The Horticultural Art Society of Colorado Springs is looking for a friendly, hard-working, experienced gardener to care for our public gardens near downtown Colorado Springs. Work 40 hours/week April – October; 20 hours/month November – March, under the direction of board of trustees with the help of garden volunteers. Contact us at email@example.com, include your bio, and we will send you a job application.
by Erin Eisen
As it is February—still winter—and it is too early to do anything out in our gardens, we thought it would be fun to canvas some of our HAS Board members and ask what plant they thought stood out this past year. Some of their favorites just might become yours this next year!
Photo Credit: Chella DiMenza
Chella DiMenza: This beauty is Eriophyllum lanatum ‘Takilma Gold’ or Oregon Sunshine. It has a wonderful bloom of bright yellow bi-colored flowers over a mound of evergreen woolly gray foliage. It blooms from spring to fall. A native wildflower, it is growing in a Zone 4 environment at 8500 ft. It likes full sun, with low/medium water. Deer leave it alone! The pollinators love the bright flowers. I have been able to divide the root ball of the original plant and move to other areas with great success.
Nancy Taylor: When arriving in Colorado six years ago, knowing nothing (NOTHING) about gardening here, I learned that Lady’s Mantle can be a good friend, not a nuisance. A local landscaper had planted some in one of our semi-shady flower beds where over time they mushroomed into a gigantic width, encouraging division and donation.
Interestingly shaped leaves and chartreuse flower bracts are redeeming qualities. The flowers can also be dried for arrangements. Lady’s Mantle Alchemilla A. mollis) grows 12-14″ tall.
Photo Credit: Terry Webb:
Terry Webb: I always thought this was Salvia ‘Heatwave’, a real hummingbird magnet. It survived the light freeze/snow in early September and just bit the dust with this past week’s hard freeze (late October). It has seen several years in my yard, which has poor soil and is windy and dry. I watered it only a couple of times this year although it is planted at the base of a large rock (which retains moisture). I leave it up over the winter, cutting it back in spring when I see a little green coming up. The problem is, it might be an Agastache (my investigation yielded confusion)! It grows to be about 36”x40“ high, and is deer- and rabbit-resistant.
Photo Credit: Terry Webb
Terry Webb: This groundcover, Teucrium cossonii, can be purchased from Perennial Favorites and High Country Gardens. Sometimes it is sold as T. aroanium. I learned from Panayoti Kelaidis, in a blog called ‘A Tangled Tale of Two Teucriums’, that cossonii is the only correct name. This is also deer- and rabbit-resistant, and seems to appreciate dry conditions. It is 2-3” high, and 28” wide at two years. Pollinators love it. I love it too.
Photo Credit: Allexia Arcuri
Allexia Arcuri: My favorite plant this year was my Opuntia Cactus “Peach Pie”, which I bought from Kelly Grummons. It is a cold hardy cactus and did not disappoint. I had five flower blooms, which were like beautiful little apricot jewels shimmering in the sunlight. During winter, the cactus pads develop a purple wash. This plant is truly a diamond in the rough!
Photo Credit: Plant Select
Diane Engles: The plant that has performed splendidly for me this year is Windwalker™ Royal Red Salvia (darcyi x microphylla Windwalker™) from Plant Select. I bought four plants in 2.5 inch pots this spring and they grew in quickly reaching 3′ tall by 2′ wide, blooming repeatedly throughout the summer into September. This salvia is hardy to Zone 5. I was concerned that the color might be hard to combine but it is a crimson, dusky red that looks good with many colors, including pink. It was fun to watch hummers feeding on the blooms–it truly is a hummingbird magnet! I’m looking forward to an even better show next year.
Photo Credit: Susan Flynn
Susan Flynn: I love my Moonlight Broom (Cytisus scoparius ‘Moonlight‘ ). It is just lovely every single year, no matter what, and it is so fragrant as well. This is a picture I took this past spring. It grows up to 5’x5’ and is hardy to Zone 5b.
Photo Credit : Erin Eisen
Erin Eisen: My favorite plant, unexpectedly, was an annual that outperformed itself in my front porch containers. This picture is a result of the growth of small 2-3” pots of Begonia Waterfalls Encanto Pink (Beekenkamp Plants), combined with Proven Winners’ Graceful Grasses Toffee Twist.
