Thursday, September 28, 2006

Expert Advice on Native Plants

This expert advice is not coming from me. I know just enough to be dangerous. But, I do know when it's worth the effort to drive to Salt Lake, for a native plant lecture. David Salman, owner of High Country Gardens, was the speaker, last night. I was as giddy as my daughter used to be when she heard Blink-182 was coming to town.

He's not asked for an endorsement but David gets brownie points because he talked to us, in person, about what's right for the landscape.

Mountain gardening is not difficult, though you can prevent a lot of heartache if you know what grows. Soils are light on nutrients, drying winds take their toll. Unpredictable weather weeds out wimpy perennials in quick order.

Native plants are adapted to harsh conditions, providing unique textures, colors and beauty. They require less water, very little fertilizer, create a lovely habitat for birds and other wildlife.

This threesome (small photos) is one of his recommended plantings, late-spring blooming perennials:
  1. Scutellaria x 'Violet Cloud; (Hybrid Skullcap)
  2. Hymenoxys acaulis (Sundancer Daisy)
  3. Salvia greggii 'Furman's Red' (Texas Sage)
* His lecture covered 14 groupings of plants, including ornamental grasses, shrubs and cold hardy cacti. Write to me if you would like more info.

Click here to visit High Country Gardens. Tell him I sent you! (Maybe he'll hire me :-)

Support local growers like Susie. Click here to visit Blue Sky Perennials for native plants and landscaping advice.

* Top photo: Dame's Rocket (often confused with Garden Phlox) is a popular wildflower in Utah, though it did not originate here. Seeds are eaten by birds, facilitating the spread of this showy flower throughout Europe, US and beyond. (Hesperis matrinalis)

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