Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hooray for Hans!

Hans and his crew from Anode Systems have been working really hard in the community garden. They are in the community garden almost every day tending to their plants and it has really paid off. Today is their first harvest. I'm not sure if it is Catholic Outreach or Salvation Army that will be getting today's veggies. I'll let you know tomorrow for sure. It is amazing what just a few people can do to make a difference.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Monday!

I always love it when the Weekenders have been here. I feel like I've gotten so much accomplished when I walk in on Monday. They had to cancel on Saturday but the crew that came in Sunday rocked and rolled. All they did all day was move gravel. A couple of the guys helped me get the fountain in the children's garden going. They did all the dirty work. Moving the rock, putting in the liner, replacing the rock. It looks great. All I need is a couple of goldfish and a hose clamp and we'll be in business. So that's where I'm headed. The goldfish hose clamp store. See ya!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Strangling Frogs Right and Left

Hasn't the rain been great? Especially since as soon as I start bragging to you all about how the irrigation system is working it decides to spite me and start acting up. I don't know what I'd do without John at GJ Pipe.
We found a couple of things. One of them actually was a drip. It indicated a valve not working effeciently. It is funny how it can be the little things that trip you up.
A secondary problem may be a really happy patch of algae growing up around the foot valve and the netafim intake. When John said all it would take was a piece of plywood I was ecstatic. When he suggested putting some astroturf on it and turning it into a duck float I was ecstatically ecstatic. A duck float. How cool. I think the ducks are a little mad at me since I got the pump working and the pond is full. There are too many cattails and they can't get to the shore any more. I bet those ducks are sitting around complaining about me. "Dang that girl." I can just hear them.

Dang me, dang me, they oughtta' take a rope and hang me, high from the highest tree.... Don't mind me. I do get possessed by the spirit of Roger Miller every now and again.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


What is that sulphourous stench? The smell of success! I've been able to consistently irrigate with the water out of our settling pond. And water out of a pond smells, well, like pond water. Now if I can only get my ET transmitter.....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Magnificent Magnolia

I'm so proud of our little magnolia. It just keeps on going. We spotted the first flower bud today. We've added some cute little bunny grasses that look really cute when they bloom near the magnolia. Also the lobelia is crazy blue right now and will blind you if you look at it too long. Kinda like staring at the sun. The chilopsis (desert willow) has bright-pinky-purple-orchid-looking flowers and fits right in even though it is a low water plant. And just wait until the Disco Belle blooms. The alyssum is doing well and on a whole that entire bed is really, really happy. We aren't leaving it alone though. We are adding a new Carol Mackie that we got from Plant Select.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Good Morning!

I haven't forgotten about you all. I've just been out of the office. No. Not on vacation. I don't think any gardener in her right mind would plan a vacation during Spring/Summer. I was at the Denver Botanic Garden. Yeah. I have a rough job. I had to spend all day with plant people hearing about plants, talking about plants, looking at plants and getting plants. It was the annual meeting for Plant Select. I'm pretty sure I've talked about Plant Select before and I encourage you to visit their website. I love their plants. Their plants make me look soooooo gooood. They do a lot of research and testing to find plants that work well in our challenging Colorado soils. Their plants are pretty fool-proof. They make the blackest thumb turn to a darker shade of green.

Anyway, I came back with a truckload of plants. Yes. An entire truckload. I just love those Plant Select people. I give them my list of what I want and then they give me bonus plants. Yay! I love bonus plants. We are once again a test garden for plants that are not yet available for sale. Isn't that cool? I hope I don't kill them all this time. Just kidding! I only killed a few of them last time around. Most of them survived. And I didn't kill any of the tried and true plants. Ok. Maybe a couple of the delosperma bit the dust. But they were just little tykes and I probably shouldn't have put them in the ground so soon. But everyone else is looking good.

More exciting news is that we have plant labels! Plant Select gave us labels this year in addition to plants. So now when you visit the Gardens you can see which plants are Plant Select. Then you can march down to your favorite local nursery and get them for your very own garden. How great is that? Very.

Monday, June 15, 2009

She Really Is Cute

Here are a couple of pictures of our new tree frog. She is out and roaming in the greenhouse. Let me know if you spy her.


A very discerning group of jazz lovers congregated at the Elizabeth B. Harris Amphitheater last Saturday night to enjoy the smooth sounds of Influx. We did have a special VIP in the crowd. Our resident blue heron hung out on the river's edge during the entire show. Heron's are jazz lovers don't ya know.

What started off as a blustery afternoon calmed down into quite a lovely evening. It was wonderful.

For you bluegrass lovers we'll be having Sweet Sunny South on July 11. Mark your calendar. The gate is open at 6:30, the show starts at 7:30. Tickets are $10 for members and $14 general admission.

