too bad because I loved it. The moisture in July and these high temperatures are just wreaking havoc in my yard. Things that don't usually happen, are happening. I think the cool weather of July fooled the plants and really spiked our normally low disease threshold. I like that plant. Guess I will have to find another, and another miniature balsam fir.

So for now I have become frustrated. I have not completed any of my garden projects except for adding a few tidbits to the shade garden. And it seems no matter what I add, I struggle to get just that... Funny, at work the stuff just pours out of my soul to clients and it turns out great! I am my own worst critic. So not completing any of my major 2011 projects wears on my ego. I still have a few months go to get the work completed, so all hope is not lost. I just want to get the rock garden finished. Of course, my fellow gardeners and bloggers know that a garden is never finished. It is constantly evolving. Finishing the rock garden and a few more perennials in the shade garden are the priority for the end of the summer. Can you tell it is wearing on and driving me crazy?

So for now since it is so hot and I put so much energy into my work days I have spent the past month just doing the basics, deadheading, watering, and weeding. I did tidy the perennial shade garden up last week. The foxglove i cut back to 8", the lupine I cut back to 8", the spiderworts were cut back to 4" and the artemesia was cut back to 5". I just get tired of their tired and flopped over appearance after they become so heavy from holding up their poor little flowers heads. And by this time in the year they have produced enough carbos and sugars to push and flower next year-and my garden looks a little neater. August is a frustrating month for me in my garden. I hate August!!!

You know, after doing this process I looked at and thought to myself-oh look at all of the space I have for more plants! Then I chided myself: the same thing will happen next year and you will be over planted.

I did some more fussing and over-loving of the little darlings tonight as my human darlings were otherwise occupied. The garden and a bath on friday nights are my way of saying thank you for the end of the week and therapy session.

Well, I think I have rattled on enough-here are some new photos. Perhaps when my children are little older I will be able to blog a little more specifically on plantings and design and such. But for now I am happy just to have 15 mins here and there to just blather on to you all. Thank you for reading.

The photos of the perennial garden before cutting some items back.
My little helper.
A shade cloth umbrella to cover some items starting to be scorched.
My new crocosmia 'lucifer' that my mom purchased for me.
My hydrangea.
The rock garden. This is the side that needs some work with additional plants.
My canna in the pond started blooming again yesterday. Lovely.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Almost August...

Hello fellow bloggers-I apologize in my delay in posting. I have been swamped at work, on vacation, and in general just hot! When it is this hot in Colorado I lose all my energy for anything.

But about two weeks ago our monsoon season began. This may make some of you laugh-almost four inches of Rain the month of July-and most of it in the first two weeks of July. It doesn't seem like much but for a semi-arid climate that generally receives around 16" of annual precipitation a year-it was a big deal, and well is our monsoon season.

I am going to try to post a little more frequently-truth is hasn't been much going on outside. Too hot. July and August are usually the months where my garden just coasts. It is beautiful, but it coasts. I deadhead and do usual cleanup stuff, but we just coast through these two hot months of the year.

Jacob goes back to school in about three weeks so I will be busy getting him ready to go back and gearing up for my second year as the president of the parent/teacher league at school.

So here is what has been going on in the garden lately.

Above pictured is my new red majestic contorted filbert I added to the perennial shade garden. I just love it! I will burlap it this fall and water periodically and hope that it comes back.

A new plant for our area. A chinese woodland orchid. This is the only one of this species I have ever seen for sale in our area that is hardy. I will mulch it heavily with compost and water periodically over the winter. It is very beautiful. It had a bloom on it when I planted it, however by the time (a couple of days) I got around to photographing it, the blossom had all but fallen off. It does have a new bud coming up. This variety is called Chinese butterfly and it heavily resembles an indoor orchid.
Jack frost forget me nots. These were hard to find this time of year in Colorado.
A beautiful new coral bells-pink, green, peach and orangey leaves. A lovely colorful addition to the garden.
And, hello Mrs. Bradshaw geum. I have found another another geum I want to add as well-internet order only.

Buying the orchid was a whim. And it started me on sort of a new path for my perennial shade garden. Doing a slight woodland theme. I have a good start on this already. Only need to move a few puppies out (probably to my parents and neighbors) to make room for the 8 new species I need to add. I am hopeful I can do this fall and not have to wait until the spring. I also want to finish the outer portion of the rock garden waterfall - as it is needs a few more miniature trees and plants to finish it off. Then it is on to adding a couple rows of mexican beach pebbles along the outer edges of the entire bed and pea gravel and it will be complete. One of my miniature trees I planted last fall is having some issues. Just really burning up in our sun. It has done amazingly up until the past month. I made an umbrella out of some weed barrier, chicken wire, and bamboo stakes I had on hand. Not sure I can save it. It may be too far gone. It is heart breaking-just means I will have to replace it.

