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  • Jane Shellenberger

February 2024 Newsletter

Greetings Readers!

Gravel Gardens

Summer at 7th Ave & Detroit gravel garden, Denver. Unlike woodchips, deep gravel retains moisture without rotting the crowns of low water plants. Read Gravel Gardens article »

I have a new article for you in this edition by Kenton Seth on low water Gravel Gardens. His book on no-irrigation landscaping is due out this spring. You may recognize him as a designer and builder of crevice gardens, and co-author of a book on the topic. A stunning example is the large cervice garden at the APEX Recreation Center in Arvada - well worth a visit! 

I've also included a shortened version of a piece on grape pruning by John Martin of Stonebridge Farms CSA in Lyons who grows wine and table grapes. I've noticed that my own grapevines have become less productive in the last couple of years. I've pruned them each spring, but apparently not hard enough! If you look up "when to prune grapes" on the internet you may find that as early as February is recommended. But since pruning stimulates new growth and new growth is tender, you'll be risking a late spring frost by pruning so early. Better to wait till April or even early May as buds begin to swell, especially on the Front Range. That way you can also be sure that the necessary hard pruning will be leaving you with buds that are alive.

Happy Spring!

Jane Shellenberger


Fastigiate Trees

BOTANY WORD for the day:  

Fastigiate: The terms “columnar” and “fastigiate” are generally used interchangeably. These trees are more narrow than wide, with a ratio of height to width of 5-to-1 or greater. These species have varied forms and shapes, from stovepipe to light pole appearances. There are also trees with pendulous forms that grow upright but have some drooping or weeping branches. (from CSU Extension Fact Sheet )



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