Thursday, July 24, 2008


Time flies when you are having fun. I can't believe it has been a week since my last post. Well, a lot has been going on. Watering, weeding...... ;) I'm also very close to getting all the plants that have been donated to the Gardens in the ground. Some of the Plant Select plants are blooming. A lot of the weeds are gone thanks to the Weekenders. I fixed the swamp cooler thanks to the use of a tube cutter from the guys over at Elam's. The Rose Society has been out working on the roses and boy do they look great. And meetings. I've been in a lot of meetings. I'm hoping today I can make it down to the hazardous materials dump today. Plus the most exciting news is the kittens I rescued from the spare tire from someone's truck in the parking lot. I promise pictures of all of this and more when I get the time.

Until then, have a good day and happy gardening.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


After 10 years of no problems the Gardens has experienced a rise in vandalism. The walls surrounding the children's garden have been marked with graffiti three times this year. Unfortunately twice in the last two weeks someone has attempted to break in to the Gardens. So it was a pleasant surprise to see these chalk drawings on the sidewalk when I came in yesterday. It is nice to know we aren't just attracting the attention of delinquents. ;)

Celebrate Good Times!

It is official. Celebration Plaza is open and ready for use. The ribbon cutting was Tuesday and for those who came out it was a nice party. Of course the cottonwood was everywhere but that is just the season. The garden looks great and the fountain is a great attraction. Here are some photos of the day.

Mmm. Cake.

The speeches are over and we are all gathering around for the cutting of the ribbon.


You probably know all about the opening because I'm pretty sure every tv station and newspaper had it covered.

Monday, July 14, 2008


There were a lot of critters out and about today. Below on the log in front on the right side is our cute little turtle. It just showed up one day a week or so ago. Richard says it is really shy, so we kept our distance.

Then I saw a velvet ant and I got really excited because I'd never seen one live before. I didn't know they are a type of wasp.

And our cute green frog showed up. I hadn't seen it since March. Richard and Tristam said it was croaking. Which is so much better than it having croaked which is what I thought it did.

Oh there were technical difficulties today. The swamp cooler was leaking. It had been leaking off and on for about a week and I didn't think too much about it. Today it started leaking in the gift store so it needed attention ASAP. The problem was the old float had corroded and it wasn't working properly causing a leak on the compression fitting. Not only do I now know how to replace a float on a swamp cooler, I know where the cut-off valve is for the water for the swamp cooler. Yee Haw!

Here is the new float.

Here is Keith from Lunsford showing me the old float.

Here is the drain.

Here is the whole swamp cooler assembly.

And here is David trying to fix the leak.

See, he can do things other than glad handing. Which as you can see he is very good at.

This was Friday night at the Art Center. They invited the Gardens to be at the opening and have really reached out to the Gardens. The shows are really great and you should take the time for a visit.

Saturday Recap

Saturday was one of those days where I'm just going to go in for an hour to get Sharon started on watering. Really. Then one thing leads to another.... I started out by spraying garlic in the amphitheater. The Munro Pump Fundraiser was Saturday night and I wanted to see how it worked. That took a lot longer than I thought it was. Then I forgot about putting up the lights. And then there was a little watering that had to be done. And then, and then and then. But look at the groovy bee on the hibiscus.

And the lovely blooms on the magnolia....

And the bud that is going to be a lovely bloom in just a day or two...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Don't Be Koi

The opuntia beetle has arrived. No, that isn't a good thing. What is a good thing is that Bob is coming out next week to look at the solitary bees and he can take a gander at them while he's here. If I had a better camera you could see it under the third flower from the left. They are really groovy looking insects. Come out to the Gardens if you want to see one up close and personal. Just don't wait too long because I know between Bob and the Cactus Club they aren't going to be around long.

Just a few steps from the cactus garden is our pond with lovely, lovely lillies. I couldn't resist snapping a couple of pictures.

Memorial Gardens donated three gorgeous koi to the Gardens. And one bonus catfish. They were actually kind of tough to catch. I thought it would be really easy. Just sprinkle some food on top and up they come and WHAM! You've got them. Monte had to drain the pond in order to net them. I didn't get any pictures of the catching process because I was afraid I'd get my camera wet. Where I slipped was when I had my camera at the Gardens when we were releasing them. I didn't go in. Whew. Anyway here is the exciting koi release.

Fish #1

In it goes.

Fish #2

Fish #3

This was the one that was jumping the worst and now it doesn't want to go. Silly fish.

Free at last!

Isn't it cool?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Buzzz

There are a bazillion bees in the cactus gardens and I tried to get a picture of them.

