Tag Archives: Outdoors

How container gardens can convert your balcony or patio into an oasis

SPRING POTS

Photos by Colleen Smith.

Container gardens yield many benefits — not the least of which are lovely, low-maintenance landscapes and fresh veggies bursting from small spaces.

“The biggest benefit is that container gardening is great for people without soil to grow in, whether they live in small spaces or have balconies, or HOAs that don’t allow changes to landscaping,” said Brien Darby, manager of urban food programs at Denver Botanic Gardens.

For more information, read the full article.

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Create an outdoor room with a pergola

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A pergola by Chad Beall of Tree Frog Woodworking Inc.

To add classic garden architecture and define an outdoor space, a pergola nails it. For homes or commercial spaces, pergolas deliver both form and function. Whether attached to a building or as a stand-alone structure, a pergola can provide privacy, shade, a ceiling of sorts to an outdoor room, a focal point and a support for vines.

For more information, read the full article.

 

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Transition outdoor living space from summer to fall and winter

Birdsall & Co home and garden shop reopens in Englewood, Colorado.

Photo: Helen H. Richardson of The Denver Post

Autumn is upon us, with summer a memory and Old Man Winter not far away. Now is a perfect time to spruce up the garden for fall and beyond. We’ll likely have plenty of days to enjoy outdoor living, and a few adjustments will make your garden, patio or porch more appealing and more comfortable.

In my article for The Denver Post, professional designers share their expert tips. And there’s a beautiful slide show that might spark your creativity, too.

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Celebrate autumn with fall container gardens

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The end of summer doesn’t necessarily mean the end of container gardens. You can swap out leggy, tired plants and pop in a few fresh plantings or replant fall containers entirely for a fresh autumnal look that will last. If you live in a climate with cold winters, many plants will even tolerate a frost.

My article published by The Denver Post includes lots of tips from landscape designers who specialize in fall container gardens. You may read my article at this link.

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Pansies and violas perfect for spring or fall

PANSIES

Photo from Joe Amon of The Denver Post

The wonderful thing about pansies and violas is that they’re perfect plants either for early spring or for autumn. Pansies–many of which are appreciated for their little flower faces–can even weather a winter storm and come out smiling, so they’re ideal plants to perk up autumn containers, borders or beds.
And remember, pansies are edible, too. As long as you’re growing organically, you may add blossoms to salads, deserts or as a garnish.
My article published in The Denver Post has plenty of pansy tips from professional growers.

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End of summer propagation projects: save seeds, take cuttings

seeds

Seed saving and propagation stretches any gardening budget.

As August winds down, many gardens are revved up. Now is an ideal time to collect some seeds for next season and take some cuttings to propagate over winter. Saving seeds and propagating plants will stretch your garden budget and give you a green-thumb fix during the dead of winter.
The Denver Post published my article about propagating plants, and the piece includes lots of tips from the woman known as “the Propagation Queen” at Denver Botanic Gardens. You may read the article here.
Easy seeds to save include hollyhocks, cosmos, marigolds, and many other annuals and bi-annuals. You might want to take cuttings from zonal geraniums, angel wing begonias, succulents, or herbs such as sage and rosemary. All you need is a sunny window or some grow lights, and you’ll have an indoor garden.
The best part is when spring comes and you have plants ready to go outdoors without purchasing them.

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Herbs: Super plants with superpowers

Sage

Wise gardeners grow sage: it’s easy and can be put to many uses | Photo by: Colleen Smith

As a seasoned garden writer, people with self-proclaimed black-thumbs often ask me which plants are easiest to grow. I always answer, “Herbs!” Most herbs grow easy without mollycoddling. What’s more, you can harvest herbs and put them to use in your kitchen–and even your bathroom. Culinary herbs add flavor to food and can cut down on salt intake. Many herbs stand in as medicine or can be made into personal care products such as bath scrubs or balms.

You can grow herbs even if you don’t have a large garden. Many herbs fare well in containers on a patio or lanai.

My article published in The Denver Post features tips from the longtime tender of the herb garden at Denver Botanic Gardens. You may read the article here.

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