Courageous Gardening

Even though its February, I am ready to get outside and dig in the dirt.  I’m ready to see what made it over the winter, watch for early blooming crocus and start my compost pile up again.

I love walking around my yard, noting what looks good, what needs to be relocated or taken out and what area can I add new plants to.  Last Fall, we had a very large spreading juniper removed from the southeast side of our house.  I now have a barren spot approximately 15′ deep and 20′ wide.  What an opportunity!  I have been thinking about what to plant in this spot all winter long.  With full sun and regular irrigation, the choices are endless.  I have been studying all of the garden catalogs looking for ideas and inspiration but sometimes I find what looks good in the catalog does not do well in our high desert climate and heavy soils.  It doesn’t keep me from trying though.

I love experimenting with new and unusual plants in my garden.  I’ve planted many things in my garden that I thought would do well but really had no chance.  Like lupines.  I love lupines.  They remind me of  the Texas Bluebonnets I enjoyed while living in Houston and Dallas. Unfortunately, lupines don’t like Grand Junction.  They just don’t like our alkaline soils and the pH in my backyard is 8.5.

My newest experiment is an oakleaf hydranga.   I planted one in my front yard last October as well as one in a clients yard.  Starting with creamy white flowers in Spring that turn soft pink in Fall, brilliant Fall foliage and exfoliating bark that puts on a show all winter long.  What more could you ask for!   We both think its a chance worth taking.  I’ll be sure to post pictures here of its progress this year.  Cross your fingers.

 Have fun in your garden this year and experiment with something new.

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