Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Rocky Mountains
March, 2004
Regional Report

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Gardening in the Rockies has its challenges, but the beauty and enjoyment outweigh any struggles along the way.

The Power of Gardening ? Rocky Mountain Style

Cultivating a green thumb is a relaxing, healthy, and enjoyable hobby for people of all ages and abilities. Gardening in the Rocky Mountain region in a cold, unpredictable climate with many varied soil conditions offers challenges: a shorter growing season, fluctuating temperatures, wind, a more modest palette of plants, slower rates of annual growth, unpredictable early autumn or late spring frosts, and competition from a variety of critters.

Growing annual and perennial flowers, vegetables, and herbs allows us to enjoy the beauty that a garden provides, plus it allows us to have a greater appreciation of nature. It's a wholesome way to spend time outdoors with the satisfaction of knowing that we had a hand in growing our own food. If we prefer, we can choose to grow plants without chemicals -- the organic or natural way that nature intended. Yes, we will have to accept a few blemishes on our vegetables and fruits, now and then, but you just can't beat the flavor of fresh, organic vegetables, herbs, and fruit.

For Kids
Gardening can be a family activity, involving your children. Kids not only benefit from spending more time outdoors, they also learn valuable lessons from growing plants. The fascination of watching seeds germinate and grow into flowering plants, the anticipation of the first pumpkin in late summer, and picking the first ripe tomato in July -- all make gardening a fun adventure for people of all ages.

For the Environmenet
Gardening helps us understand how to treat the environment, the importance of conservation of natural resources like water and soil, and how to create an ecosystem that will benefit humans, plants, and animals alike.

Regardless of why you like to garden, one thing is for sure: it's time to get ready to start growing. Behind every successful garden is the desire to grow plants, experience nature, and plan for both success and failure. It's like the old, but appropriate adage of my early 4-H experiences: "Learn by doing." Now get out there and start planning for the 2004 season!

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