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pretty container picture

Tell Your Friends

When your guests admire your lovely container gardens, please refer them to Patio Plants Unlimited. You will earn $25 off your planting service for each referral.

Get Out!

Here's a check-list of yard work to do now:

  • Continue to dead-head and cut back your annual container gardens. If you adjusted your drip system to water extra in the heat of July, you can cut back on the water now that the nights are cool.
  • Put out a Hummingbird feeder! Dissolve one part sugar in four parts water for a good sweet treat. Don't use honey or artificial sweeteners as these are harmful to Hummingbirds. Change the nectar-water and clean the feeder every couple days so it doesn't get moldy.
  • Enjoy your produce and herbs! If you have a vegetable garden and now find that you have more veggies than you and your family can eat, consider donating them to the Larimer County Food Bank. For more information and to make a donation, check the Gardens on Spring Creek website then look for "Plant it Forward."
  • If your yard needs some fall color, consider planting Hyssop (Agastache), Goldenrod (Solidago) or a Hardy Fuschia/a.k.a.  Hummingbird Trumpet (Zauschneria). These plants are much more reliable in our area than Fall Mums. 
  • If your lawn has some truly dead spots, now is a good time to patch them with seed. Scotts Patchmaster is a good brand to try. You will need to water the new seeds nearly every day so consider investing another $15 in a simple hose timer to make the job easier.

"I have really been enjoying my patio. The area rug, trellises and potted flowers, along with the new layout make a huge difference! Thanks so much for your help."

Leslie,
Fort Collins

Be on the Look Out for Hummingbirds

I've been so fortunate to have a Broadtailed Hummingbird take up residence in my backyard this summer. Possibly it was just too smoky in the mountains from the High Park fire earlier in the summer. Guessing from her aggressive behavior toward my cats, I assume she probably had a nest in one the shrubs. I never saw it and now that I've done some research on Hummingbirds, I'm not surprised. A Hummingbird's nest is about the size of a thimble! She's become a bit less aggressive lately - perhaps her brood is grown and gone - but she's decided my garden is a pretty nice place to stay.

I have specifically chosen some plants to attract Hummingbirds. I have a large Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) on a trellis by my back porch and I have lots of perennial flowers including Hyssop, Salvia and Bellflowers which are Hummingbird favorites. She also really likes the Impatiens in my container gardens. When she feeds on the nectar from the Impatiens flower, the flower closes up tight for a time. It's very interesting to watch!

I always see Hummingbirds in my yard during their migration periods. The most common Hummingbird species in Colorado are Broadtailed, Rufous and Black-chinned. The spring migration begins in April and the fall migration begins in late August (any day now) through September. Hummingbirds will fly all the way to Mexico and Central America for the winter and will return in the spring. I was pleased to learn that Broadtailed Hummingbirds return to their nest each year, often building a new nest right on top of the previous one.

Did you know Hummingbirds also eat an amazing quantity of insects, especially gnats? They're beautiful and useful! If you'd like to learn more about Hummingbirds, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website had a fabulous article: Summer's Hummers. If you want to attract Hummingbirds to your yard Birdzilla.com has a good list of plants.    

Which is Better?

It's time for an update of my unscientific experiment: 
Big Box Logo
Last month I was feeling pretty smug because the Patio Plants Unlimited hanging basket was looking much better than the big-box store's. Just after I took last month's picture, I cut the big-box store plant back hard. Just last week while I was out in the yard, I decided to cut back the Patio Plant's basket. Now, the big-box store's basket has rebounded and is blooming nicely. I guess I should have waited to cut my planter back as it hasn't quite recovered yet... well, this is an unscientific experiment and at least you know I'm being honest! I expect my planter will also rebound but I didn't want to wait for it before sending out this newsletter. 
July:
July Baskets

The Patio Plants basket on the right has far more blooms, is greener and is more healthy.



August:
August baskets
The big-box store basket on the left recovered from it's pruning and is blooming well. The Patio Plants basket on the right needs another week to recover...
If you want to see the whole experiment thus far, check the newsletter archive on my website.

 Please contact me if you have any questions about your plants or irrigation system. I sincerely hope your patio is your own special haven.

Stephanie Selig
tel: (970) 988-3808
Stephanie@patioplantsunlimited.com
www.patioplantsunlimited.com