The answer to that question is just about everything I’ve ever planted! Loving the ubiquitous lavenders, yellow and pink yarrow, catmint, and volunteer sunflowers! We just deadheaded the catmint and Jupiter’s Beard this week, and had over two inches of rain so far this July on our ridge overlooking the Sangres de Cristo Range!Let’s hear it for the monsoons!
My Blue-Mist Spirea bushes on the right and left foreground are acting a little bit shy with just a few flowers so far, but all five should be full out in a week or so!
And this Magenta yarrow is in its first year, so its taking its sweet time to bloom. A couple plants got damaged by that late May snowstorm we had. The Russian Sage and Showy Four-O’Clocks are very late in blooming.
But overall, I’m quite happy with our results this summer!
WOW, it was plenty HOT here yesterday! We got over 90 degrees, which almost never happens up here at 7,000 feet. My new plants were not pleased, but those that have been here for the past few years were fine. Here’s a photo summary of what is happening in my garden.
First of all, this is what my “sky garden” looked like in June 2019. We had just completed the hardscaping at this point!
These day in the far east end I am nursing a new plant, an Icelandic Poppy, and so far so good in spite of all the wind we’ve had lately. My Jupiter’s Beard at the end is struggling but still hanging in.
Lavender absolutely loves it up here! And that large Jupiter’s Beard on the left is thriving too.
I forget the name of these cute little yellow flowers, but they sure are tough! Then I have a couple of different penstemons in this grouping near one of my lavender plants. The Blue-mist Spirea bushes with start blooming in July.
This is a view of mid-garden with the steps. Yarrow dominates this area. It seems to be pleased with itself. My native Four-O’Clock is slowly creeping out from under Buddha and that big Catmint plant. It got hit hard by the big snow we had the end of May, that almost froze all the flower heads off! My green shamrock is in the foreground. Thanks Mike!
My west end is mostly new or native plants. So excited to see that yellow Evening Primrose start to bloom this morning! The native sunflowers are everywhere over there and I just planted a “Little Kim Lilac” bush over there. Sure hope it survives the wind! Check out a few of Mike’s creations, the metal sculpture and his horseshoe wind chime under the Bluebird’s box.
I should also include this central square of flowers, the first place I planted anything about four years ago. Can you find my metal coil dog? That’s one of Mike’s more recent creations.
My Sky Garden is developing very slowly this spring. We just aren’t receiving the 5+ inches of rain we got last March, April and May. I’m adding new plants everyday, but they develop so slowly!
I took a trip up to Perennial Favorites on opening day, May 1st, and bought mostly plants that I had previous success with like Catmint, Penstemon Strictus, Yellow Yarrow, Blue Mist Spirea, Turkish Veronica and Gaillardia plus a few alternative Penstemons, Jupiter’s Beard, and Cinquefoil. I’m even taking a chance on a drought tolerant Honeysuckle this year!
This spring we have received less than two inches so far, and May is not looking promising, so far just lots of wind. YUCK!
The only annual I buy is Portulacas. When I first moved here the rabbits would eat these if they could reach them. Now I have a new problem, chipmunks who climb up and eat all the flowers off. GRRRRR…. And that’s even when they are three feet off the ground! Mike says he can help me solve that problem.
If only I controlled the weather & the critters, my sky garden would look like this again!
I began gardening after I lost my job/career as a librarian in the spring of 2004. I found it stimulating and calming all at the same time. First I spent some time learning about drought tolerant plants in my area, picked out a few at a local nursery, and I was off. What a marvelous pastime!
I find gardening and philosophy go well together, providing life lessons and metaphors everywhere. Here’s a bit of gardening wisdom from a piece I wrote ages ago:
Eggplant Seed Wisdom (2005)
Today I was trying to decide whether to even attempt to grow a few eggplant plants from a packet of free seeds I was given. Then it suddenly struck me, what a silly question! Just put them out there and see what happens. It’s such a tiny investment of time and energy, and who knows, I might even get an eggplant or two out of it.
This is true of so many small decisions I make everyday of my life. I worry too long about whether to throw them out there and see if they take root. Why agonize over it? Just put the silly seeds in the ground. What have I lost if nothing comes up? This has evolved into my philosophy of “do what’s right in front of you, and stop worrying so much about every little thing.” This all has to do with trusting in the universe and following my intuition.
The universe put these seeds in my hand. I did not go out seeking after them. They are here and they certainly won’t turn into plants sitting in their neat little package on my living room table. I am the vehicle these tiny seeds have chosen to give them life. Whether I like it or not, I’m in charge.
After I planted the seeds and dutifully started watering them every few hours, I sat and thought about how many decisions in my life could be dispatched just as quickly and easily. No muss, no fuss.
My interest in gardening has led to only good things [and people] in my life. This summer I discovered a very cool nursery out in the country near Rye, CO.
Perennial Favorites is a wonderful place to visit. I love talking to the ladies there about plants that do well above 7,000 feet elevation. This is one of my favorite places on earth.
I’m constantly on alert as I drive around this area, for new wildflowers. Last week I saw a flower I’m certain I’ve never seen before near the railroad tracks in La Veta.
Isn’t the flower beautiful? It’s the Rocky Mountain Bee Plant!
This plant stands about three feet tall on a thick stalk and the flowers shoot out like this. I found it among a bunch of sunflowers right along the tracks.
The West Peak is stunning in its new coat of snow!
Is there anything more wonderful than spring? Not for me! Especially this year when I finally have the ground prepared for my new wildflower garden! I’ve been in spring bliss in the past few weeks as I gather my precious new plants to decorate our Buddha garden. I enjoy Huerfano Nursery in Walsenburg and…
I finally went to experience Perennial Favorites near Rye, Colorado.That place is simply heaven to me, just as wonderful as I hoped it would be! My botany friend Jan says these feelings are in my genetics, with a famous botanist for a father I can’t help myself!
Here’s my small plot to plant and the lovely planting box Mike built for me this spring. I’m trying to grow a few native plants from seeds, plus I have purchased quite a few starters. The deer and rabbits are a concern, so I tried to choose ones they don’t like as much, lavender, penstemons, Blue Mist Spirea. As I took my walks around La Veta last summer, I noticed which plants were surviving the many deer prowling the streets there.
I also took a few cuttings from a local cholla cactus. Love their magenta blossoms in JULY! It will be a few years before it blooms, but that’s what gardening is all about, tending and caring for your plants as they grow.
Also, I have a request for any locals reading this: Does anyone have seeds for the New Mexican Locust trees we see everywhere past La Veta on the road to Cuchara? I want to try growing them in our area! Thanks! -LLC