I did buy some new house plants recently as well. I typically don't do a lot of shopping at Lowe's and home depot for plants (unless it is houseplants) because their selection is just so plan and sometimes they don't even carry the most basic of perennials. But I did get the contorted filbert there and found some new beautiful indoor orchids for only $9.99. Granted, they are not the rare, expensive versions. But I am fairly new to orchids and just wanted to add a couple to the one I already have-that I have been successful with.

Look forward to seeing you more and sharing with you the fall season as I continue to finish the projects I have going! I hope you will join me. Until then, unless I get some new stuff-I will be coasting until the end of August!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rose Update

Good evening fellow bloggers,

I am happy to report that the great rose crisis of the past two years is over. After heaping them this winter with compost and carefully cutting them back this spring and watering them and fertilizing them-we have had our first beautiful bloom open up! It was glorious. We are now anxiously awaiting the others to share their joy-just to make sure they are okay. It is the pink rose below. My 'falling in love' rose is almost ready to open as well. I will share pictures of it when it opens. I was very careful in my rose selection for number of petals as well as the color. I wanted one of each striking rose color. The only color selection I do not have is a white-I couldn't resist the 'falling in love', so this was chosen in lieu of a white rose.

Today we planted our pink petunias along the driveway. We have a small strip towards the bottom of the driveway between the driveway and the rock garden that is reserved for annuals. This year we did pink petunias. My husband and youngest son, Nathan, assisted with this project. My final project was to plant my succulent dish garden. This was fun and rewarding. I love it! Now they just need to grow a little and fill in nice and thick. These are relatively easy to put together. Surprisingly Lowe's and Home Depot have a great variety right now of small size succulents to chose from. Buying the groundcover pearl pea gravel and the cactus/succulent soil was only around $30.00. I already had a pot that I bought many years ago in Santa Fe at Jackalope. I added my finishing touches of a miniature bird bath and a miniature bistro patio set-courtesy of my sister and nieces for my birthday. I just love it! So far, I think this is the best year for my garden.

I have been slowly adding some shade perennials to the shade garden here and there trying to get it to the colors I want. It is not complete, but always a work in progress.

That is all for my updates for now! Miniature trees will arrive in a week or so and I will update again at that point.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kentucky Blue Grass & Rose Bushes

Today was an interesting weather day here in Denver. There are several forest/wild fires burning and so we were very hazy today. But there were also some thin, high level clouds in the sky. Later in the day it became very muggy-very unusual for Colorado. Don't like it.

Kentucky Bluegrass on the high plains
My kentucky bluegrass Lawn has really been loving our recent rainy, cool climate. It has perked up lush and green. Kentucky bluegrass is a cool season grass. Cool season grasses green up early in the spring (usually starting in mid-march-dependent on some variables) and thrive in these temperatures. They tend to go into a slight dormancy once we reach temperatures above 85 degrees-late June through August. It is best to not fertilize with high nitrogen during these extreme temperature periods. Nitrogen encourages growth and fast growth, in any plant, will cause undue stress on the roots because it is telling the above ground portions of the plant to focus on growth. This will cause the plants to sometimes go into shock because the roots should be focused on just consumption of nutrients and water. The best remedy for our lawns at this time of the year is Revive. Revive is a soil conditioner made of basically, chicken manure and detergent. The kentucky bluegrass will then thrive once again in late summer into the late fall. This time of the year is when the grass is really focused on root development. In the spring and the fall it is best to not water your lawn before 6am. Typically in Colorado we do not have too many diseases that attack our residential lawns due our dry climate. However, these risks increase during these cooler periods combined with early or nighttime watering due to water not evaporating off of the grass blades. It is also better to wake up your lawn in the spring with long deep waterings vs. brief frequent waterings. This allows deeper water penetration that encourages the roots to spread deeper allowing it to become more drought tolerant when the temperatures do rise. (Unless your lawn has developed necrotic ring spot). The next thing to know about kentucky bluegrass lawns is that it likes 8 hours of full sun. Anything less than this made cause shade damage to the lawn. Bank's grass mites have been very active in the Denver area this spring-starting in March. Mites enjoy hot/dry weather and can even feed under a blanket of snow because it insulates them. They tend to feed on sloped areas and south and west facing lawn areas. They can devastate a lawn in just a mater of weeks-killing sections. Pesticide applications can be completed to reduce their populations and their damage. Also increased watering during these warm dry periods will help. Ensuring that you are aerating your lawn keeping the thatch layer low, so that water has better penetration is also important. Once mites have done their damage the only solution is to re-seed or lay new sod. Keep in mind that even with a pesticide treatment, mites can come back about three weeks later, so it is important to check for them again. Use a white piece of paper, swiping it across the suspected area as if wiping off a coffee table. Look for green-orange streaks on the paper. If you have these, then you probably have mites. Healthy, thick lush turf will be able to choke out many weeds on its own. And remember pre-emergent lawn fertilizer (weed n feed) does not control perennial weeds that were established in the lawn the season before. It creates a barrier to help prevent weeds coming to the surface. If you have questions, contact someone in your area that is knowledgeable in turfgrass care.

