Who's here in 2014?

Skybird - z5, Denver, ColoradoFebruary 27, 2014

Hi Everyone,

We haven't done this for a couple years, and I keep seeing new and seldom-seen names around here, so let's find out again this year who's here and, hopefully, a little bit about everyone!

This is the 2014 Rocky Mountain Gardening Role Call! Welcome all Newbies, Lurkers, and even all you Oldies! Please sign in to let us know you're here with us on the Friendliest Little Gardening Forum in the West!

Please tell us a little about yourselves. Where do you live, and if it's in one of the big cities, roughly where you are in the urban area. What are your gardening interests? Veggies, perennials, annuals, trees, bushes--something else??? Do you garden in the ground, raised beds, pots? Are you new to gardening, you've been doing it for a few years now and are "getting there," or have you been doing it for fifty years--but there's still always some surprises!?? What do you love to do in the garden, what do you hate to do!, what do you WISH you could do??? [If you think of something you'd like to ask about when you're posting here, we'd love to hear from you, but please start a separate thread with your gardening questions so everyone will see them and have an opportunity to respond--and so we can keep this thread just for introductions and meeting each other.]

The first couple years I started this thread I asked everyone to tell us about themselves--but forgot to tell anything about me, so here it is! I think I may have been born with dirt in my veins! When I was three I went out to our garden to pick some peas to eat raw and since the peas were right next to the lawn I sat down on the grass to start picking--and I sat on a bee! My first (painful!) introduction to bees! By the mid-'50s my parents had started growing and selling perennials--for the post-WW II building boom--and by the time I was 10 or 11 I was out in the growing fields, barefoot, waiting on the customers and digging up the field-grown plants for them. My uncle, right next door, had a bunch of greenhouses where he grew cut flowers, was a florist (my father was a florist before the Depression--long before me!), and where he grew and sold veggies and bedding plants in spring. I helped, at different times, with all that stuff too!

Then I grew up, life got real, and I had to get a real job! I grew up in a Chicago suburb and moved to Denver--my Home Sweet Home--in 1964. In 1993 I finally decided it was time to start doing something I actually enjoyed again and I got a job at a small garden center on north Pecos Street in Denver, about a year later they moved to a very large space across from Westminster Mall, and a couple years after that they discovered they had bitten off more than they could chew and they closed their retail location completely--they still have a large growing facility on 73rd Avenue in far north Denver. Commercial growing is not my thing, it's the customers I enjoy, so at that point, 1996, I went over to Paulino's, working in the perennial department, and stayed there till 2000 when I was able to go back to the job I really love, flying! But since I'm an Officially Retired Little Olde Lady now I guess I'd probably reverse what it says in my bio and say that gardening and perennials are my first love, and flying is my second love! And, the gardening I plan to continue doing as long as I can walk, crawl, roll, or in any other possible way, get out into the dirt! I can't imagine being alive and not being able to dig in the dirt and watch things grow!

I live in Thornton, on the north end of the Denver Metro area and, unfortunately, I have a very typically small residential lot. Virtually every square inch of exposed soil--if you could call it that--is planted with something! Yes, I do still have some lawn, tho in my backyard (where I do most of my gardening) I have to admit that a little bit more tends to disappear every year! I've lived in this house for ten years now, and when I moved in I started with some of the most horrendous (potter's quality) clay I had ever seen. I keep working on it--and it's gradually starting to improve! Still has a ways to go, but most good things take time! I have a painfully small area for veggies, but I do my best to make use of every little bit of it! And, besides the veggies, I grow--you guessed it--perennials! I love the amazing variety of perennials, and I love to try different ones to see how they work for me. (And I love being able to give things away at the swaps if I decide they're not right for me!) It doesn't seem like I change very many things each year, but when I look back at pictures of my perennial gardens the first couple years after I moved in here I'm surprised by how VERY different they are now! My perennial beds will continue to evolve, and I'll continue to enjoy the ever-changing forms and colors of my perennials. I also have a pretty large compost pile, but that's a whole other story and maybe one of these days I'll need to start an "updated" compost thread! But I can't imagine not having a compost pile, and I consider it very worthwhile to use the space for the compost rather than more planting space.

Just one more comment! When people have questions here on RMG, especially perennial questions, I really enjoy being able to try to help with ideas and recommendations. That's why I keep hanging around this place! Oh, and the great company helps too! :-)

Now it's your turn! Who's here in 2014?

A gardener forever,

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MargaretMontana here. I am an old timer on the forum. Live south of Hamilton Montana on 5 acres. Did Farmers Market for 10-12 years. Had to quit 2 years ago as my husband could no longer help me and it was too much for me. I worked in the Extension Office for 17 years so have a lot of experience with plants, diseases, bugs and weeds. I used to have 2 hoop houses and a garden of 20 x 100 feet. Have gone down now to 1 smaller hoop house and 20 x 30 feet. I help out the Senior Center,the food bank and friends and neighbors with vegetables and fruit. At one time was growing 125 tomatoes mostly heirloom and a variety of peppers and cukes in the hoop houses. Now down to about 20 plants. Have a lot of perennials and a small fruit orchard. My weather is very similar to Steve's and Durango CO. Have a lot of family in Colorado so familiar with some of the areas.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:09PM
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I moved from Montana to Niwot, CO last May. (Originally from VA) Had beautiful perennial gardens, vegetable raised beds, and a glorious cherry tree! Trying to keep my new space more under control ( hahah ). I have removed lots of landscaping stones to start some perennials, cut flowers and roses. Planted my cherry tree and a Mt. Royal plum. My wonderful husband built me 4 4'x8' raised beds for vegetables. So I am really itching for spring to come.
I really love learning about and improving soil, composting, and taking care of my "worm ranch" in the basement. I also brew AACT.
I love CO and hope to meet you all!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:44AM
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david52 Zone 6

I'm over here in the Four Corners region with 3 acres of high desert and a ridiculous amount of irrigation water. Spent my career overseas then was hit with a paralyzing autoimmune disease which put an end to any kind of serious employment, so now I raise our kids, one still in high school, the others on the left and right coasts, while my wife does the heavy lifting. I did the farmers market for 4 years, but then had to stop for health reasons. I spoiled the kids with home-grown food, now I grow stuff I can send them - bags of dried tomatoes, specialty garlic, jams and chutneys and sauces, etc.

