With the abundance of rain this spring and summer my perennial flower beds, shrubs and vegetable garden have exploded in riotous colors and delicious salad delights. And the carpet of wildflowers is a sight to see at 8,500 feet around my home. Many perennial plants such as Blue Flax (Linum perenne), Cranesbill (Geranium spp. ‘Johnson’s blue’), Cornflower/Bachelor Button (Centaurea montana), Meadow Rue (Thalictrum aquilegifolium), Catmint (Nepeta spp. ‘Walkers low’), Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale), Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) are large and full of color.
Another perennial that has exceeded prior seasons’ height and blooms are my Lupines (Lupinus 'Russell hybrids’). Thru the years I have amended the soil and fought with voles and pocket gophers not defend the Lupines. This year they are strong and brilliant with bright yellow, pink, red, violet and white flowers. A big bonus of enjoyment and inspiration!
|Lupine (Lupinus spp. ‘Russell hybrid’)|
Small but plentiful in my vegetable garden is the Viola (Viola ‘Johnny jump up’). These have re-seeded and multiplied from a tiny four-pack I planted a couple of years ago. I am transplanting them around the house to keep them from taking over the spinach and mustard-green bed.
|Viola (Viola ‘Johnny jump up’)|
|Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris blue)|
|Painted Daisy (Tanacetum coccineum) and Harebell/Bluebell (Campanula rotundifolia)|
For additional mountain gardening resources go to www.ext.colostate.edu. Fact sheets from CSU Extension are free to download. Search for the fact sheet #.
7.244 Colorado Mountain Garden Basics
7.406 Flowers for Mountain Communities
7.413 Ground Covers and Rock Garden Plants for Mountain Communities
7.423 Shrubs and Trees for Mountain Communities