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In Colorado, we don’t have a whole lot of really wet areas. But those that are wet stay wet.  The wonderful clay soil that we have all along the Front Range doesn’t allow water to drain through very quickly, so those low areas in yards or neighborhoods can be quite treacherous for plants.  Below are some great trees of different sizes that not only can deal with, but thrive in these soggy areas.


Wow, we have had some hot days here lately! I noticed that some lawns are starting to suffer because of those long hot days. Many times even if you turn up the water you still can get some hot spots. There are some things you can do to help with those spots.

Along the Front Range, we all know, that there is no lack of hot dry areas in the summer.  Sometimes it seems like a daunting task to find plants that can handle our extreme heat.  We have plenty of perennials that are tough enough to handle our extremes and yet can still add beauty to your yard.  Here are a few of my favorite xeric perennials that add a lot of color to the landscape.

Sunset Hyssop

For great mid-summer color, we have to rely almost exclusively on perennials.  This week I wanted to highlight some of the more unusual varieties that have caught my eye. If these aren’t exactly right for you, I’m certain we have something that will work for you.

The McLelland’s started an apple orchard in Fort Collins in the late 1800’s.  This apple orchard took up a good deal of land on the south part of Fort Collins. The McLelland’s would sell scions (cuttings from the apple trees) to the public to make a living. 

In 1969 they sold one acre of land to a young couple to use as a plant nursery. Thus, Fossil Creek nursery was born. Over the years, we have picked and sold many apples(from the previous location) in the fall. Fossil Creek Nursery has been in its current location for a little over fourteen years.

Roses are a great example of plants that respond to dead heading. If you dead head  a rose (meaning pruning of the spent flowers) you will speed up its time to re-bloom. Pruning the spent flower back to the first set of five leaves (leaves on roses grow in groups of three, four and five) will make the plant re-bloom sooner.

Not all, but many perennials will continue to bloom if dead headed, however dead heading will make the plant look much better, as well as help the plant stay healthy.

In continuing with my series of plants outside the box, this week I will highlight some of the more unusual evergreens that we carry.  These plants make for great focal points in any landscape.  Like the unusual flowering plants that I highlighted a few weeks back, these plants are in lower supply, which means that it is very likely that you would be the only house on the block (or perhaps in the entire city) with one of these specimens.  We have many very unique specialty evergreens; here are three of my favorite weeping varieties.

It is hot and water helps plants deal with the heat. Don’t water the foliage during the heat of the day, since this will scorch most plants.

So we had our wet cool weather and now suddenly it got hot and with the sudden change in temperature, we have been seeing quite a lot of fungus. For example, it is visible already in brown patches in lawns, as well as in our trees with black spots on aspen and rust on crabapple trees.

We have also seen tons of aphids. We have Lady Bugs to take care of them naturally or we can recommend a spray.

Shrub roses are a great way to achieve a lot summer color without much work.  They are more convenient than old-fashioned hybrid tea roses in that many shrub roses will bloom all summer long without deadheading.  Furthermore, most shrub roses have a higher disease resistance than hybrid teas and are far more cold hardy, which means they don't need to be collared.  This low maintenance way of enjoying roses is a great option that can give your yard that color boost you were looking for throughout the summer.  These are a few of my favorite shrub roses.

In our world of repetition, routine, mass production, and conformity we all get the urge from time to time to get "outside the box" so to speak.  We all can become artists and individualists with our yard as the canvas.  Over the course of the year I will outline some plants that aren't as commonly used and are far less likely to be seen in your neighbors' yards.  Due to the fact that these are more unusual plants, they are generally available in limited quantities, but could possibly be the focal point of your yard and perhaps be the talk of the neighborhood.