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Archives for May 2015

The Rains Continue to Hover Over Boulder…..

What ever happened to April showers bring May flowers?  So what do May showers bring? flowers in the rain - for blog

June weeds, July wildfires, August’s bountiful crops?

Time will tell, but for now, we all wait patiently for the sun to shine again. With over 6” of rain thus far in May, it’s no wonder our creeks are swollen and basements are soggy. And with another week of rain in the forecast, additional flooding may be inevitable.

In my 27 years in Colorado, I’ve never experienced such a wet period. Well, there was those 2 months of unending snow my first year I lived in Crested Butte. But that at least allowed for fun times, the best skiing of my life for certain!

Drain Box in stone

This drain box is set up to move the gutter water to another part of the yard.

Here are some helpful hints for property drainage that can go a long way toward saving you time, money, and headaches….

  • Cleaning gutters- eliminate overflow adjacent to your home and foundation.
  • Installing drain boxes- at gutter downspouts these boxes connect to drain pipe to get the water away from foundations
  • Creating positive grade- adjacent to your structure, this drains water away from your house.
  • French Drains & Swales – strategically placed move water away from your house. And with some thought, create passive irrigation for your landscaping.
  • Rain Gardens – create intentional low lying gardens that take advantage of the runoff of your property.
    Foold mitigation berm with boulder wall

    Flood mitigation was done here by creating a berm with a boulder wall and lining the spillway with rock.

    Keep those rain coats handy, fire’s stoked, and pray for sun!    And remember, just 1 month till summer.        sunglass smiley face Bill Melvin

Boulder County Home & Garden Fair at the 29th Street Mall

Jim at 2015 Garden Fair booth

Ecoscape’s head landscape designer, Jim Haswell, shares a conversation with a cheerful attendee. Owner, Bill Melvin and designer Laura Green, were also on hand at Ecoscape’s booth.

It’s been raining, raining, raining…but on Saturday, May 16, the sun came out to cloudless skies and Boulder embraced a perfect May morning.  Ecoscape joined 40 other vendors for the 8th annual Boulder County Home & Garden Magazine’s Garden Fair at the 29th Street Mall.  Our friends from Harlequin Gardens and Farm Tub were there too.  Ecoscape’s plant filled and colorful booth was right next to the good folks from Mountain Mist Pool and Hot Tub.  Lucky for us they were grilling up a storm on their Green Egg Grills and sharing samples.  At Western Disposal’s booth, they were distributing info on their recycling programs and Green ‘N Gro compost.  Linda Wigod, the marketing executive for the magazine had arrived at 3:30 in the morning (!) to make sure the event got set up properly and was still chipper by the afternoon.  Editor, Carol Brock and husband Tom Brock made the Garden Fair possible, with their continued dedication to publishing the best in beautiful homes and sustainable gardening around Boulder County.  Many Thanks !

~Karina Z

Glimpses of Spring Growth

Have you ever been walking around your yard and stumble across something you forgot you planted the previous year?  Last fall I was super gung-ho to plant elderberry bushes.  I had been buying elderberry syrup for years to boost my daughter’s immune system and to  help with coughs, but wanted to have my own bushes after discovering how well they grow in our area.  On a snowy afternoon last fall, I bought two pots of Sambucus nigra ‘Madonna’ with light green verigated foliage, and two pots of Sambucus Canadensis ‘York’Allium-1 from Harlequin Gardens.  On impulse as I was making my purchase, I threw in a small bag of Allium bulbs.

At 7600 feet in thAllium-2e Arapahoe National Forest, I live where intentional  landscape is also known as putting out a critter salad bar, but heard that deer and chipmunks would avoid these onion genus bulbs.  I was surprised and delighted in early April to discover that all five bulbs were up!  With that unexpected  joy came a new worry….will the elk and deer leave them alone?   Is it better to know they are growing and look out for them daily, or was it easier to be blissfully unaware of their existence?

A small herd of elk cows started hanging out in our Meadows towards the end of April.  Late May to early June is the time elks give birth, so I thought these soon-to-be mamas may have been looking for a safe haven.  I should have known better, they were looking for some veggie canapes.  photo-4Two plants got munched down to the ground.  Oh well I thought, share the yield, at least there are three left.  To my surprise, the two plants made an amazing comeback and proceeded to send up a flower stock.  Then a week later, some  mule deer were passing through and one of them just had to sample the allium. It appears that the bulb was yanked from the ground like a prize, only to be spat out as the intense onion flavors were released.  I rescued the half eaten plant and tucked it into a soil filed a pot on my deck.

Allium with bud

The saga continues as the rain falls this first week of May. It got me thinking about the lessons I learned in permaculture training about companion planting.  Even thought the critters tried to eat the allium plants, clearly they found them distasteful.  Instead of five bulbs, I really should be planting 50!  I imagine fences of showy purple allium globes, protecting  their fellow shrubs and perennials, so much prettier and fragrant then a metal fence! ~Karina Z