I love to propagate plants which allows mass plantings - what else to do with 3 acres? Current multi-year project is line my deer fence with clematis vines. The nights are so cool here that its hard to grow peppers and eggplant, so I have an armada of containers for these.

Currently experimenting with stabilizing some mixed-parentage pepper varieties, terre preta gardening with all this charcoal I get from a new wood stove.

This post was edited by david52 on Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 1:21

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:15PM
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Hi Gardener Forever & Everyone, I'm Steve.

I just have a small lot here at home with some protective growing but I have gardens in 3 locations. I just say Hauser Lake, Idaho. That's kind of central. I'm a commuting gardener!

My first gardening was in my parent's gardens on a farm in southern Oregon. Then, I had gardens of my own on the coast of northern California. My parents, brother and I moved here where my mother was born and near her family's homestead from the 1890's. I have lived & gardened on both sides of the Idaho/Washington border for nearly 50 years!

Traveling as far as 20 miles these days, and to pay for all my driving during the growing season, DW and I sell extra produce at a farmers' market. Veggies are what I'm most interested in growing. Altho' I grew up on a farm and worked for farmers as a young adult, I worked in a commercial rose greenhouse for quite awhile. Then, I went to work as a wholesale florist. A lot of what we now sell is cut flowers but I have no skills with arranging. That isn't what is expected from us at the markets, anyway - fortunately!

I like annual gardens and have the weeds cleared out well at the beginning and the end of the season. Since these off-site gardens are on property belonging to someone else, that's important to them as well as to me. Veggies are more fun for me. Flowers are "frivolous." I mean, we eat every day don't we?

For one brief season 2 years ago, ALL of my gardens were in beds with permanent paths. They are still there but I expanded things in 2013 and did that with the help of the "tractor guy." No beds on that ground yet. They aren't "raised" beds anyway. Cultivating with a spading fork is the way I "like to do things." "Things" are just a little too extensive for me to do that everywhere in the gardens right now. If they don't shrink some, I don't think I can ever get away from a dang noisy, smelly rototiller even if I can wave good bye to the tractor guy!

I have real problems sharing the produce with pests. I work pretty hard trying to get the soil in good condition for my garden plants and NOT for opportunistic weeds!

Some surprises!?? Gee, you'd think I'd experienced all those by now . . . No. Gardening is about a whole combination of things: varieties, techniques, likes/dislikes, and weather. There's always something NEW and far more is going on out there than I'll ever know!

Mostly what I enjoy about gardening is being productive. I'm kind of olde and remember what my now 96 year old father did when he first retired - nuthin' . . . He hated it! Then, he found some things to do and even made a little money. That is kind of how we measure what is worthwhile, or not. I mean, you can only "putter" so much before you start feeling like "why in Heavens am I bothering with this?!" Right? Mostly tho' - I want to eat! Yeah. Good food from the gardens.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 4:03PM
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Nice Bios'. I am Gloria, I have been in Colorado since 1998, where i spent my time in Boulder county, Wash park, Denver, Commerce City and now Ive been in Westminster since 2007. I love every aspect of gardening and sometimes go way overboard with propagation in the spring, but oh well, I just love it. I have been improving the soil for the last 7 years and have removed all the grass from my side lot. I utilize many raised beds. I love ornamentals as well as food crops. I wish I had a bigger space....maybe someday. I have been on gardenweb since 2005. I very much enjoy this site and love to participate in our bi-annual swaps. It is so nice to share the passion of gardening with others who love it as much as I do...Happy 2014 Growing season.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 2:01PM
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Hi, I'm Liz and live outside Elizabeth Co. We have 10 acres that I would love to cover with perennial beds! Slowly starting around the house and moving outward, learning what grows well and is deer resistant and how to protect those plants that I love enough now to care that the deer love them, too! I grew up in East Texas so am still getting used to the arid, short growing season here in Colorado. Love to experiment with new growing methods, beds and plants.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 8:15PM
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I'm Sam and have lived in Denver for 2 years in Wash Park. We just bought our first house and our yard is pretty much a blank slate, though we have some lovely trees. We're excited to do a lot of planting this spring. I grew up in OH and spent the 10 years prior to Denver in NYC with no outdoor space, and I'm learning about what grows well here. Last year at our rental we did annuals and a vegetable garden and I experimented with dahlias, but we didn't want to invest much more. No we can do whatever we want!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 12:56AM
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catnohat here. My husband and I moved to Colorado from Indiana in 2001. We bought our first house in Old town Brighton in 2003. These old neighborhoods have pretty large yards and old elm trees!.We have cut down 3 large elms since we moved here due to death and disease and still have 2 in front of the house. We do have a nice thornless honey locust tree still. Anyway, when we bought the house the back yard was rather shady and empty except for a couple lilacs and a honeysuckle bush. There is also a small pear tree that is either ornamental or just too shaded by the locust to produce much.

