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The Benefits of Gardening with native plants (Pt 2) by Irene Shonle

Native plants have evolved in Colorado soils and weather for millennia. We live in a semi-arid climate with pedocal soils, which are characteristic of areas with less rainfall. Pedocal soils have less organic matter and are somewhat less fertile than the humus-rich, dark brown pedalfer soils to the east of the Mississippi. This is one of the reasons we often see such different plants as we head to the East Coast. Plants that thrive there often do not perform well in our climate (and vice versa).

Alpine Plantsman Mike Kintgen by Jane Shellenberger

It was Alice McVee, a neighbor with a rock garden at the end of their cul-de-sac in Littleton, who played a major role in nurturing Mike’s youthful plant passion - once he found the courage to knock on her door. “Alice was a member of the local chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society. She took me to meetings and to volunteer at Denver Botanic Gardens when I was 11.”

Fabulous Salvias - Bring Pollinators to Your Garden with Brilliantly Colored, Nectar-Rich Flowers by David Salman

The genus Salvia (commonly referred to as ‘Sage’) represents a huge group of flowering plants that are found on all the temperate continents of our planet.. I count myself among this group of Salvia devotees who enjoy their diversity, their bold, brilliantly colored flowers and the wide array of pollinators that are attracted to their nectar-rich flowers.

Mix it up with Mesclun for fresh greens all season long by Penn Parmenter

Looking for diversity, nutrition, and gleeful satisfaction in the garden? Grow Mesclun. The word simply means mixture. When I plant Mesclun, I custom–create it with my favorite greens, lettuces, and herbs to make perfect cut-and-come-again salads. Sow cut-and-come-again mixes by broadcasting (scattering) the seed on the garden bed.

The lure of techno fixes for failing pollinators by Gary Raham

… Over 40% of invertebrates, like bees, beetles, and butterflies, suffer the same threats—mostly from changes in land use, intensive agricultural practices and pesticide use, alien invasive species, diseases & pests, and climate change. Miyako felt compelled to do something—an admirable human impulse—and his solution was sexy enough to gain considerable media attention - create robot drones to help out bees and other dwindling pollinators. But how viable is his techno fix?

Gardening for Night Owls & Moths by Marcia Tatroe

Because most moths are active at dawn and dusk or in the night, the flowers they rely on are night-bloomers. This is a handy trait for the gardener, who works 9 to 5, or who, like me, isn’t excited about going outside to admire the garden when daytime temperatures approach or exceed three digits… Fortunately there is a garden tradition that takes advantage of the night and night owls. The Victorians were enthusiastic fans of the moon garden—not to provide flowers for moths but to extend the pleasures of the garden into the evening hours.

The Sunflower Ecosystem by Eric R. Eaton

Few plants compare to Common Sunflower, Helianthus annuus, in their attractiveness to insects. While the blossoms beckon bees, secretions from the buds and leaves are irresistible to other insects. Meanwhile, herbivorous insects exploit all parts of the plant.

Good for you, Good for the Garden by Deb Whittaker

…But you don't need to rely on the dreaded dandelion to attract beneficials to your garden. Many herbs, especially members of the umbelliferae family like cilantro, parsley, and fennel, will attract pollinators and predators of garden pests, and repel others with their strong odors and flavors. Added to foods you eat everyday, herbs will also bolster the nutrient density of your meals. Not bad for a little garnish.


The 2017 Plant Select shrub introduction is a woody plant with a tongue-twister of a name and a long history of survival at the old Cheyenne Horticultural Station. Here is the heart-warming story of two great local plantsmen who brought it out of obscurity into Colorado gardens.

Out on a Limb - Landscaping to boost bird diversity by Christy Payne

As a biologist and birder I sometimes dream of owning a grand estate in a location that boasts high-altitude views of the surrounding country and wildlife. However, my reality is a petite, albeit charming, bungalow on 0.25 acre in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. This thoroughly urban location boasts coyote, red fox, and well over 50 visiting species of bird so my expectations for this little property have been more than exceeded. These visitors have lit a passion in me for sharing not only the possibility of creating a wildlife haven in the inner-city properties, but also for communicating the simplicity of successful strategies for achieving wildlife results that exceed your expectations.

This issue is brought to you by Brady’s Garden Centers • Burrell’s Seed Co. • CO Native Plant Society Garden Tour • Denver Botanic Gardens • DogTuff • Echter’s Garden Center • Ecoscape Environmental Design • Elliott Gardens • Fairmount Heritage Rose Sale • Flower Bin • Fort Collins Nursery • Four Corners Horticulture Conference • Gardens on Spring Creek • Graff’s Turf • Big Yellow Bag • Groundcovers Nursery • Growing Gardens • Gwynne’s Greenhouse • Harding Nursery • Harlequin’s Gardens • High Country Gardens • Humalfa • Jared’s Nursery & Garden Center • Lafayette Florist • Long’s Iris Gardens • Loveland Garden Center • McGuckin Hardware • Metro Denver Farmers Market • Nick’s Garden Center • Northern Water Conservation Gardens • Old Santa Fe Pottery • Paulino Gardens • Steven Pfeifer Arborist • PlantSelect • Rick’s Garden Center • Southwest Gardens • Sturtz & Copeland • Tagawa Garden Center • Welby’s Hardy Boy • Windsor Gardener