I have some serious deer issues, but they stayed off the front porch and didn’t touch my planters (at least until the fall when they started getting hungry). I may have to try for a repeat performance this year!
by Louise Conner
Bird and wildlife populations have been taking a hit lately. To encourage more birds in your neighborhood, follow these tips when you work in your garden this fall.
Save the seeds. Seed heads of coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, and other native wildflowers provide a helpful food cache for birds. Grasses—not the stuff you mow, but native species like bluestems or gramas—also make for good foraging after they go to seed. And letting other dead plants stick around can fill your property with protein-packed bird snacks in the form of insect larvae.
Leave the leaves. “Those leaves are important because they rot and enrich the soil, and also provide places for bugs and birds to forage for food,” says Tod Winston, Audubon’s Plants for Birds program manager. If a fully hands-off approach doesn’t work for your yard, consider composting some leaves and letting the rest be. You could also rake them from the lawn to your garden beds, or mulch them with a mower to nourish your lawn.
Leaf litter isn’t just free fertilizer—it’s also provides a patch of habitat for a variety of small critters. “If you’re digging in the garden and come upon these squirmy little coppery-brown dudes, and you don’t know what they are—those are moth pupae,” Winston says. A healthy layer of undisturbed soil and leaf litter means more moths, which in their caterpillar phase are a crucial food source for birds.
Build a brush pile. Rather than hauling away fallen tree limbs, use them to build a brush pile that will shelter birds from lousy weather and predators. Juncos, Black-capped Chickadees, and other wintering birds will appreciate the protection from the elements. Rabbits, snakes, and other wildlife also will take refuge there. You’ll find that the pile settles and decomposes over the seasons ahead, making room for next year’s additions. (And it’s a great place to dispose of your Christmas tree.)
Skip the chemicals. In most cases, grass clippings and mulched leaf litter provide plenty of plant nutrition, and you can skip store-bought fertilizers. Generally speaking, native grasses, shrubs, trees, and flowering plants don’t need chemical inputs. Save a few bucks and keep your yard healthy for bugs and birds.
Hit the nursery. Consider creating a bird-friendly backyard by planting native shrubs and trees. (Cooler temperatures also make fall a more comfortable time to tear out some turf grass and expand your native plant garden.) Golden currants, hawthorns, sumacs, and other native flowering shrubs produce small fruits that not only feed birds during the colder months, but can also provide a welcome pop of color when winter gets drab. Planted in the right place, evergreens like cedars and firs give birds something to eat and a cozy shelter. Fall is also a great time to liven up your property with late-blooming perennials such as asters or sages—and to buy spring- and summer-blooming wildflowers at a substantial discount.
To find species suited to your yard, just enter your ZIP code in Audubon’s native plants database. If you plant trees or shrubs this fall, they might not bear fruit this year—but come next winter, you and your backyard birds will be glad you did.
From: “To Help Birds This Winter, Go Easy on Fall Yard Work” by Andy McGlashen. View entire article at: https://www.audubon.org/news/to-help-birds-winter-go-easy-fall-yard-work
by Diane Engles, HAS Trustee
Tulipa Kaufmanniana Ancilla
Photo Credit: Thesupermat / CC BY-SA
When we think of tulips, we tend to think of the tall, showy Dutch hybrids. However, the earliest known tulips were discovered growing wild in central Asia and Turkey. These showy little natives were introduced into Holland in the 16th century, and careful breeding over generations has produced the hybrids that we see on the market today.
The species tulips deserve their own place in our gardens. They are extremely hardy — some to zone 2; they naturalize well, and open wider than the hybrids to allow pollinators to collect their nectar and pollen. They are shorter than the hybrids and they look great in the front of borders, as naturalized drifts, or in rock gardens.
Species tulips have a wide range of colors and many are fragrant; some have multiple blooms per stem. A bonus with some of them is foliage that is beautifully mottled and striped, lending interest when not in bloom. There are many species readily available including kaufmanniana, batallini, and tarda to name a few.
The Gregii tulip (Tulipa gregii) originated in Turkistan. Many cultivars have been produced since its introduction in 1872. Gregii tulips grow 8-12 inches tall and have beautiful mottled and striped foliage. Some have multiple flowers up to 4 inches wide per stem. When open in full sun they attract pollinators. Gregii tulips are are most effective planted in groups of 10-15 bulbs. All are hardy to Zone 3.