The large rectangle backyard was mostly weeds when we bought the house. I put in some in ground beds, pea gravel paths and a putting green of grass over the years. Last year I added a "rustic pergola", strawberry patch, and morning glory T-pee. It's all very rustic and cottage garden like with everything kinda mixed together. I grow an amature variety of herbs, flowers and vegetables! This year I am trying potatoes for the first time and we will see if I didn't kill my 2 climbing roses that I put in last year. Also new to my yard this summer will be hollyhocks. (I put them in last year, hoping they will get big this year.) I am really trying to get some height in my flowers. I want a big, wild, overgrown, secret garden type yard for my 7 year old daughter to enjoy!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:13PM
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My husband and I moved to Arvada, the Lake Arbor area, about four years ago, I started gardening about that time. So I haven't been doing it for too long. I am getting really excited to get started! I've done pretty well with tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, and beans. I have a raspberry patch that grew taller than me last year, and I got tons of raspberries! This year I want to try some potatoes, basil, and pumpkins.

My yard needs quite a bit of help. My goals for this spring/summer/fall are to work on my lawn, and to section out my back yard. Right now it's just a big mess of weeds with a little lawn thrown in.

I'm excited to join the forum and get to know other gardner's and get your expertise with my garden. Hopefully I'll be able to be of help to someone as well.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:40PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

I've lived in Colorado since 2000, but moved from the Front Range to the Glenwood Springs area in 2006. Started out with flower gardening, and moved more towards edibles over time. I lease a plot at the local community garden each year, and have a small veggie bed, and herb bed here at the house, plus a few fruit trees, grapevines, etc. I also do a good bit of canning, freezing, and dehydrating.

My family situation is complicated at the moment, and I went from a stay-at-home mom to a working full-time mom, so not sure how much time I will have to garden this season, or be on the forums, but I will try to pop in when I can.

Wishing everyone a bountiful growing season!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:42PM
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Golden David

I’m a recent gardenweb joiner, only getting involved regarding my kitchen renovation this past winter. This is on a house I bought in Golden in 2012, so I have one season in its vegetable garden under my belt. Previously I dabbled in container gardening for herbs and some vegetables but I never really got into it or had automated irrigation until last summer. And irrigation, to me, makes all the difference in the world.

Last summer I cultivated about 120 square feet. Had some great successes across all categories and I’m chomping at the bit this year. My plan is to nearly double the size of my garden. I hope to plant some perennial vegetables, and I plan to start propagation from seed for the first time this Spring. Very excited for the growing season; it can't come soon enough.

Best, David

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 12:23PM
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Hi, I'm Michelle. I lurked here a bit last summer, and have found this forum quite helpful! I've been gardening for five years, first in southern Westminster, CO and now in north-western Westminster, north of Standley Lake. I'm interested in everything, but mostly veggies and perrenials. I'd love to grow more fruit, and we're hoping to plant some apple trees this spring (we have one dwarf peach that we planted last year).

Our yard was in awful weed-and-concrete-infested shape when we bought the house two years ago, and we made slow progress due to having a baby shortly after moving in. But now I have two raised beds for vegetables - 7X15 and 5X15. This year I'm trying to start things from seed for the first time (other than a few direct sown zucchini in the past).

Eventually I'd like to start composting, and reclaim some areas of our yard from rock landscaping and turn them into perrenial and/or vegetable beds. I'd also like to get some berries growing - I had a bunch started at our old house and then we moved right when I thought they were going to start producing. So I need to figure out good places for the plants and get started with some blackberries and perhaps others this year.

Love and hate? I love almost everything about watching things grow and getting my hands dirty. I hate waiting for spring to start and veggies to ripen - I'm terribly impatient :)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 2:43PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Hi, I'm Marj and I've been a RMG'er since 2010. Been in Colorado since 2006, transplanted from Calif., and have been in our current home in Westminster since 2011. This group has been a life saver for teaching me some of the in's and out's of gardening in general, but especially for gardening in the Colorado Zn 5 area!

There's at least a few of us who live in Westminster, Michelle/chellersm - myself, and b2alicia (Betty) and gjmancini (Gloria) I know do as well. I live between 108th and 104th, a few blocks from Standley Lake HS. Betty lives off of old Wadsworth and 93rd. Gloria/Michelle - where abouts are you?!

I'm hoping the two large flower beds I added to the back yard last fall take off this year - I moved some perennials from other locations to these two beds, plus added a few things. I really wanted to take out some of the grass area, as well as get some plants into better areas. I love your 'secret garden', rustic and cottage style you describe, catnohat!! That sounds like what I'm going for as well :) along with xeric and hardy native plantscaping.

DH has plans to make some raised vege beds this year - the area we've been using has been taking more work than expected, so hoping a few raised beds will be easier for us to maintain (funny how getting older changes things!!) as well as more successful overall. We may just focus on tomatoes this season, but we'll see how it goes. These warmer and longer days are welcomed, and looking for signs of spring. My Hyacinth and Tulips bulbs are poking up - yeah!


    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 9:04PM
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Hi. My name is Linda and I live in Soda Springs, Id. and have been gardening for 45 years. Mainly vegetables and perennials. I'm more of a lurker than a contributor but I always check in to see what is going on. My husband, Mike, fully retired 2 years ago and we bought a smaller house with a larger lot. He is trying to help with the vegetable gardening now and it has been a real trial, as I am organic and he is a chemical user! He is trying though and has hauled in a ton of top soil and aged manure. Our garden soil has really improved but in the process enlarged the garden. It is now large enough to add an asparagus and strawberry patch. With our physical problems I wanted to down-size it but maybe it's best to keep pushing.

I love my flower gardens also and have often said I can't be happy without playing with them. This summer will be the 3rd year so I still have a lot of work to do to get them the way I want them.

Last spring was the first time I've tried seed starting with grow lights. Of course I started them way to early but I only learn by my mistakes. :)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:16AM
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I'm Bob. new to GardenWeb, kinda new to gardening. I live in Central Denver, South Broadway area, small residential city lot with an east-facing rental house. The yards were neglected for years, maybe a watering once a week, so mid-summer last year I asked if I could take over.