Yeah, I don't see 'em either. I think they are solitary bees although their behavior was anything but solitary. Were they fighting or loving? Hard to tell. I'd like to leave them to do their bee stuff but unfortunately I think Garden visitors may not understand that the bees don't really care about them. A lot of people are afraid of bees so I'm afraid they will have to go. I hope they can be relocated. I'll called out to the Extension and Bob will be coming out next week and he'll figure out what to do.

Yesterday was a day of meetings. It is so hard to take time out to be inside doing admin stuff when there is so much to do in the meetings. I've got to admit, they were really productive. It is really exciting making plans for the future.

I was really pleased that Sharon and Max helped out today. The little trees that Bennett brought from the Arbor Day event got planted in the ground. They outgrew their pots about two weeks ago. Now we have a tiny little tree farm to the east of the greenhouse. The front lawn got fertilized and hopefully will be looking better for the big opening of Celebration Plaza on Tuesday.

Saturday is a fund raiser for one of the employees at Munro Pump who has cancer. Munro Pump has been really good to us so I encourage you to come out to the Gardens support them. Saturday night, 7pm. Flat Top Reed is playing. It should be a good time. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Where's the Camera?

I've gotten out of the habit of pulling my camera out at a moment's notice. It isn't that there haven't been beautiful things to take pictures of. The Plant Select plants are doing well for the most part. The International Garden looks great. So does the Herb Garden. As does the Sensory Garden. We'll be getting some koi to put out in the Japanese pond and Monte and Zack from Marine Tech came out and changed out the filters in the ponds in the greenhouse so they will be clean and clear. There is a new koi and a new goldfish in the pond in the butterfly house. Tom came by with a load of mulch. The fun never ends! ;)


I've been reading Penelope Hobhouse's "The Story of Gardening". She has a lot of insight into gardening and I love the fact that she provides an entire history that shows why it is that I garden the way I do. Why any of us garden the way we do.

I love this:

"It is from the earliest desert gardens, literally oases of vegetation in an arid climate, that we get our idea of the garden as a refuge. For nomads an oasis was a place of lush contrast to the shifting sands, wind and beating sun, a place of seclusion from the outside world. Today, for many of us, the garden is still an oasis, a place apart, though the concept may exist as much in the mind as in reality."

Monday, July 7, 2008

Irrigation Happiness

The picture you should be looking at is the one of me getting drenched by a broken hose but alas, Richard didn't have a camera. Darn. The good news is that I think all the holes are patched. Now I can start getting drips or sprays in a few of these gardens that are all being hand watered. And that makes me very, very happy. There is a lot of work to do on the irrigation system so if any of you irrigation guys would like to help a damsel in distress I'd sure appreciate it. Plus, I'll bake you muffins.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

More River Pix

I was cleaning the filters on the river pump this morning and couldn't resist taking a couple of pictures of the river. It is really going down. The bank by the pump has changed. It will be steeper getting down the bank to the foot valve later on this summer. Change is inevitable.

Having itchy feet I've always marveled at the fact that this water that I see right here in front of me will make the journey all the way to California and out to the ocean and off to who knows where. When I graduated from high school I shook the dust off my shoes vowing not to ever return to Grand Junction and well, here I am. It is said that there is an Indian curse that will force you to return unless you take some dirt from the valley with you. I imagine what happened to me was more like the drop of water that flows to the ocean only to be pulled back into the clouds and returned as part of a spring shower.


I just noticed the red branches of this tree against the green leaves. Great color combo. I really like red and green together but it is really tough to find those colors in a way that doesn't harken to Christmas.

David and I went out to meet with Dr. Curtis and Susan. I got the door prize, a japanese beetle trap. YeeHaw! I'll post a picture of it once I figure out where I'm going to put it.

As you can see the arboretum looks great. In these days of high gas costs the gardens at the extension are the perfect "staycation" spot. Plus, you can always stop at Randy's South Side Diner for chicken fried steak or Azteca for spinach tacos. Yum.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Choke Cherries?

I saw Tom yesterday and he said these cute, pink berries are choke cherries, not service berries. So, I still don't know what they are except they still are cute, pink berries that ripen into tasty purply berries.

Fireworks Flowers

Yesterday I noticed two flowers, one in the greenhouse and one in the outside gardens, that were spherical and reminded me of fireworks. Just in time for the 4th of July!

Butterflies Galore!

The latest shipment of pupae seems to have emerged all at once. On Sunday Diana released 15 and on Monday I released 29. This shipment was of Julias, bright orange butterflies. The butterfly house has been cool in the mornings and I was able to see the butterflies roosting and get a picture for you.