Thursday, March 28, 2019

Denver Fling sponsors and Boulder wildscape garden

Sponsors -- making it possible, and FUN!  

Got plants, need tools? Got tools need plants?

CobraHead  "The best tool in earth!" Rugged, versatile, and easy to use. Top-quality and great selection.

Oakes Daylilies  Varieties that will perform well for you. Bigger plants, for more blooms quicker, freshly dug and shipped right away.

Plant Development Services (Encore Azalea, Southern Living Plant Collection, Sunset Western Garden Collection)   Innovative plants selected for their ability to solve specific landscape challenges. Top-performing plants with more blooms, more often!

We'll be seeing some of these great tools and fab plants at our (FREE) raffle. 

YOU could be a lucky winner!

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And now, an award-winning yard on our Fling tour.

Habitat Hero, a project of the Audubon Rockies, Plant Select and High Country Gardens, honored this Boulder yard that was transformed into a Habitat Hero wildscape.

Before: Does this look like a challenge, or what?

After: Transformation!

Lots of blooming perennials to supply pollen and nectar for hungry, busy pollinators, 
and eye-candy for us humans.

Flowers, vines, grasses

And water to quench their thirsts

You can't go wrong with zinnias to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and many more 
beneficial and delightful critters.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Gather, Learn & Grow: Fling origins and community featured on Cultivating Place podcast

On your next commute, workout, or while making dinner, tune into podcast Cultivating Place, whose host Jennifer Jewell interviews Judy Seaborn, lead organizer of this year’s Fling in Denver, and Pam Penick, a co-founder of the Fling, to hear their thoughts on what the Fling means to attendees, how it got started, what’s planned for Denver, and more! It’s all about growing community, which for most gardeners is as rewarding as growing plants.
The direct link to the podcast is here. You can find show notes and photos from past Flings here. The run-time is one hour.
By the way, there are still spots available for Denver Fling! If you’re a garden blogger who’d like to see gorgeous gardens and meet fellow bloggers from across North America and beyond, come join us. Registration info can be found here. The current list of attendees is here.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Denver Fling sponsor Botanical Interests and garden preview

Meet another top-level sponsor:

Botanical Interests, Inc.

Botanical Interests is a family-owned garden seed company, since 1995 offering over 600 varieties, including organics and heirlooms, that are specifically chosen to perform for home gardeners. What really sets us apart is the design of our seed packets that include beautiful illustrations, and not only extensive, helpful, horticultural information, but also other interesting information like the history of the plant, recipes, and tips like how to keep your cut flowers and harvested vegetables fresh. Utilizing the inside of the packet allows us more room to add all the other information that we know gardeners want and appreciate.
Our seed can be found in over 4,000 garden centers, specialty food stores, and hardware stores across the U.S. We pride ourselves on excellent and prompt customer service.
All of our seed is untreated, and we are proud to be one of the first seed companies to be Non-GMO ProjectVerified!

Customer Service (Individual Consumer): 877-821-4340 (M–F, 8:00 AM–4:00 PM, MST.)
Customer Service (Wholesale): 800-486-2647 (7:30 AM–5:00 PM, MST.)

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Preview of Fling tour gardens

A fabulous stone wall in a Boulder garden

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Jim Borland of Denver planted his xeriscape using no watering system, no soil amendments, and no mulch. He started in 1996 with 1,500 seed packets of previously collected wild seed sowed to 1,500 pots. 
The first 10,000 plants in the initial planting were watered overhead for establishment. 

Subsequent plantings were planted in late winter with no water applied then, or since.

He has not applied any water in years! 

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After-Fling Garden Tour: Pat Hayward

Pat's garden will be open to Fling attendees on Monday, June 17.

Pat and Joel's home is by the foothills of southwest Fort Collins against open spaces 
with great views

Friday, March 15, 2019

Beyond Denver - Part II

Beyond Denver - Part II

Several folks have been asking about more things to do and see in the area. We will branch further out for those who have time and the inclination.

In the Beyond Denver post of January 23, we got you as far west as Idaho Springs. If you are going this route on I70, take a small jog south to see what is possibly the most famous music venue in the world, Red Rocks Ampitheatre. (see the red circle on the map below Golden). During the day of no evening concert, you can enter it and also hike around it. 

If you continue west on I70,  you come to Georgetown (elev. 8,530 ft.). Another charming mountain town, it's rich in gold mining history, and has museums and hiking trails, and the "famous" Georgetown Loop Railroad

Continuing west (always west!), you will travel through the Eisenhower Tunnel, (elev. 11,158 ft.) approximately 1.6 miles long, under the Continental Divide. You quickly descend about 2,500 feet and come to the towns of Silvethorne, Frisco, and Dillon. Dillon Reservoir is a beauty, with lots of summer fun including boating, camping, biking, and picnicking.

Onward, to Vail and the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, the world's highest botanic garden at 8,200 ft. Vail is, of course, a famous ski town, so there are lots of shops and restaurants.

Head south to visit the city with highest elevation of any incorporated city in the United States, Leadville (elev. 10,151). Need I say, rich in mining history?

Enjoy the beauty of this high mountain valley. Be sure to drink lots of water!!!  If you do a little jog on Road 105, you can put a foot in the east and the other foot in the west at the same time by standing on either side of the Continental Divide at Hagerman Pass (elev. 11,925 ft.!) 

Starting back at Denver you can head north (about 67 miles) to Rocky Mountain National Park, and the town of Estes Park (elev. 7,522 ft.). The quickest way is to take I25 north to Hwy 66 west, then 36 north at the town of Lyons. There are scenic routes that will take longer, but may be worth it if you have time. There is a LONG list of things to do in the park, and in the quaint town of Estes Park, but be sure to see, or even stay in, the historic Stanley Hotel

From Denver, traveling to the east 39 miles, is the Wild Animal Sanctuarya 10,473-acre sanctuary for more than 500 rescued animals. It is the largest carnivore sanctuary in the world, designed and built like no others in existence, to ensure the animals' welfare remains top priority, even with the numerous modern comforts provided to visitors.

