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Dave's Garden Articles: By Susanne Talbert

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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Penstemon: An introduction to species and cultivars
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Penstemon is a wonderful native American genus of wildly varied, flowering perennials. This is a little known genus of vast proportions that would be hard to comprehend in one sitting, maybe even one lifetime. From dwarf ground covers to tall shrubs, xeriscaping to consistent moisture, Penstemons run the gamut of diversity. Here is a brief overview of this wonderful wildflower, straight from a Lay gardener's research journal.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

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How peculiar: Green cultivars
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Olive green, lime green, chartreuse, Kelly green…some of the many wonderful shades of green that can grace our gardens. If you love green, you might want to check out these enviously green cultivars of your favorite flowering florae.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

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Clematis: A colorful introduction to cultivars of Clematis
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Clematis is a fascinating, antique genus of climbers that adds color and grace to any vertical surface in your garden. This is a brief introduction to some popular as well as lesser known Clematis cultivars you should know.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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Choosing a Small Ornamental Tree
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Sometimes trees are planted for shade, sometimes they are planted to serve as a windbreak, and other times yet they are planted for fruit or nut production. But when a small specimen tree is planted for its sheer and petite beauty within the landscape, it can add special interest to a landscape. Following are some suggestions for small specimen tree planting, whether it is for aesthetic or sentimental interest.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

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Coral Bells: An introduction to Heuchera cultivars
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

If you don’t have Coral Bells (Heuchera) in your gardening repertoire, you are missing out on a vast palette of purples, chartreuses, grays and oranges in your yard. Also known as Alum Root, Heuchera (pronounced HEW-ker-uh) is a beautiful genus of perennial foliage plants that will add a punch of color to any spot in your garden. Heucheras come in all sorts of colors, shapes, sizes and growing needs. Some do well in shade; others can thrive in full sun. They are drought tolerant, very cold hardy (Zone 4), and many of them will even stay evergreen through the winter. Here is a brief overview of some Heuchera cultivars you might want to try.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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Off season garden planning
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Before winter cabin fever bites you too hard, get your creative juices flowing by preparing your spring plan of action. Whether you need a major overhaul or just want to add an extra perennial bed, planning ahead is your best bet. Get a pad of graph paper, a few good landscaping books, and a sharp pencil and you will be on track for making the next growing season your best yet.

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

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Party Favors From the Heart: African Violets and Handmade Containers
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

When I got married about two years ago, I racked my brain to come up with a good party favor that would be meaningful to my husband and me, as well as be something the guests could keep for a long time to come. While monogrammed napkins and bubbles are nice, they didn’t really speak to me or about me. I needed something relatively cheap since I was going to have 150 guests and something that I could personally make. After much consideration and research, I ended up deciding to use both my gardening and creative gifts, to come up with my perfect party favor: home-propagated African Violets in hand-made clay pots. The following is a short tale of my journey to matrimonial insanity and back.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

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Cover a Chain-Link Fence in No Time Flat
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

No one would accuse a chain-link fence of being beautiful. Likewise, no gardener would purposefully put in a chain-link fence if they had the funds to do something else. But there is hope for those conspicuous silver eye sores. Here’s how to cover one with vines in no time flat: reconsider your chain-link fence as a wonderfully large and blank trellis.

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

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That's Fishy! My Surprise Family
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

As a water gardener, I hope to support life in my pond whether it is plants, fish, frogs, or birds. I do everything possible to make harmonious conditions in my pond including filtration, oxygenation, a wildlife beach and some, okay a lot, of tender loving care. Imagine my surprise when ten microscopic baby fish ended up in a bucket of hot, swampy water a couple feet away from my pond.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

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Colorado Demonstration Gardens: Xeriscaped Gardens
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Do you cringe at the word “xeriscape”? Does that mean boring, thin-leaved, un-colorful plants to you? Well think again. Xeriscape gardening can look lush, colorful and be a snap to maintain. To help people learn how to have a beautiful garden while being water consious, Colorado Springs Utilities has created two xeriscaped demonstration gardens for denizens to learn about and apply water thriftiness in their own gardens. The display at these gardens provides a lesson for everyone, even if you don’t live in a drought prone area. Can you imagine not having to water much *at all* between rains?