Hybrid Roses

I have six hybrid tea roses I planted three seasons ago. I did my usual soil preparation and planted my roses bordered by six small boxwoods. I planted them in front of my living room window because I wanted beautiful roses there. So far, they have not been beautiful. It was so hot the summer I planted them they spent most of the season stressed out. I have them on drip irrigation. So that fall I cut them back to 8". Last summer they came up gang busters and all of the tissue was beautiful and healthy. I had such high hopes for them. They took forever to bloom and then the blooms didn't look right and faded quickly and some of them didn't even open. I was so frustrated because I am a horticulturist-this should be easy for me right? Not so much. I called a local rosarian specialist out to look at them. They do not charge and she took her own personal time to come out to look at them. It was fabulous. She said my roses looked pretty good but that they needed to be mounded more at the base because the graft should be mostly buried in the soil. She also said it was possible that i had some midges or adelgids that had attacked the buds. I decided I would give them one more shot-if they didn't perform the following year I would be removing them. So I was determined to have them healthy. I waited to cut them back in the fall. I then removed some of the dieback in the spring when they started to show signs of waking up. I watered them with the garden hose regularly -until I could turn on the sprinklers. I bought some bayer systemic rose/flower fertilizer, insecticide, and disease control. I applied it to the roses almost two weeks ago and watered it in. So now I wait. They look as they did last spring with lush foliage and buds starting to form and getting plump. So now I wait and check them every day hoping that the flowers formed are full and fragrant and the colors that I purchased them as appear. That was the other problem, after I planted them the colors of the flowers changed and I hated the colors. They just didn't match at all. So, if it doesn't work, they are coming out and I am starting over! Hopefully I will have my answers in a couple of weeks. I anxiously await!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day. On our way to have lunch at my in-law's we drove past Fort Logan cemetery. Each white grave stone had an American flag standing watch for the service member laid to rest there. I am very patriotic and the line of cars coming and going from struck a cord deep within me.

We took the boys for a drive in the mountains on Saturday. And had a beautiful picnic lunch by a creek. It was a bit cool out, but lovely.

Ah, Sunday-this was the day we took on a major project. Putting together a fort/swing set for our two boys. The amount of parts and pages of directions was a daunting task. Needless to say, we have only to get the support beam up for the swings and we will be done with it. Pretty amazing to look at and know that we built that. And, that it will not be going with us if we ever move. Hahahaha.

I wanted to take a moment to explain the name of my blog. Some years back I started a website called Fields of Heather. My name is Heather and my dream is to one day travel to Scotland and see the fields of Heather there, my namesake. Since that domain name was already taken on blogger, I chose Heather's pastures. Where I grew up there were fields and pastures all around us. Today, many of these pastures are being turned into tracts for homes. Rather sad. So each of my little gardens is a pasture. My front yard is broken up into several little "pastures". I chose to design it in little bits each year. The only way I can afford the projects and physically get them completed. Because of this they all turn out a bit different. The landscape doesn't necessarily flow the way a landscape designed all at once would, but I love it and the variety it gives me. I have an area dedicated to iris and peonies, a small formal rose garden with six hybrid tea roses, I have my perennial garden, and my two rock gardens. I have two sections in the front left to complete at this point. I have chosen as this summer's project to continue to wrap around the front of our house with a cottage garden centered around three dwarf conifers and two large moss rock boulders. There is a lot of work to complete in this area in order to start this project. I have to move a couple of tons of crushed granite rock, move old weed barrier, and amend the soil. So far I have a weeping white spruce at the corner of the where the garden will begin.

The final project is on the opposite side of the driveway. An area I hope to build raised beds in to create a small community vegetable garden. Once this project is complete I will use flagstone pavers to create a small sitting area to reflect and enjoy all I have built.

So far this year my garden is looking just beautiful. I still have some plants to add to the waterfall rock garden to complete it and then I will pea gravel it and add some mexican beach pebbles to edge it. And I still need to add some perennials to the shade garden.