I got a half-shade(aspens and an oak)/half-afternoon sun backyard with a garage, a bare bed - except an evergreen shrub and three undetermined, neglected roses - by a walkway along north side of a garage, a part-shade island bed with nothing in it except one high evergreen and lots of Virginia Creeper, concrete, and sparse baked grass, two pet burial sites, a rickety old bench and a concrete birdbath surrounded by rocks on the shady side. Spent the rest of the year in catch-up mode.

I dug out/composted the whole area north of the walkway by the garage (left roses, xplanted evergreen) giving me a 4'x16' border to work with. Created a small 3'x4' bed out behind the back fence, tamed (sorta) the Creeper in the part-shade bed and composted it.

This year I'm going with a "one of everything" perennial approach for the sun and part shade beds, will try to add color (and save money) by direct sowing groundcover seeds and interrupting with clumps of big box 6 packs.

Pulling soil tests this week for CSU, amending in April, planting the perennial order (fm Bluestone) when it gets here - they say they ship mid-April to mid-May, seeds and annuals in May.

I've got a small (6'x6') deck on the second floor, deck rail containers, and I'm working on ides for a seating area shady side. Intrigued with the idea of a bowl full of white impatiens by the birdbath, a tub of upright and trailing fuschias beside the old bench.

Itchy, dancing hands and feet. Never thought I'd get older and hope for time to fly, but I'm past ready for this year's growing season.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:10PM
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vegpatch(5 Colo)

Colorado Springs and am finally in a place where I can garden!! (Hooray!!) I'm planting mostly edibles including herbs. Still don't have a ton of space... so am looking at vertical gardening with pallets, strawberry planters, and 'tubs' (canvas leaf bags, plastic pots) for potatoes. Hopefully will also get a plot in a community garden to expand more. I've known about GMO's but when I heard about gassing tomatoes was the final straw. The plan is to eat from my 'green wall' as much as possible.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 2:24PM
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kvenkat(5a Colo)

Kim here. I live near Parker, south of the Denver metro. Moved to Colorado in 2010. Have a typical postage stamp of an urban plot. Plans are to work on the back yard so that by fall some rose bushes can be planted and by next spring my raised beds will be ready. Until I free up more space, I am limited to container gardening which is mostly tomatoes and a few other things. In the fall, I do a bit of small batch canning.

I only started gardening a few years ago when living in Kentucky. I have fond childhood memories of growing up in Wisconsin with a big garden which my mother tended, full of tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, strawberries, raspberries, pumpkin, squash and more. Hoping someday I can do half of what she accomplished!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 12:58PM
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Hey all,
I've been a gardener my whole life (60 years) and I finally feel like I've gotten this Colorado gardening figured out.

We live at 7,200' so warm weather plants are a big challenge so we have 2 greenhouses and a small hoop house. The tomatoes, cukes live in one and we have plans for tropicals/mediterraneans in the other. Part of the year we have a flood hydroponic setup for lettuce. It actually is sweeter and less bitter in the greenhouse, maybe because it is slightly shaded.

This last year we had a no-till garden and I'm telling you that that is the only way to go! We hate composting and could never seem to keep up with it so this is what we do-
1. Cover the the entire garden including your pathways, with every kind of organic material you have- sawdust, leaves, manure (horse, cow, chicken, rabbit), grass clippings and anything else I have forgotten.
2. When you plant simply pull the mulch material back until you get to the dirt and as the plants emerge gradually pull the mulch up to the plants.
3. Water with soaker hoses or drip irrigation.

You NEVER have to weed- another thing we hated.
The plants stay moist- a big deal in CO.
Pests have a much harder time getting established.
We had a problem with little onion plants a couple of
years ago where earthworms were grabbing the new,
growing tips, pulling them down into their holes and
eating them. No-till, problem solved!

We planted our beets and carrots in cinderblock cells filled with sand and a little compost. The individual beets FILLED the cells and the carrots were gigantic and not woody at all! Again, no weeding.

We also grow dwarf bananas, figs and citrus in our house in south windows and under skylights.

When is the next plant exchange? I would like to host a plant swap in Fort Collins and was wondering how one would get started.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 2:02PM
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jaliranchr(z5 EC CO)

I'm Shelley, a plains native, living in Limon. Tomatoes are my passion, but most any vegetable fascinates me. I grow a great deal in containers, but also in the ground that I have intensively amended over the years. My perennials are, for the most part, xeric or more drought tolerant than most. I have a streambank and western wheatgrass lawn on my corner lot. This works well because the bunnies like it and stay out of my backyard where my veggie garden is. Out here on the prairie, tumbleweeds pass through and leave an abundance of seeds, so thistle and kochia weed patrol is an endless part of the morning ritual.

Glad to see so many new faces joining the old gang. I look forward to seeing everyone's gardening adventures for 2014.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 7:06PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Barb here, from the Fort Lupton area, north of Denver. I'm on a 2 acre former farmstead built in 1948. I got a very late start to gardening since I'm an animal nut and my horses seemed to take most of my time. I started here planting a Iilac bush and an apple tree. When they lived I started trying other things and it just took off from there, mostly over the last 5 years. I have a 12 x 20 garden plot off the kitchen, mostly raised beds where I grow vegetables.

I'm gradually planting the rest of the property in trees. I started with Rocky Mountain Junipers as a windbreak to the north and west sides. I'm adding other conifers, deciduous trees, and fruiting shrubs this year. I love roses, think the last count was 16. Perennials were a challenge until the kind people on this website taught me which ones would grow here. The plant swaps are so helpful in filling my ever expanding flowerbeds!

We got hit with the flood last fall. We had anywhere from 3 feet of water around the house with up to 12 feet in the pasture. We managed to save the house with a sump pump in the crawl space although we are still working through residual issues. We are still saturated in spots and I never thought I would long for a dry spring season, but I am this year. It'll be interesting to see what plants survived and come back this year. My Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apple trees put on over 2 feet of growth after the flood!

