Saturday, July 14, 2018



Fireweed - Named as such for it's amazing ability to quickly colonize burnt landscapes after a wildfire. You may know this beauty as Willow Herb - makes a yummy jelly and a great tea, too!

#wildflowers #utahwildflowers

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Wild Canadian Columbine + A Bonus Bee! :)

There are a million different colors of Columbines.

I can exaggerate like that because, at some point, in the future of this delightful perennial, it could actually come true.

Did you know they hybridize themselves every season? Plant yellows and purples adjacent to one another and the next year you will very likely see a brand new color. Or, a variegated purple and yellow!

* Most prefer partial shade -- this happy little Canadian Columbine does best in full sun, hot, dry, conditions.

** It does not reseed as readily as the many hybridized Columbines.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Morning Glories

A Heavenly Blue Morning Glory stretching toward the sun. This is the only annual I plant in my gardens. Most are too tender for life in the mountains -- and this one is, too! But I just can't imagine a gardening season without this beauty decorating my deck. :)

* Plant from seed. Best in a container, with trellis. They can stretch to 30 feet but once they reach a height where they can climb no higher, they will shift their energy to what they do best. Gracing you with hundreds of stunning, 3- 4 inch, flowers. Blue in acidic soils. Purple-blue in alkaline soils.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Flax Flowers

Flax Flowers
Winds shifted. Blowing all the smoke from the Too Close For Comfort Strawberry Reservoir Wildfire in my direction.

Felt like I was 'warming myself' in front of bonfire. What with the heat and the smoke and smell of burning timber.

Lasted a whole 45 minutes out in the gardens because of that.

Just long enough to give the Flax a sip of water and snap this pretty picture.

Flax (Linum) is a pretty common wildflower out west but you rarely see them so healthy and blue. The secret happened entirely by accident. It's horse poo!

Thank my Chief Fertilizing Officers for these pretty blossoms.

* Flax is an annual, reseeds readily, consider it a perennial - since she will return to flower every season. One of the very few true blue flowers we can enjoy in our western alkaline soils. Plant by seed. Fertilize for stronger flower power.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Apache Plume

Apache Plume
It's been beastly hot around these part so I finally broke down and watered the 'street garden.' Which is just a fancy name for the ditch in front of my rural home. :) Thought the drops of water on the fluffy seed pods of the Apache Plume were so pretty I needed to share.

Look close - you can see the remnants of little white flowers. They're kind of boring compared to what happens after she blooms. Masses of pink, fluffy seed pods decorate the shrub for the entire summer.

If you live in the mountains (above 7,000 feet) and have sections of your property that do not receive regular watering, you should give this babe a try. Birds, Bees and Butterflies love it. Deer and Elk? Not so much.

Apache Plume [Fallugia paradoxa] Zone 4. Requires low nutrient, western, alkaline soils. Will die if fertilized.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Hattie Baby

Happy 4 Month Birthday, Hattie Baby!

* Being a grandmother is nothing at all as I had imagined. It is sooooo much more.  More love, more smiles, more happiness, more everything.

#justlookatthatface #toocuteforwords 👼

Monday, July 02, 2018

Desert Mallow

Got a hot spot in your garden? This is the gal for you.

Mallows are a very common wildflower in Utah. In the west desert, you can see entire fields of them in bloom at the same time.

I have been babying this Desert Mallow growing wild in the ditch in front of my home. Once a month I'll drag a hose out there and give her a drink. Started with one plant but now I have a small field of happy apricot flowers.

Desert Mallow
Sphaeralcea ambigua Zone 6
* Once established, requires light watering, once a week, to produce non-stop flowers all summer long.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Divine Miss Katie Bug

Looking off toward the mountains... anxious for her next adventure.

* She was named Kate when she was gifted to me. And, we can't have two Kates, hence her pet name Love Bug Katie Bug.

** Her real name is Spirit Angel Fire. Which is way more befitting such a stunning paint.

Friday, June 29, 2018


Wolfsbane -- wards off werewolves. And, quite successfully! I've never seen a werewolf in these parts so I guess you have me to thank for that.

Do you love this flower? Love it from afar.  Because it will kill you.

It's a very popular pain reliever in traditional Chinese medicine. And, it's gorgeous. Which is why I planted it.

Then... one dark and stormy night... I was watching that murder series Dexter and whaddyaknow.. it's the mystery poisoner used throughout the season.

So, look, but don't touch. And, never get on by bad side. :)

* Also known as Devil's Helmet, Monkshood, Aconite.

Thursday, June 28, 2018


98 degrees (F) yesterday afternoon. We mountain folk are not used to such sweltering temperatures.

3 cheers for the dog pond! Sadly, no humans allowed or I'd be in there, too!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


Blacksmith Lupine

Bird's eye view of a Blacksmith Lupine who finally decided to bloom because I finally got around to watering her. :)

Lupines have a tough time in my garden -- they prefer more water and definitely better soil.

I have to grow Lupines in my garden because -- back in my childhood days in Minnesota, the wild Lupine hunt was an annual event! That no one attended! Other than myself and a fellow gardener who absolutely loved finding patches of purple Lupines growing wild in the Minnesota woodlands.

If you live in Utah, as I do, be prepared for pink petals in later years. They tend to change colors thanks to our alkaline soils. [Amend with gypsum.]

* When growing by seed, let seeds soak for at least 24 hours. The seeds are very hard. Soaking will soften the seeds and encourage them to sprout.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

John Cabot Roses

Up close and personal with a John Cabot Rose, in full bloom. They will flower ALL season, from June through October. Which is one of the many reasons why I can't live without them.

* Full grown, they can stand about 8 feet tall, on thick, thorny branches, with hundreds of hot pink blooms. I've never seen a need to trellis them.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Only The Strong Survive

Hello. I'm the hardest working rose in the flower business.

I survived all last summer, in record heat, in a high plains desert.. without humans watering me.

* That torture wasn't intentional. The sprinkler system was turned off and nobody informed the gardener.

As much as I love to garden, I just can't stand wimpy perennials. You never know what could happen. Like me moving away for 4 years and leaving the plants to their own devices.

Gives new meaning to that phrase: Only The Strong Survive.

* I was absolutely astonished to see that they did survive. 'They' as in the half dozen John Cabot Rose Bushes living here, doing fine and dandy, without me. A rose by any other name, would be long gone by now...

John Cabot Rose, Explorer Series, Blooms all summer, until first frost.

💟   Waterwise conditions happen over time. These beauties were planted 8 years ago. New plants require lots o' TLC.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Butterfly Garden

Swallowtail in the Butterfly Garden

A huge Swallowtail was flitting about the Butterfly Garden while I was weeding this morning. The wingspan is larger than my hand!

It's easy to attract Swallowtails if you plant Coneflowers and Bee Balm (Monarda) but if you really want to fill your garden with Swallowtails... plant some Parsley.

* Parsley is the favorite host plant for Swallowtail caterpillars.

Thursday, June 21, 2018


Thistle Crescent Butterfly

A sure sign of summer! The butterflies have arrived. I, so far, haven't been able to talk a Swallowtail into sitting still for a photo. Soon, I hope.

This is a Thistle Crescent Butterfly ~ dining on the Pincushion flowers in my garden. I don't know a lot about butterflies but I do believe this is the only one who arrives to let it be known I haven't properly weeded my garden. :)

* Their preferred habitat is the Canadian Thistles (aka noxious weeds) whose seeds can lie dormant for 40+ years! Which is why - hard as I try - I will never be truly rid of them.