Next time we are going to talk Roses and Kentucky Blue Grass lawns.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lets talk Rain

Well, before I talk about the recent rain we have received-let me give you a garden update.

I planted my vegetable garden on Sunday. Turning the area over first and then raking level. The usual-Tomatoes, peppers and a couple of carrots. I also planted my "unknowns" to let them grow so that I may further determine what the heck they are! I cleaned out the pond filter and re-potted my water lilly. Crossing my fingers it performs. I fertilized my roses with the new Bayer three step process. I have used the Bayer product before, just not this new version. So I am hopeful it will take care of the insect issues I had with the rose buds last year and they will perform. If they perform like they did last year, well they are going to be dug and either moved or trashed-because I can't have roses that don't perform they way they should.

I also finally figured out how to take macro photos on my camera. I know, I know-what took me so long right??? Well, I took some glorious photos to share with you. I will put them at the bottom.

WATER/RAIN: Here in the Denver area and the area considered to be the front range of Colorado we have been the recent recipients of large amounts of precipitation. I believe close to five inches so far in the month of May. Now, keep in mind that we are a semi-arid climate generally receiving about 15" of precipitation annually. Some broadcasts-radio/tv have been commented that the large amounts of rain can be detrimental to a tree's health and a certified arborist should be called out to evaluate the trees. This, generally, speaking is true. Our soils, in this area predominantly alkaline clay soils. As some have reported the threat of the moisture collecting on the leaf surface can cause excess weight on the plant causing what we call 'storm damage'. I just don't see how this is possible. This is typically a very big concern for us here during the early fall before leaves have senesced or in the early spring after leaf emergence-when we are at risk for heavy wet snows. These storms can cause severe structural damage and sometimes catastrophic. The larger concern would be for the root system of the plant. All plants (and living things for that matter) require water to survive, thrive, and grow. All plants have a threshold of this vital ingredient before it starts to cause detrimental effects. Too much water or too little can have very similar signs/symptoms. My concern for our plants during these heavy periods of rain (and not a cloud burst) - several days of heavy rains- would be for the root systems. It can compromise a root system just as severely dry weather can. It weakens the soils the plant is rooted in and the plant may become unstable, especially when high winds are involved during the storm. It can also cause a lack of oxygen-effectively drowning the plant because the roots cannot absorb oxygen. Yes, people the roots need oxygen. The leaves take in the Carbon Dioxide and the roots take in Oxygen. Our trees in Colorado endure great extremes-sometimes even from day to day. Imagine standing in one place your entire life and enduring all they do? My best advice-no matter where you live-if you have a concern for your trees, have a tree that is aged, leaning, diseased/infested please do call a certified arborist out to evaluate your trees. They provide us with so many benefits. And, it is not even a bad idea to do this annually-just as you would service your swimming pool, AC unit, furnace or car. And to be honest, sometimes we cannot even tell or prevent something from happening in a healthy tree. It is a living thing and therefore, can be unpredictable. Happy Gardening folks. And a happy Memorial Day. Take a moment to remember our veterans or someone special in your life you have lost.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spring Gardening has begun!

My son fell asleep in the car ride on the way home today from work. So he slept a good part of the evening. I did as well after dinner. It has been a long, rough couple of weeks at work. I had a major landscape installation to complete with our crews as well as many appointments with clients and misc. items to take care of. I am ready for Memorial Day week-that is for sure. I also worked with a migraine headache today-that I still have.

Not to mention the weather lately has been a major challenge. Of the past 7 days only two have been decent weather. And both I was working and unable to garden. Last week in about three days we had 2.5" of rain in Denver-highly unusual for us. And it hit us again today. We had snow in the mountains, rain and hail in the city, some funnel clouds and oh-my nemesis the WIND. It is definitely a four letter word in my book.

So decided that I needed to blog. Monday was good weather and Nathan again fell asleep in the car on our way home at the end of the day. I wasn't really in the mood to plant my goodies from the Denver Botanic Gardens plant sale. But I did need to till in the compost I laid last fall-even though some of it blew away. And the soil was perfect for light raking and turning over. So I began my warm-up garden exercises. I use these types of activities often to get my juices flowing for the creativity needed to plan or plant. So after I raked the perennial garden I then planted my shade garden perennials. I thought well, perhaps I will do the rock garden plants this weekend, but then i got into the groove and got them planted as well. I was wanting to get it done prior to this rain we received-thought it would better for them to help get them settled into place. Plus we have a busy weekend coming up again. So I have planted all that I have purchased.