I love this group. You are the nicest bunch of folks around. I'm glad to see so many new posters!


    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 8:44PM
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xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)

My garden is up north in the Canadian foothills to the Rockies. I do a little bit of everything---most from seeds.
I do annual flowers and veges in containers, and perennials in the ground. I try to stick to heirlooms and open pollinated varieties so I can save seeds.
I am on a large corner lot in what is now considered as Inner City of Calgary. I divide my time between gardening and grandparenting.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 9:29AM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

Hi, I'm Dani, and I've been on GW for... I dunno, several years now? I think the first spring swap I attended was at a park in Longmont--was that '09 or '10? All I know is, I still remember my hubby's sandaled feet got REALLY sunburned that day, and we met some of the most wonderful people!
We used to live in Mayberry, sometimes known to folks that don't live there as Broomfield. We moved to Arvada last fall, and are planning and plotting and mostly overwhelmed what to do with our 10,000 plot. First things, the monstrous cottonwood stump, together with the sucker that grew into a 20' tall tree, are gonna HAVE to go! There are lovely tiered garden beds down the back (south-facing) side of the property, and since I had always gardened in self-watering containers in Broomberry, I'm a little bit nervous about doing battle with bunnies, cut worms, and slugs--all creatures that were present in my last yard, none of which bothered anything in the containers. I wonder what other joys we'll find as the season kicks in--it was October when we moved in, and there's really no telling what's already in place in the many beds (well, we already know we've got English ivy amongst the raspberries, and weeds galore among the unknown bulbs which somehow never really died down this winter?). Thistles, I'm sure, and I know I will be doing battle with cottonwood and aspen suckers. I would love to do some fruiting trees, and nuts... do ANY nuts grow around here? It's not on my Right Now list, but I'm open if anyone has suggestions!
I'm mostly a vegetable gardener, but I think the flower gardener in me is starting to bloom. I made off with some WONDERFUL flowering goodies from last year's swap; most of which was left behind at the old house. Glad I know where to find more!
We're pretty much organic and heirloom in our garden, well, as much as can be, anyway. I start a lot from seed, but I'm not shy about snagging items of "unknown parentage" at the swaps!
I do love this forum, and I love that even though we don't all garden with the same techniques, everybody still respects each others' right to garden however they want to. I read some of the other forums, and there are cult wars against chemicals vs for chemicals; too much or too little perlite/vermiculite/bark/whathaveyou in your soil mix, or whatever, but I'm here to tell you, none of that goes on around here. It's all just a friendly bunch of folks with a love for gardening and the common challenge of the rapidly changing weather and climatic cycles in the Rocky Mountain region. What a great place to be! It sure is nice to see the familiar faces, and SO many newcomers!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 7:37PM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Lesuko here. Moved from NYC to Boulder 3.5 yrs ago. Never gardened before moving here into a typical house on 1/6 an acre. For my first season of vegetables, I basically put stuff in our raised bed. Then, I panicked when stuff started growing and that's how I found this forum. It is awesome! Has helped me with all sorts of problems.

2 years ago we removed all our grass in our front yard and covered it with cardboard and mulch. Last year we started adding perennials. I hope to see it in bloom this year. I spent 100s of hours trying to plan a layout before someone on this forum said to just start planting. Since I didn't know what I was doing anyways, I did. I just randomly planted everything. I have to now figure out how to care for the perennials- the day lilies I planted 2 falls ago never came up and I'm assuming I may need to actually fertilize my plants this year.

So, I still have lots of space to fill. We have utilized every area of our yard to include 200sq ft of vegetable gardening, 8 fruit trees, 4'x10' strawberry bed, chickens, bees, and gooseberries and currants. Still another year to wait until we get any fruit!!!! I'm so excited it's painful to wait.

Now, I have to figure out what animal dug up all our hens and chicks while we were away this winter (only had 8), and how to incorporate "cut" flowers into my front yard. I put seeds in the ground last spring and nothing came up. I wish it was that easy.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 5:12PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Thank you to everyone who's taken the time so far to sign in. It's great that so many people are making their presence known, and it's really fun to read your posts and find out something about each of you--our Fellow Partners in the Garden!

An especially Big Hello to all the newbies and lurkers that have posted to introduce themselves. We're so glad to have you here and hope you'll decide to actively participate in the forum by both asking your questions here, and by helping others with your expertise--or with your plain old common sense based on your experiences! Any and all advice is welcome here on RMG! Or just come start a thread to tell us about what you're up to! Or start a new thread to show us some pics of your latest projects! The more threads there are, the more we wind up with Something For Everyone!

Thank you again to all who have signed in so far. I'm still seeing lots of new names, and I hope more of you will decide to introduce yourself a little more here.

Happy spring,

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 4:39PM
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jonathanpassey(Utah z5)

Hi I'm Jon.

The utah forum is dead. So i figure i will post here as it seems like we have similar growing conditions to most of the Colorado folks.

I moved to pleasant grove utah last july and there was a big bare patch in my backyard that gets sun from sunup to sundown so i am trying to get it ready for a garden. In the end it will be 40 feet by 16 feet (8 - 3.5 ft x 16 ft beds). I focused last year on removing the rocks and adding compost.

My father is an exceptional gardener and i gardened as a kid but haven't had anywhere to garden in my previous houses.

my 8 beds will have the following: 1- lettuce, spinach, beets; 2-Potatoes; 3- Squash, cucumbers, melons; 4- peas followed by sweet potatoes; 5- onions, carrots, garlic; 6- Tomatoes and peppers; 7- Brassicas; 8- Beans.

I made two low tunnels that i will move around as the season progresses to give me an extra couple weeks head start on the season for many of my beds. I am starting most everything from seed either in the low tunnels or under lights in my basement.