The First Butterfly Release

For those of you who were busy last May and couldn't come down to see the first butterfly release here are the highlights:

Here I am with a box 'o butterflies. You can feel them crawling around in the box. They were so anxious to get out into the butterfly house.

The lid comes off! You can see the little painted ladies flying out of the box. They were really friendly butterflies. They'd land on your shoulder or your shoe.

Or on a big rock.

D took these photos. Aren't they great? She had a bunch of other good ones but I forgot to get photo releases. I got them from the butterflies though. It was tricky finding a pen small enough. And then tracking down their agent and working out the percentages. What a bunch of prima donas.

If you missed any of the releases we had in May don't despair! We will be releasing butterflies this Saturday. 1pm. Don't miss it!

Friday, June 12, 2009

She's So Cute!

This kid comes in with the cutest green frog a couple of days ago. I immediately call our frog expert, Richard. He puts the siren on and races to the Gardens. Frog Emergency! Out of the way!
Richard looks at the cute little frog and gives it the once over. "I think it's a tree frog," he surmises. He whisks it off to the Frog Emergency Clinic for further observation.
He comes back a day later, frog and identification in hand. "Pacific Tree Frog," he pronounces. "Female." It likes the habitat of our green house so we let it loose. Keep your eyes peeled for a tiny bright green frog with a snazzy black stripe on either side the next time you are in the greenhouse. We call her Emily.

Holy Blooming Brugmansia Bat Man!

The Angel's Trumpet, aka brugmansia, is budding and blooming in the butterfly house. There are three blooms and five more buds that I could see. The plant is really beautiful with blushing pink flowers. Don't take my word for it, you should come in and see for yourself.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Todd from the Betty Ford (gardeners always think Alpine Garden, everyone else thinks clinic) came by yesterday to help us figure out our composting needs and design. The man knows his compost. It is exciting to start to capture some of our green waste and use it in the gardens. I'll be talking more about composting as the program develops. We'll be addressing large scale composting as well as just how easy it is to compost at home. If you are raring to get going with composting there is a glut of information out there. If you are a little overwhelmed by it all call the Master Gardeners out at the Extension. Those folks, they is smart.

Puparium Picture

Doesn't the new pupa display look great? Isn't going to look great with actual pupa on it?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Garden Tour and More

Thanks to everyone who helped out on the Garden Tour, especially those brave souls who opened up their gardens to public scrutiny. The weather cooperated for the most part and everyone I saw had smiles on their faces. Gardens have a tendency to do that to you.

We had a few folks out on First Friday despite the turbulent weather.

A huge thanks goes out to thr Realtor's Association, especially Lori. They had a great event in the amphitheater Saturday.

Yesterday was back to business as usual, watering, weeding, mulching with a little hedge trimming thrown in mix it up a bit.

I've got to run. Todd is coming down from Betty Ford, the Alpine Garden, not the clinic, to help us get our compost going. I'll let you in on all the thrilling details tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Water, weed, mulch, repeat.

Monday, June 1, 2009

So much has happened!

The trip to DBG was fantastic! Sada's talk was inspiring. It was also confirmation that we are on the right track with Shozan-en. It was quite an honor and humbling to meet him. It was good to see Ebi as well. He gave us two ponderosa pines for Shozan-en. They are naturally bonsaied and are quite amazing trees. One is 150 years old. It was nice to meet Matt their Director of Education. He showed off their new flat screen technology with the thought that we could do inter-gardening conferencing. They could have events we could participate in here and vice-versa. Technology is amazing.
The aggravating thing was when we got back we discovered more plants have been stolen from our front beds. Plus, Marilyn found a record six empty vodka bottles in the amphitheater and found a couple of empty cases over by the irrigation pond. Nice Officer Steel came out today and checked things out. No, he didn't wait four days until he came out. It took me that long to call it in. Friday was extremely busy. There was a lot of day-to-day stuff that had to happen plus there was a lot of confabbing with our friends with the Tamarisk Coalition. There is some cool stuff in the offing.
The butterfly release Saturday was a lot of fun. We'll continue doing them once a month. I'll let you know the schedule as soon as I can get it worked out with the butterfly suppliers.
Christine our new volunteer coordinator started today. Already my load is about 150 pounds lighter. It was fantastic. She just jumped in and got to work. If you are one of our volunteers, stick your head in the office and introduce yourself.
Today was weeding and mulching and benching. Richard moved the benches on loan from the Heritage Garden (Thank you Mrs. Harris!!!) and Jon brought over the ones that he made especially for Shozan-en. They are beautiful.
What excitement is in store for tomorrow? Stay tuned!