I do have a tray of some items that I started by seed in February and March. They are sitting in the dining room still growing. Most of them are ready to plant. I know what most of them are at this point-however, I am sometimes not very good at the details-I made plant tags, however over the past couple of months-even with a sharpie marker-have faded. So some of the items I have no idea what they are. So I will plant where I think they should go for now and then transplant them later.

I also managed to repot the two water plants I purchased at the sale. So I hope they will be happy now and thrive! This weekend I will clean out the pond filters.

Well, I am signing off for now. I will update pictures soon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring 2011 Waterfall Rock Garden Additions

While attending the plant sale at the Denver Botanic Gardens I am always sure to visit the booth setup by my favorite rock garden nursery-Laporte Avenue. Love them! So I have new additions for the rock garden waterfall area. I needed to add some plants into this garden and so these little guys will really help out. I will get them planted this weekend. Some similar items to what I already have and some new items. Unfortunately some years the plant sale is better than others and those with a discerning eye can recognize the difference. This year was not as good of a year for the variety. Here are some samples of what I purchased. I have several others that I did not upload photos for. The last one is a rock garden variety ornamental garlic. The forth photo is a hardy, sun tolerant moss. It is very cool!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

No gardening today

Well, no gardening today. It was declared a day of rest, housekeeping, and laundry. And I just realized that my last post of the waterfall/rock garden went on the home page instead of the rock garden water feature page. Such a bummer.

Here in Denver there is a slight chill in the air. So I really had no desire to get outside today.

One major chore is to repair my mainline in my irrigation system at the backflow, as it has a slow leak in it. Bummer. Has to get done this week.

Goodbye for now.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hello fellow garden bloggers.

So back to the rock garden. It took me a while to finalize the rocks in and around the waterfall and place the pea gravel and get the minor leaks/run-over issues I had. Once that was completed I purchased a couple of water plants-as the actual pond is small-a water lily and an iris. I then went to my favorite speciality rock garden nursery. They are a wholesale grower that attends the Denver Botanic Garden plant sale-by the way it is next week May 6th-they are open by appointment only and sell to some of the retail centers and the mail order catalog High Country Gardens. It is wonderful having such a great little nursery in my neck of the woods. Actually, it is my parent's neck of the woods. So I usually make it a weekend trip with my two boys to visit my parent's and my sister and the nursery. I purchased quite a few plants this trip and returned home and started planting. I also ordered four plants from a fabulous nursery that has a wonderful online store and website called Two Green Thumbs. I ordered 4 miniature trees from her last fall. I have an order waiting for me for 4 more miniature trees. They are wonderful and absolutely fabulous little plants. I instantly loved them. She has such high quality items.

I planted till my heart was content. Although, I can tell you it is still a fairly large area to plant and I am in need of about $200.00 worth of plants. Thee miniature trees are part of this. I think the scree bed is good for now, but could add a couple more items to this bed to fill it in. How do I afford all of this? I also need to add some to the shade garden and have a new garden to start.

Anyways, I digress again. I mulched the little trees in with pea gravel and left the other plants without pea gravel mulch awaiting the next batch of plants for more completion prior to putting the pea gravel down. The other slight issue I have is some of the grades are rather steep and the pea gravel will do a lot of sliding - something I did not fully consider in my design. All of these things I learn as I go. So I will work on this issue as we move forward and the plants get larger. Overall, I am very happy with the results.

Late last fall I made some chicken wire and burlap wire cages. I cut 8-10" strips of chicken wire and burlap to match and zip tied them together at the ends-creating a circle. I then used bamboo stakes threaded through the chicken wire/burlap to install them into the ground around each of my small miniature trees as some of them are prone to our dry winters causing desiccation. I covered the rest of the waterfall plants with just burlap. The burlap also aided in keep a large amount of leaves out of the rocks-makes it difficult to clean it out in the spring with all of those leaves in it.

I couple of weeks ago it was time to unwrap it and it seriously like Christmas. I was so excited. I had early spring bloomers reaching for their time in the sun. The miniature pusch norway spruce I planted was starting to elongate it's new spring growth. Some of the flower colors were amazing and so vibrant in these little plants. It is such a joy to watch it grow.

I had some plants in the scree bed that I over-wintered there that I transplanted earlier this week into the waterfall area.

I have attached a timer to the waterfall pump and it comes on at 6am and goes off at 8pm. It is such a pleasure to get up in the morning and look out my window. Then I check on everybody before I leave for work. Just to see if there is something new to see. In the summertime when we have the windows open (we don't have AC) I leave the waterfall running for a bit longer in the evening so we can enjoy the trickling waters as we lay in bed.