As of today, I have onions and brassicas that i am hardening off, and the peas, spinach, lettuce, and beets have just come up under the low tunnels. When the peas are just a little taller i will move the low tunnel and transplant the brassicas. The onions will go out a week or two later. i started pepper seeds last week and I am going to plant my tomato seeds today.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 4:54PM
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bugdoctor(5 CO)

My name is Dan and I’m a gardening and GW newbie. I work in the forest entomology field, predominately on the mountain pine beetle. Though insect identification and biology comes quite easily for me, learning all the species and subspecies and varieties and cultivars of annuals and perennials is another learning opportunity for me. There’s a reason it is a discipline all unto its own. I spent countless hours researching all the potential plants that might just grow here.
Here’s how I come to this thread:

Last winter I came across some fluorescent shop lights that the owner said he grew his plant starts under. They needed new ballasts, but were free so I fixed em up! That made a light bulb go on for me (pun intended) and I started growing a few seed packets last spring. I grew tomatoes and peppers, columbines, Pelargoniums, and some various herbs.

It worked okay and I ended up with enough plants to give to friends and family, and still had enough to fill in some 7 and 10 gal nursery pots.

While searching for tips to grow under lights this past fall, I ran across a thread on the WS forum postulating how WS is far superior to shop lights with photos to boot. I started searching the WS forum, reading late into the evenings and nights. A couple of fantastic people donated some seeds this winter and one very nice lady coached me through the wicked ways of WS. I have over a hundred milk jugs sown and plan to do some annuals in the next few weeks.

My wife and I bought this house in Lafayette, CO a few years back. It was not the Waldorf but it was what we could afford. Many of the walls had three inch tongue and groove stained pine glued to the drywall on a diagonal. We quickly remedied that and retextured those walls. We next built a Trex deck off the back of our house that is about 30 ft by 15. We installed white ash hardwood floors on our main floor over the 4th of July weekend (about 900 sqft). Figured this was a good choice before the Emerald Ash Borer decimates all the ash in the states. This reminds me, while we were installing the flooring, our neighbors to the back screamed out the window that it was 9 oclock and we had to stop working or they were calling the cops. Needless to say, we’re not friends. I just finished removing wallpaper and popcorn ceilings over 1300 sqft and literally just finished retexturing and painting. Hoping to tackle a bathroom soon.

The house had common junipers and half dead cedars around the house when we came to it. I had to remove them to correct the negative drainage around the entire foundation. They all had three quarter inch rock under and around them so that had to go as well. We installed a sprinkler/irrigation system and plan to add two more zones for perennials this spring. Currently there are more landscape stones that will need to be removed before the new zones are built, but I think rock mulch is the stupidest thing.

I always admired the homes that had annuals and perennials bursting with color, so that is what I am trying to create. I was always disappointed with growing edibles, as with our small city house lots, we can’t grow enough to really satisfy our want. Not to mention, as soon as I pine over an heirloom tomato for months, waiting for the dozen or so to ripen, I look out the window to find a squirrel or the dog has run off and taken two bites out of it and left it on the ground. The reward has never exceeded the effort and I have decided to stay with a few cherry tomatoes in containers and focus on flower beds. I absolutely hate mowing the grass, but we have a German Wirehaired Pointer that loves the room to roam, so it stays as a peace offering to leave my perennials alone…if only he knew that!
Here are a few pics I took yesterday of the blooming crocus:

Thanks in advance of all the dumb questions I’m sure to ask in the near future. Please know that I have loved reading all your questions and answers over the years. The search function has been my friend. Somebody seems to have asked them all somewhere here on GW.
Sorry to be so long winded!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 6:27PM
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Ooh, a who's here thread!

I'm here. I live in Colorado on the Palmer Divide.

I'm not sure what my interests are, since I do a little bit in a lot of areas. My yard has a bit of grass, a few trees and bushes, lots of perennials and bulbs, and a small herb and vegetable garden. I also have some houseplants, though my interest in those waxes and wanes over the years.

In general, except for the edibles, I take the survive-or-die approach to gardening. I try to put plants in places where they will be happy without much extra care after they are established. This leads to some sadness when I choose the wrong plant and/or the wrong site, but the successes make it worthwhile. I like plants that have flowers as well as other interesting features.

I need to add a lot of organic matter to my soil. I am having issues with weeds that weren't cleared properly when my yard was originally landscaped when the house was built. And I need to work on my lawncare skills, since the grass in my yard needs to be up to HOA standards.

It's nice to see familiar names on this thread as well as seeing new people. Hello to all!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 8:54PM
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ZachS. z5 Littleton, CO

Its nice to see everybody's stories and meet everyone!

I'm a new guy in town...well, here on GW anyways, I've spend my whole life in Colorado.

I grew up in South Jefferson County, just west of Littleton, and then joined the Army as an equipment operator when I graduated high school. Spent my time there between Hawaii and Iraq, then switched from active duty to the Colorado National Guard and became a diesel mechanic after my son was born.

We moved from Hawaii to Centennial where I had my first real garden since I was a kid (the jungle weeds in Hawaii were far too much for me to handle, and overtook EVERYTHING within hours. Plus, being gone all the time does not a happy a garden make). I found the way we gardened growing up was all wrong, and there is a lot more involved than we ever realized. So, I had to learn just about everything from scratch. Despite all the seeds I sowed, I think all I grew that year was cucumbers and beans haha.

Then the plant I was working at closed, so we had to all move back in with the parents in Jeffco and I decided to put my GI Bill to work and go to school. I am working on my undergraduate degree in biology with a focus on plant science and hoping that it works out because I sure enjoy that a heck of a lot more then running construction equipment or working on diesels. I really like it because I'm a huge nerd and knowing why my garden plants do the things they do, is a huge thrill!

