There's just a little bit of yard work to do over the winter.
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Settling in for a Long Winter Nap?

 
I love the seasons of Colorado - I look forward to the brisk cold of winter as much as I look forward to the pastel colors of spring bulbs; the heat of summer; and the rusty colors of autumn. Winter provides a nice break from yard work, but there are some tasks that should not be ignored.
  • WATER! If we haven't had any natural precipitation for 2-3 weeks, your woody plants will need a drink. My strategy is to put the hose on a trickle and water each tree for 15 minutes, and each shrub for 5 to 10 depending on the size. I use the timer on my phone to help me remember to move the hose. It is especially important to water any trees, shrubs or perennials that you planted this past fall.
  • Clean-up. Try to have all of the remaining plant debris cleared up by mid-March. Removing the debris also removes any overwintering pests and diseases.
  • Prune. Most deciduous trees and shrubs are best pruned between December and February. When they're defoliated for the winter, it's much easier to see broken, crossed or weak branches. It's also healthier for the plant since disease spores and insects are dormant and not likely to infect the pruning wound. However, some flowering shrubs should not be pruned until after they flower. Check this CSU Extension Fact Sheet for more information about pruning. 
  • Plan. Now is a great time to plan for next year! Peruse seed catalogs and plan for next year's garden. 
I generally take a few month's respite from newsletters in the winter.  However, if you have questions about your plants, please contact me or call me at 970-988-3808. 

Landscape Design Services   

design

For landscape design, I focus on the do-it-yourself homeowner. Save money by doing the work yourself and enjoy that sense of accomplishment that comes from a job well done. Of course, you can contract out all of the installation work or just the bits and pieces you don't want to do yourself. Whether you have a new house and need to plan the entire yard or would just like to fix up a trouble spot, send me an email or give me a call at (970) 988-3808 to get your plan started!

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This newsletter is a bonus to this year's theme "plants of the rainbow," WHITE. I know that technically white isn't a color, it is the absence of color, but please don't tell these plants! Interestingly, many white flowering plants compensate for the lack of color with a strong scent.

Color of the Month: White

In containers...
Alyssum
Alyssum
Sweet Alyssum is a great filler plant. The tiny white flowers just accentuate other flowers in the container and their fragrance is delightful. Alyssum is quite cold-tolerant but doesn't like it too hot. A spot that receives afternoon shade during the summer works well.
Euphorbia
'Hip Hop' or 'Diamond Frost' Euphorbia
If you've had trouble with Alyssum dying out before the end of summer, you might try Euphorbia. Also a great filler plant with a subtle scent, Euphorbia is tolerant of heat and drought. A relative of both Spurge and Poinsettia, this plant's sap may irritate your skin.
Osteospermum
African Daisy / Osteospermum
The 'Spider' series of Osteospermums have the most interesting spoon-edged petals. However, I've been unimpressed with the rather short bloom period of African Daisies. In container plantings, include a succession plant (one which will bloom later) or plan on replacing it.
In flower beds...
Sweet Woodruff
Sweet Woodruff / Galium odoratum 
A low-growing, groundcover plant, Sweet Woodruff blooms early in spring. Often covered by a mass of small, white flowers, Sweet Woodruff provides for early emerging insects. As the common name suggests, it has a sweet scent.
Lily-of-the-Valley
Lily-of-the-Valley / Convallaria majalis
Lily-of-the-Valley blooms in early spring and is tolerant of shady locations. It spreads by underground rhizomes and, as you might expect, has a pleasant scent. This plant is highly toxic; therefore, it is resistant to munching rabbits and browsing deer.
Shasta Daisy
Shasta Daisy / Leucanthemum x superbum
A popular and somewhat nostaglic flower, Shasta daisies have a distinct scent which some people find unpleasant. This plant was hybridized in 1890 by crossing four varieties of Leucanthemum and named after the white snow on Mount Shasta.
In the yard...
Clematis
Mockorange / Philadelphus 
The flowers of Philadelphus appear in early summer and both look and smell somewhat like the flowers of oranges and lemons, thus earning the common name 'Mockorange." There are about 60 different species of Mockorange shrubs, many  native to North America. 
Snowball Viburnum
Snowball Bush / Viburnum opulus 'Roseum'
It's obvious how this shrub got it's common name - from the perfectly round globes of white flowers! Viburnum blossoms appear on last year's growth. To maximize flowers, prune AFTER it has flowered.
Spring Snow Crabapple
Spring Snow Crabapple / Malus 'Spring Snow'
Loaded with flowers in early spring and highly aromatic, Spring Snow Crabapples are popular because they do not produce fruit.
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