Pinocchio (Tulipa humilis ‘Pinocchio’) has ivory white blooms marked with scarlet flames and a bronze heart. It blooms in early to mid spring and naturalizes readily increasing the show over the years. It grows 6-10 inches tall.
Red Riding Hood (Tulipa humilis ‘Red Riding Hood’) was introduced in 1953. Still very popular, it won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Merit in 1993. Its purple mottled leaves are beautiful on their own. Red Riding Hood’s bright scarlet blooms reveal a small black heart when open. It grows 6-12 inches tall and blooms mid-season.
Toronto is also award-winning and one of the most popular of all Greigii Tulips. It has multiple flowers on one stem featuring tangerine-red petals tinged bronze-green at their bases Toronto looks great underplanted with Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa luciliae). It blooms mid-season.
Another species of note with many cultivars is Tulipa humilis, which hails from Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Iran, and the North Caucasus region of Russia. Its preferred habitat is rocky mountain slopes. Many cultivars are lilac and purple as is Persian Pearl.
Persian Pearl (Tulipa humilis ‘Persian Pearl’) is diminutive growing only 4-6 inches tall. Its blossoms are showy purple-red with a yellow center. Persian Pearl naturalizes easily and is hardy to Zone 3. It blooms early to mid season.
The Blue Eyed Tulip (Tulipa humilis ‘Alba Caerulea Oculata’) steps outside the purple zone featuring fragrant white blooms with blue eyes. It grows 6-8 inches tall and is hardy to Zone 3. It blooms early to mid season.
Finally I’ll mention Tulipa clusiana, the Lady Tulip. It is an Asian species native to Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and the Western Himalayas. It is widely cultivated and has reportedly naturalized in parts of Europe, Greece and Turkey.
Lady Jane tulip (Tulipa cluisiana ‘Lady Jane’) has blooms of rosy reddish-pink, edged in white; the flowers open to a white interior giving this variety a delightful candy cane look. Lady Jane grows 12-14 inches tall, and blooms mid to late season. It is hardy to Zone 3.
Cynthia (Tulipa cluisinana ‘Cynthia’) has won the Royal Horticultural Society’s award of merit. Her exterior petals are red, edged in chartreuse and open to a chartreuse-yellow interior. Cynthia grows 8-10 inches tall and is hardy to Zone 3.
These smaller species tulips are well worth adding to gardens large and small to provide beauty and food for pollinators in springtime.
Where: HAS Cottage backyard, behind the fence — 224 Mesa Road
When: Saturday September 19
9-12 Members Only, 12-3 Open to Everyone
HAS members receive 10% off $100 purchase!
We are holding our fall Bulb Sale Fundraiser in the Cottage Backyard. Shopping this sale will help support the gardens during this difficult time.
We have a selection of alliums with large globe shaped blooms and deer resistant daffodils. We are also excited that our wholesaler has started carrying species tulips such as greggii and kaufmanniana. We are offering 3 of these great naturalizers that look good in front of borders and in rock gardens.
Let’s Stay Safe:
-Face masks are required
-Maintain 6-ft distance from others
-A limited number of people will be let in each section of the garden at a time to maintain social-distancing recommendations
-Pay with a check (preferred) or credit card at the event
Please browse list of bulbs below ahead of time, print, and mark your choices.
Ambassador Zone 4, up to 4 feet tall, $7 each
Gladiator Zone 4 , 3-4 feet tall, $5 each
Globemaster Zone 4, 2-3 feet tall, $7 each
Purple Sensation, Zone 3, 20-30″ tall, deep violet purple, $1 each
Bantam Zone 4, 18-20 inches tall, mid season, $1.15 each
Blushing Lady Zone 4, 16 inches tall, mid – late season, $1 each
Martinette Zone 3, 14-16 inches tall, mid season, 75 cents each
Poeticus recurvus Zone 4, 6-18 inches tall, late season, $1 each
Red Devon Zone 4, 16 inches tall, mid season, 75 cents each
Katharine Hodgkin Zone 5, 4-5 inches tall, early spring, 60 cents each
Pinocchio Zone 3, 10 inches tall, early-mid season, 75 cents each
Red Riding Hood Zone 3 10 inches tall, mid season, 75 cents each
Toronto Zone 3, 12 inches tall, mid season, 75 cents each