One of the nice things about moving is that it gave me a lot more room to grow. I grow vegetables pretty much exclusively, I like the practicality of it, getting some physical return on my investment. Though, I did put some Flanders and yellow California poppy seeds in the ground this year as an (attempted) memorial garden, it's my first shot at ornamentals, so we'll see how it turns out.

This post was edited by ZachS on Fri, Mar 21, 14 at 12:16

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 12:14PM
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Hey all. New to the forum and excited to learn from/with you all. Helped my mom with two gigantic gardens on a 2400 acre farm in Canada growing up. Loam soil, no irrigation, and comparatively easy success rate. I've got a lot to adjust to and research with these new conditions.

My husband and I bought our first house in the Green Mountain area late last fall. I'm excited to be gardening again but both front and back are going to be from scratch. We started with a 30yd dumpster and some demolition. So far we've learned that Trees of Heaven aren't Heaven and 3 layers of rock and plastic are tough to undo. Onto the garden. Last Sunday we pulled 10 stumps and put in one of the retaining walls. We're turning a steep slope behind our garage into a terraced garden. Tomorrow we'll finish the rest of the walls and get it ready for the planter mix next weekend. In our sunroom I have a bougainvillea that has been blooming like crazy I need to figure out how to prune. We are also planning a trough of vegetables for winter (if its possible and I have time with work and curling). My mom thinks we are going to do everything at once but I swear we are pacing ourselves :)

I'm interested in anything to do with sustainability (like sub-irrigation and composting as I'm a sustainability manager by day) and anything related to efficiency (like using a farm jack to pull up tree stumps).

Looking forward to getting to where I can give away cuttings and divide plants as I helped my grandmas and mom do for so many years. If only they were in the same country and could send me over some rhubarb and raspberries :)

Thanks in advance for any lurking or direct help. Hopefully I can return the favour at some point.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 11:43PM
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Hi! First post for me. I'm in Parker, CO. I grew up in southern colorado and was lucky enough to have parents who were a cross between commune living enthusiasts and anti-government off the grid people. Needless to say, I grew up with a huge garden. I never realized how much I learned and how much I loved it until after I had my daughter.

I mostly garden vegetables for our family and friends. Now that my daughter is older she is really getting interested in helping also, but she is starting out with flowers. (I have no clue about flowers.)

We have a typical tiny suburban yard, but put in a retaining wall in back. The first year I started with a grow box...I think it was 1x3'. The next year I built a 4x8' raised bed on the top of the retaining wall. Now I've taken over the entire level. After that year I was hooked. I added a few smart pots. Then I added the large bag smart pot bed, potato bins, carrot bags...last year I ended up with 13 smart pots, the 2 large beds, and various other pots. We've had a lot of success and learned a lot. I'm adding 5-10 more beds this year.

I started trying to start from seed last year. It was ok. This year I've built a "grow lab" (but not that kind for colorado) in our basement. Now we are talking about adding a shelving unit, some more lights, and trying to grow during the winter inside.

I'm an English teacher and slightly obsessed with books. I tend to over research everything, but love it. I am also interested in trying various experiments with the garden in order to help my daughter learn. I'm thinking about trying composting, but not sue if I'm going to have enough time during the school year to be successful.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 12:42AM
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allegra - sounds like you might want to check out the "Winter Sown" FAQ/Forum here and the WinterSown.org Web site, could change your thinking around seed starting.

Here is a link that might be useful: wintersowing veggies

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 10:45AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I'm going to bump this back up to the top again! I'm seeing more newbies around here than I have in a LONG time, and I hope you all will take the time to come here and tell us a little more about yourselves. It's fun to learn more about all our Partners in Crime-----I mean----our Partners in Gardening!

Here are a couple paragraphs I've copied from my original post that started this thread. This'll give you some ideas about some things to maybe tell us about!

This is the 2014 Rocky Mountain Gardening Role Call! Welcome all Newbies, Lurkers, and even all you Oldies! Please sign in to let us know you're here with us on the Friendliest Little Gardening Forum in the West!

Please tell us a little about yourselves. Where do you live, and if it's in one of the big cities, roughly where you are in the urban area. What are your gardening interests? Veggies, perennials, annuals, trees, bushes--something else??? Do you garden in the ground, raised beds, pots? Are you new to gardening, you've been doing it for a few years now and are "getting there," or have you been doing it for fifty years--but there's still always some surprises!?? What do you love to do in the garden, what do you hate to do!, what do you WISH you could do??? [If you think of something you'd like to ask about when you're posting here, we'd love to hear from you, but please start a separate thread with your gardening questions so everyone will see them and have an opportunity to respond--and so we can keep this thread just for introductions and meeting each other.]

We're all glad you found us, whether you decide to post on this thread or not, but we'd love to hear a little more about your dirty hands!


    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 10:02PM
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Hello there!
I am a newbie to GW and sort of a newbie to gardening- done some container gardening off and on for a few years. I live in Denver and have managed to score a plot in a community garden where I plan to grow amaranth, bittergourd, snakegourd, roselle, tomatoes, and bush beans . This is the first time I am growing everything on my list (except the tomatoes) from seed. I am sure I will be turning to all the gurus here for advice.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 4:35AM
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Hi, I just joined this forum a few days ago, and Skylark suggested that I check out this thread, and I'm overwhelmed at how many gardeners are here!

I am definitely a new gardener in comparison to a lot of you; I've only been at it for about ten years and still feel like an amateur, even after going through a Master Gardener program here in Colorado Springs where my husband and I have been since "we" retired from the Army in 1996.

I got into gardening after hiring a garden designer to help me come up with a little bit of color for my dull front yard. She has become my mentor and close friend, and now I have very little turf left (that's my husband's thing and as far as I am concerned a blight on my garden) :)

My biggest challenge was to remove the "landscape" rock, black plastic, and yucca that took up about half of my back yard. That took me a couple of years of hard work. Then I had to improve the soil throughout the yard...

