CDsSister's blog

Something to do while waiting for Spring
Posted on Feb 25, 2014 2:53 PM

This is a great time of year for gathering ideas for the upcoming planting season.

One of the great ways is to take advantage of the many seminars offered at local nurseries and Garden & Home shows.

 I attended a garden seminar at Tagawa Gardens in Parker, Colorado last Saturday it was conducted by Denver Botanic Garden’s  Senior Curator Panayoti Kelaidis

 His subject title was “Rock Gardens and Alpine Plants; Bringing The Rocky’s Home.”

He was very funny and laughter added to my enjoyment of the topic.  He also offered some great ideas for implementing a Rock Garden and the types of plants best for our region.

I thought I would share some of my brief notes

Planning an Alpine Garden - General

  • Be Bold not Boring Create don’t just plant
  • Alpines are Stepp Plants grown on Mountains and Plains
  • Big this year is Crevice Gardening
    • Reminder Not much soil
    • Loam, grit(pebbles), Compost (may include some clay if needed)
    • The more you like to water the more sand and grit you need
    • If you water a lot you need to fertilize more often
  • Select Plants that suit your soil, location/climate/eco zone

Things to Consider before Planting

  • Soil type you have  –  Alkaline or Acid, clay, sand etc
  • Aspect – What you see --- Shade, sun, variable, extremes
  • Drainage – Consider a slope or berm best for alpines

Alpine design

  • Mood - Overall feel of you want to obtain- geometric, serene, pastoral, formal
  • Theme – Colors, English, Oriental
  • Atmosphere – relaxed, formal, alpine

 Essence of a garden – you need to plot out

  • A View – not just what you see up close (Vignettes Sheltered spots) 
    • but what you can see in the distance above/behind
  • A Path – draws deep into the heart
  • A Shelter –  a place rest to enjoy

 When starting from Scratch Plan to include:

  • Paths
  • Ramble
  • Vista
  • Barriers and interest

 Types of good plants to use

  • Height
  • Cushion
  • Mat forming
  • Bulbs
  • Spreaders

 Mentioned some good for Rocky Mountain area gardens

  • Many are grown in the mountain and plains areas of the Rockys
  • Desert Primrose and Birdcage Plant.(Oenothera deltoids)
  • Gentians Barbalotta?
  • Columbines
  • Delphiniums
  • Clematis – dwarf ground growing
  • tamrisk bulbs
  • Sempervivum and other succulents such as sedum and ice plants

He is going to do a blog on the Denver Botanical Garden site to give more information.  Watch this spot:

 Not the actual pictures he showed but similar plants to consider:






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The Deep Freeze Has Past
Posted on Dec 12, 2013 6:20 PM

After a week of sub freezing weather we have finally gotten some wonderful weather again.  Although they tell us the artic front will drop down again about Christmas, it was time to get out and enjoy the moderating weather.

I had been wanting to get a couple of pictures of the Mountains in full dress for my FB page and I was rewarded today with a chance to do it.  I was on the way out to southwest Denver to an appointment and took my camera along.

I really love how lovely the Mountains look when they are snow shrouded.


Truly Rocky Mountain Majesty


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Trip to High Country
Posted on Sep 27, 2013 4:37 PM

Trip to the High Country

Took a trip north up the freeway to the high country. Chose to go to Wyoming this year.  Will visit the Colorado Mountains next week.

The trip started on a rainy overcast day.  We soon ran into heavy winds which made driving a challenge.  Pretty soon we started up the Snowy Range Scenic Byway which crosses the Medicine Bow Mountain Range and the beauty of God’s handwork was on full display.   On this day we did not see much color change but we did see some snow capped mountains close up and some frozen trees.  The winds were intense and the trees indicate this is the normal state along this road. If it had not been so cold and windy we would have stopped to enjoy more of the magnificent scenery, and other points of interest, or done some hiking or just walking.  It was beautiful and filled with views of many glacier fed lakes.  I bet the fishing is great.