​With both large acreage natural habitats for the animals to live in, it includes the World's longest elevated footbridge so visitors can see the animals without putting pressure on them like all other zoo and sanctuary displays do.

If you are still here on June 22, head south for the Colorado Renaissance Festival (43 miles from the Hyatt; note the town of Larkspur on the map).

Take a magical tour through time and legend. As you wander down the village streets and pathways, ready thyself to revel with master revelers, watch artisans create original works of their ancient craft, and be taken in by the tantalizing aromas of roast turkey legs, steak on a stake, fresh baked goods, spinach pies, fryed pickles, and much more. Featuring a cast of hundreds of authentically-costumed merrymakers living and working throughout the village and performing, continuously, upon the Festival’s seven stages, the illusion of a rollicking 16th century festival day is created.

A bit farther south is Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center. (71 miles from the Hyatt), a registered National Natural Landmark.

Photographs cannot capture the beauty of this place; you must experience it. Hiking trails lead around 300' towering sandstone rock formations.

I must choose a place to stop here, because otherwise, I'd go on and on! Happy Spring, everybody!   ~Laura

Friday, March 8, 2019

Denver Fling sponsor and garden preview

Another one of our top-level sponsors:

John and Bob’s soil products are formulated to mimic how natural ecosystems build healthy, productive soil. A natural ecosystem is rarely challenged by pests or disease and it does not require fertilizer. Rich soil is the key to the long term health and reliable beauty of a natural ecosystem. John and Bob's feeds beneficial soil organisms with its unique blend of organic compounds, minerals and microbes. Our formulations use the same strategy that benefits self-sustaining plant communities all over the world.

The John and Bob's four product system of Optimize, Maximize, Nourish-Biosol and Penetrate, provides you with nature’s most powerful natural ingredients to infuse your soil with life. It's the easy, effective and organic way to make your soil healthy.

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2019 Fling Preview

A Lauren Springer garden

The Scripter’s garden, designed by Lauren Springer, was described in our January 18 post as the perfect place for a relaxing glass of wine while watching the sunset. That could not be "more true"!

The design of the garden mimics the surrounding landscape and includes 13 various species of grasses including little blue stem, switch grass, and tufted hair grass.

It backs to a huge open space of prairie meadow and farmland.  

It is important to note that although Springer designed the garden, the Scripters planted 3,300 plants over two growing seasons with their own hands!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Denver Fling: Proven Winners and Denver Botanic Gardens

The Garden Bloggers Fling is a non-profit organization; we would be nowhere without our generous sponsors! 

A big "thank-you" goes out to each and every one! 

Today we'd like to familiarize everyone with one of our top level sponsors

Proven Winners® ColorChoice® 

Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrubs are bred, tested, and selected to bring you more success with less effort. From longer bloom times and easy-care petite sizes, to lush foliage and grand blossoms on sturdy stems - enviable, easy-care gardens 
begin with the plants in the distinctive white pot.

When you see a Proven Winners® plant in the distinctive white pot, you see a national brand that stands for high quality and reliability. But what you may not see are the cooperative efforts that are constantly in play to ensure that our plants are unsurpassed in terms of flowering, growth habit, disease resistance and garden performance.

People might think of Proven Winners is one big, corporate entity, but the heart of Proven Winners is our cooperative of independent, family-owned propagation nurseries that work with thousands of local finishing nurseries and retail garden centers across North America to bring better plants and greater gardening enjoyment, to consumers. Our success, is their success. That’s why the support of plants bearing the Proven Winners name, and of the gardening industry as a whole, doesn’t stop when the sale is made. A big part of this support is through education.

We are constantly looking for new ways to raise awareness about gardening, to educate new generations of gardeners, and connect more people with the restorative power of plants. One way we do this by reaching out to, and partnering with, garden communicators like you. If there are shrubs you’d like to trial, or if you have an article or blog post featuring our shrubs, please let us know! We’d love to share your content across our social media channels, and we’re always here to supply photos and additional information about our plants.

Twitter Accounts: PWCC - also Garden PR -

Proven Winners® ColorChoice® flowering shrubs are best known for their outstanding hydrangeas. With bigger blooms, held up on strong, sturdy stems, it’s no wonder hydrangeas like ‘Limelight’, Incrediball®, and Invincibelle® Spirit II, which has led the charge in raising over $1 million for breast cancer research, have become household names. The 2019 Hydrangea of the Year, Fire Light®Hydrangea Paniculata, is also gaining lots of attention for its super-hardy, easy to grow qualities, plus gorgeous blooms that emerge creamy-white and age to a vivid red for lots of summer color.

Proven Winners® is also donating our lanyards, and live plants for our Fling raffle! 

Let's see what the Denver Botanic Gardens has in store for us.

Alliums and poppies make a beautiful color contrast

Your eyes will focus on the round pass-through, but look down at the walkway. It's made of thousands of oval stones placed upright, next to each other -- a real piece of artwork.

The Japanese Garden is wondrous.

Flowers abound

There is no shortage of artwork amid the landscaping

Water always makes for a tranquil feeling

The Cactus and Succulent House has a whole lot of specimens in a small space.

One of several crevice gardens.

 A tropical oasis awaits in the Conservatory

The Woodland Mosaic Garden features a historic solarium surrounded by tall trees

This 23-acre park has so much to see; and it's ever-changing as plants mature, some get replaced, more art is added, spaces are filled, gardens are re-worked, and so on. 
Those of you on an extended stay in Denver may want to come back to explore every inch!