Unlike most of you, I stay away from edible gardening and focus on perennials. I like color - the more and brighter the better. As my name implies, I am also a cat lover, and my back yard (my friend's design, I just implemented it) was designed as a sanctuary for the three (now two :( and both neutered) feral cats that we have been feeding, watering, and sheltering for over ten years now.

As far as my background is concerned, I am 56, a former stay-at-home mom and German translator, and now, together with my husband, an empty nester. I have an elderly mother here at an assisted living facility and volunteer twice weekly at a library bookstore where I can indulge both my love of books and my tendency to chat.

The picture I am posting is of part of my formerly rock-infested rear slope. Needless to say, it shows it at its best! :)

Sorry to go on for so long. Once I start...

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 12:09PM
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Very pretty! And welcome @katgardener.

I especially want to welcome those gardeners at a distance from Denver, which is pretty much our "hub." I arrived on the forum here quite a long time ago after trying and failing to find much in common with the Puget Sound gardeners on the PNW forum. Thank you RMGardeners for welcoming me here!

I may have said something in my above post about how my travels in Colorado helped me realize that there are parts of that state with a very similar ecology to what I find around me here. I've tried to figure out what might make a "Rocky Mountain Gardening" environment. The EPA has US "ecoregions" of southern, middle and northern Rocky Mountains. I don't know what our Canadian gardeners might think of northern Rockies stopping at the border.

Really, I think Sunset does about the best job in defining gardening regions and their zones 1, 2 & 3 fit in quite a few western states and provinces. Yay for them! (Of course, this is just my personal opinion. :o)


Here is a link that might be useful: Sunset Zones

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 1:00PM
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Greeting fellow lovers of the soil!

My name is Megan and I'm currently a student. My husband and I moved to the Denver metro area in August of 2012 from central Oklahoma. We had a less than successful container garden going on our spacious porch for our first year gardening there. We now live technically in Denver, but a stone's throw from Cherry Creek Reservoir.

I grew up in a very rural town with a population of around 1,000 people, so living in the city has been a major change for me especially. I am very much a country girl. My husband, on the other hand, has lived in smaller cities most of his life, and even lived in Honolulu for many years. We both long to escape the city life together one day, but that will have to wait for now.

Growing up, my dad and his wife had a hog and horse farm and they also had a decent sized garden. I remember the joys of wandering the garden wide eyed and curious. My farm experience was short lived however, but was the sort of experience that stays with a person for life. It is where my connection with and love of nature began.

I would love to work at a garden center eventually, but am not sure if I would be hired due to lack of experience. That said, I'd also love to take horticulture classes if there were any closer to me. For now I have just been doing my own horticulture research in my spare time until I can attend formal classes for it.

As for my gardening space, it is minimal currently. We have moved into a nice apartment with a balcony, so that is what we got. Due to this fact, I am always looking for new ideas for vertical gardening. I'm mostly growing in plastic pots, 5 and 3 gallon buckets, crates, coffee cans, and basically whatever I can get my hands on that fits on the balcony lol. This is really only my second season growing anything, so yes, I'm a newb. But we all have to start somewhere.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 7:02PM
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gardenfiend(Z 5 Co.)

Gardenfiend here ! (Co. Spgs). I discovered Garden Web about 3 years ago. I have been to a few of the swaps and enjoyed every one. I have a very small yard. Not a lot of room to plant much, but love to see things grow. Our house should be turned around completely! Our front yard faces the south and gets all the Sun.The backyard (where I would like my garden) is north and mostly shaded. Someone at the last plant swap gave me a fig tree cutting and its growing real good now. I'm so happy. I love fresh figs ! I also love perennials and anything with a fragrance. I can't seem to grow roses.I have tried before and failed. Skybird, just to let you know...that spider plant cutting I got from you @ the last swap is growing like crazy. I have it in my bay window in my living room & it has babies all over the place. I love it & the christmas cactus you gave me is growing good too.I haven't checked into Garden Web in a while. Have I missed the fall plant swap? If I haven't please post when & where it will be so I can be sure not to miss it! I need to check and find out when the swaps are going to be.I really love going to them. I'm making a list of questions to ask some of you GW posters that have gotten my attention. I love to read all of the posts and find out what everyone is growing. If you're new..."Welcome to GW" & if you've been here for a while..."hello again"! See you at the next plant swap. I hope I will be able to go! I will be watching to find out when it will be! Thanks Everybody ! %): >

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 5:59PM
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gardenfiend(Z 5 Co.)

Gardenfiend here ! (Co. Spgs). I discovered Garden Web about 3 years ago. I have been to a few of the swaps and enjoyed every one. I have a very small yard. Not a lot of room to plant much, but love to see things grow. Our house should be turned around completely! Our front yard faces the south and gets all the Sun.The backyard (where I would like my garden) is north and mostly shaded. Someone at the last plant swap gave me a fig tree cutting and its growing real good now. I'm so happy. I love fresh figs ! I also love perennials and anything with a fragrance. I can't seem to grow roses.I have tried before and failed. Skybird, just to let you know...that spider plant cutting I got from you @ the last swap is growing like crazy. I have it in my bay window in my living room & it has babies all over the place. I love it & the christmas cactus you gave me is growing good too.I haven't checked into Garden Web in a while. Have I missed the fall plant swap? If I haven't please post when & where it will be so I can be sure not to miss it! I need to check and find out when the swaps are going to be.I really love going to them. I'm making a list of questions to ask some of you GW posters that have gotten my attention. I love to read all of the posts and find out what everyone is growing. If you're new..."Welcome to GW" & if you've been here for a while..."hello again"! See you at the next plant swap. I hope I will be able to go! I will be watching to find out when it will be! Thanks Everybody ! %): >

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 6:01PM
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