pollinators at work

pollinators at work

Our main activity our last work day was to plant up some Plant Selects.  Gloria and Sherrie, our co-leaders, went to the Denver Botanical Gardens for the Plant Smarter seminar.  Plant Selects are new plants that are selected and distributed  for research to see how well they grow and environments where they grow best.  Many of the plants Gloria and Sherrie picked up are new plants for 2017.  We also got some plants from other years and we will try them in different areas to see if they do better or worse than where we have some of them now.  The plants will be watched and Gloria and Sherrie will do a report with the results of the environment and how well they grew.

It was a warm day and got warmer as it progressed.  Luckily the water has been turned on because we’re getting up into the 90’s all of a sudden.


We sorted them between the shade garden, rock garden (less water), main garden (more water), and the Xeric garden (much less water).  We had to read quickly about the plant and determine:  Full sun or shade, part sun/part shade; what type of soil do they like (do they need to drain or will they grown up through rocks); how big will they get; then decided how much water they need to place them in the right place.  It’s important not to put a shade plant where it’s going to be in 90 degree full sun.  It won’t last long.  Same for a full sun plant.  If it’s in the shade it won’t get the light and heat it needs to produce blooms.  If a plant needs light watering then it probably won’t grow as well where the water runs off.  Same for a plant that needs more water.  It will do better where there is irrigation rather than in the rock or xeric garden.  Here in Colorado we have to take into consideration we are a mile or more closer to the sun so many plants that take full sun in other places may need partial shade here.  We also determine how well the plant does in our Plant Zone.  In Denver it is a Zone 5.  Some of our surrounding areas, like Douglas County, have some Zone 4 areas.  Zones determine how much heat and cold plants can tolerate and how well they do in different climates.  This is what the research is all about.  All of this research helps to label the plants so they can be successfully planted when they go on the market.

We had 69 plants to read about and figure out which garden or spot to plant them.  At the same time we made sure we noted on our list where each of the 69 plants went and placed the little plastic tag next to them so labels can be made and placed in the garden without searching everywhere for new plants.  We don’t want Nancy going crazy looking for 69 new plants, some of which are in the rock garden and may be two inches tall and two inches wide.  Thanks to whoever made the list so we didn’t have to hand-write all the information.  Common name, scientific name, and we want to make sure they say TRIAL so Gloria and Sherrie can easily identify them later for their research report.

If you would like to read some in-depth information on how and where to plant, and how to figure out the right plant for the right place, please check out this link:  http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/Gardennotes/512.html

With the heat and rain there are always weeds to be pulled and it was also time to deadhead the tulips, daffodils and some of the iris.  The iris are in bloom now and beautiful.  Hopefully our next work day the peony will be in bloom.

This is what was blooming in the garden:

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If you take a stroll through our garden, look for the labels that say TRIAL and you will know that is a plant in the research stages.

After we finished our work day we all went for a lovely lunch in Castle Rock.  We got to sit near the garden so it was perfect.



About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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  1. Gloriamacy@aol.com says:

    Great Blog Patty !!! I think thee middle of Denver has been upgraded to a zone 6 …..is there some way to check on this ?? Sherrie and I were at the garden this morning for the Parker Perennial Garden Club tour, the temp was brutal !! I am going to send the Blog link to the club so they can follow now that they have been there. I think they will enjoy this !! See you tomorrow I hope !!! Gloria


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