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  • Jane Shellenberger

Editor's Letter: Harvest 2018

I really love my job. Still, after 21 years as editor/publisher I‘m yearning to cut back. Those four spring deadlines are tough.

As a result, we’ll be publishing three print issues next year – two in the spring (mid March and early May) and a Harvest issue in late August - while I search in earnest for a successor, whether digital, print or some combination thereof. Please check our website for updates re subscriptions, deadlines, advertising, and more.

A special thank you goes out here to Publication Printers in Denver. Gary Rosenberg, the owner, and the many great people I’ve worked with there for so many years, especially Dave Sanchez and Mike Blodis, couldn’t be more professional and willing to help a small publisher like me. Their foresight, business acumen, and emphasis on serving their customers has helped make it feasible to put out a quality publication with an independent voice and survive all these years. Thanks guys!

So far, the highlight of the summer was my trip to Newfoundland for the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) Annual Conference in July. St John’s is the oldest city and furthest point east in North America, a time zone and a half beyond New York City. I stayed with a friend from St Johns (and an old friend from Colorado) who graciously ferried us around and took us out on the town. Thanks to the conference I missed the local initiation rite or “Screech-in” that usually takes place in a bar and involves rum, kissing a cod, and more.

With NARGS we hiked in several places, including an orchid bog, to see the wild plants. We also visited some amazing private gardens and the wonderful MUN Botanical Gardens in peak bloom seeing terrestrial orchids, lilies, pitcher plants, blazing rhododendrons, giant Solomon’s Seal, Tibetan blue poppies (Menocopsis) to name a few. But also plants I didn’t expect, like lewisia - and crevice gardens! They just keep piling on the gravel for drainage since average annual precipitation is 60+ inches in St John’s.

Plant trips like this are one of the perks of joining a plant club or “society” (and NARGS is one of the very best).

Here’s what you’ll find in this issue… Gary Raham always has interesting natural history to relate and here he tells you about rabbitbrush, including its link to the rubber industry. (BTW, Loveland Museum Gallery has a wonderful exhibit, “From Saur to Soar”, of Gary’s paintings and illustrations, plus some dinosaur sculptures by Dennis Wilson, one of the foremost paleontological reconstruction artists in the world – through Dec. 2.) The history of paper-making is Paula Ogilvie’s topic this month. She also tells you about making beautiful craft paper using common plants like iris and daylily from your garden. Jody Torpey shows us some fine, weirdly amusing examples of produce that are so perfectly imperfect they might be considered natural works of art.

Mikl Brawner has been studying nitrogen fixation for some time. He tells you what that means and discusses the three processes that make inert nitrogen available to all living things: atmospheric (lightning), man made (Haber Process), and biological (special bacteria).

Because it’s seed season Penn Parmenter writes about rules for wild seed collecting while Maggie Gaddis describes her method of feeding the garden with seeds to build the seed bank.

In “After the Harvest” Jennifer Bousselot offers tips for jump-starting next year’s veggie gardens. Even a small amount of effort, she says, will pay off come spring.

We also include the final excerpt from Douglas W Tallemy’s “Giving Ecological Purpose to Your Landscape”, about creating productive and beautiful living spaces in order to achieve a more sustainable relationship with the earth.

Instead of one profile of a Colorado gardener or garden, I decided to share a glimpse of several that I visited on the NOCO Tour in Fort Collins and Loveland in late June.

Finally, here’s a photo sent by reader Matthew Zoeller with the caption, “East Coast beach read.”

Enjoy the harvest and what’s left of the summer. See you next spring!

Jane Shellenberger



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