Trees getting ready to turn


Top of the 10,000+ Pass

at Libby Flats


 Once we got to our destination (Saratoga Wyoming) it was a bit warmer and less windy. We got to finally see the only wild life on this trip (no not the cowboys) a deer or three.   I did not count the herd of cattle roaming the open range areas.  (Although there was one really ugly beat up bull which might have been a wild one too.) 

Wild Life


 Did I mention this was a great time of day to visit as we had the roads to ourselves and there were not that many tourists in the town either, just a few of what might have been hunters, although I am not sure about their seasons.

Our destination was Saratoga which is a small town with one main street running east and west and one running the other direction, with a few side streets.  It is right along the North Platte River and the original Overland Trail route.  The river was running very high, but they had not had any flooding.  They have a hot springs pool which we because we misread the sign did not get to visit.  It would have been nice to soak our aching muscles after a couple of days of driving, but maybe next time.

Our second day brought us a bright warm sunshine filled morning.  It was spent in making a drive over the Battle Mountain Scenic byway, and over the Battle Pass which is 57-miles of paved highway over the crest of the little-visited Sierra Madre Mountains of the Medicine Bow National Forest. The drive took us over the continental divide.   There were two sites of especial interest, one was the “Aspen Alley” a gravel side road through the heart of a magnificent grove of 75-100 foot tall Aspen.  They had not turned their autumn color yet but they were quite a sight anyway.   Found some color on the other side next to a wide open meadow in which we had our lunch.  The quiet and peace were in themselves awe inspiring.  One forgets how wonderful pure silence can be. 



The other sight was a view of the wilderness area, a turnout gave us the view of overlooking Battle Lake and a monument to Thomas A. Edison. While vacationing here, so the story goes,  in 1878, Edison threw a broken bamboo fishing pole in the fire and was intrigued by the way the frayed pieces glowed. These observations supposedly gave Edison the idea on how to develop his own design for the light bulb's filament.  This is right next to one of the designated wilderness areas, either Encampment River Wilderness or Huston Park Wilderness.


Some more Scenic Views


Back on the return trip we passed through the Grand Encampment Area and stopped a the Centennial monument.   The sign makes interesting reading and the Remington Bronze a memorial to the celebration of the town history of hosting the American Indians and mountain men in rendezvous.



Another interesting site were the hills which looked like piles of loose rock that had been dumped there known as Baggot Rocks.  I thought they looked like dog piles or perhaps Buffalo Pies. (smile)

Back over the mountain on the final day and a chance to view some  areas of the Rocky Mountain National Park from another vantage point.  Unfortunately there were not many places to pull off and get the pictures we would have loved to take.   Why don’t the road planners think about sight seers?  I would have added a pull off every mile or two so that it would be safe to take pictures.


I will try to get some pictures next week when I travel to the now isolated beauty of Colorado’s high country.   Many of the roads are still being worked on after the floods a couple of weeks ago.


Today we are experiencing cold and drizzle again with a bit of fog (52 degrees high).  Freeze warnings for tonight.  Have to cover some plants.



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Sunshine back and waters receding
Posted on Sep 17, 2013 6:13 PM

Bright sunshine all days today.

Most areas are seeing water going down to normal levels, although several small communities are inundated with water filled will sewage and it may take two weeks for it to be cleaned up. 

Two friends have water in basements with loss of carpets and other things stored in the area.

Praying the weather stays moderate and a lot of work can be done before winter.

More folks brought out by helecopters today. 

Remenecent of New Orleans, they spread sheets on their house tops or lawns to let the National Guard know they needed rescue.

I have no personal photos to add to the blog because I could not bear to take pictures of people's distress.

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More rain and hail today
Posted on Sep 14, 2013 6:01 PM


More rain and hail is devastating even more areas.  Got about 6 more inches and they are telling us 3-6 more tomorrow. 

The flooding is hitting areas previously un hit areas including Parker and the southern suburbs. Also heavy rains hitting the western slope over near Grand Junction, so they are under flood watch as well.

Rain and hail this afternoon has hit my area.  Waiting for next round.

Now things are moving out across the plains into Nebraska and Kansas in the next several days.

More rain tomorrow. I am still dry inside with all my utilities available.

I am very thankful to have been spared.




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