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

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Colorado Demonstration Gardens: Monument Valley Gardens
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

The Pike's Peak Region of Colorado is a difficult place to garden. With erratic weather patterns coming over the Front Range, one cannot predict much more than the skies being unpredictable. A drought-filled summer and a cold, wet winter one year could be followed by a cool, rainy summer and a desperately dry winter. In a climate like this, experimentation in the garden is a must. What better way to see what can thrive in this changing climate than visiting a demonstration garden? The Horticultural Art Society of Colorado Springs maintains a sumptuous demonstration garden for the public to enjoy and evaluate plants. Here is a brief tour and history of the beautiful grounds.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

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Plant Select: A Resource for all Gardeners
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

If you live in the arid or high-altitude climates of the Rocky Mountains or the high plains, sometimes finding durable, long lasting plants is a challenge. Even if you don’t live in the Rocky Mountain region, it is likely that your weather is unpredictable and harsh on your plants. Enter Plant Select.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

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Visiting Iris Farms
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

As you read in my Spring Shopping article earlier in the year, I’ve been anxiously planning visits to several iris farms for quite a while. Well guess what time it is? Finally, time to see iris in full bloom!

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

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The First Sunburn of the Year
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Nothing warms the heart (sometimes literally more than figuratively) more than the first sunburn of the year. The first spring day when the weather is warm enough to start the morning outside, maybe with a hat, scarf, and long sleeved shirt, what a joy. Once you start to work, pulling those persistent winter weeds, raking dead grass or trimming dead stems, you warm up. Off comes the hat and scarf.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

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10 Vines You Should Know
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Most of us have heard of clematis, morning glory, and passion flower vines, but have you ever heard mention of the Nong Nooch Vine? With so many easy to grow, exotic and beautiful vines out there, no one has an excuse to grow run-of-the-mill climbers in their gardens. Here is a list of 10 vines you should get acquainted with.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

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Culturally and Historically Significant Flowers: Columbines
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Columbines (Aquilegia) are a wonderful companion or showcase plant in the garden. They also have a rich, sometimes little known cultural history and significance in America.

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

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Rocky Mountain Gardening: Seed starting
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

In the Rocky Mountains, we have our own brand of challenges when it comes to gardening. With predictably unpredictable weather, cool summer months with intense sun, and wind like you wouldn't believe, gardeners are often tested to their limits with knowledge and patience. Seed starting presents its own trials for which we Rocky Mountain gardeners must be prepared.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

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Early Emerging Spring Perennials
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Living in the colder areas of the world can sometimes be a strain on your gardening sanity. Planting early emerging perennials is a good way to quell your winter blues as you can watch them pop up before everyone else in the spring. The following is a list of plants that would qualify as early emerging perennials in Zones 4-6, especially areas with drier climates.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

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A Different Kind of Evergreen
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

The depths of winter are upon us in Colorado. Though this year it seems the depths aren’t as deep as they usually are. Full weeks with highs above 50, multiple fortnights between any traces of precipitation, followed by arctic blasts providing record lows and record low highs; this has surely been a strange season of weather (though how many times is it not?) Surprisingly through the weather though, some hardy perennials have managed to keep up with the blue spruces and pinon pines, providing some much needed green throughout the winter months.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

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Pines: An evergreen for any climate
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Pines are at their peak glory in fall through early spring. Deciduous trees have all lost their leaves, but pines of all shapes and sizes still add a monumental, evergreen beauty to the landscape.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

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Winterizing your pond
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Another rewarding pond season is coming to a close and it is time to ready the pond for winter.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

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The Thrifty Gardener: Summer End Clearances
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

As summer ends, so begins a thrifty gardener’s favorite time of year. The end of the growing season triggers plant retailers to mark deep discounts in their stock to clear out for the coming cold months. If you look around enough, you can find almost every unaffordable plant that you wanted at the beginning of the summer at a price that will make the risk worth it. Try some of these tips for end-of-season thrift gardening:

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Friday, August 10, 2012

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Big Leaves, Big Impact
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Large leafed plants can look unique, tropical and add a striking flair to any garden. If you have the space for big leaves, you will add another dimension to your garden that is sure to get people talking. Here is a general overview of some big-leafed plants to try such as Sweet Coltsfoot, Rhubarb, Poor Man's Parasol, and several other plants that will, without a doubt, make your mouth water.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

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Spring To-do Lists
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Gardeners need goals, to do lists and plans in order to focus and streamline their efforts. It is always surprising how often gardeners forget to make goals for their gardens. Hopefully this article will motivate or inspire you to use the last few chilly weeks to set up an enthused to-do list for your garden.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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Birth Flowers
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Similar to a birthstone and an astrological sign, we are all assigned a birth flower for the time of year we are born. Each birth flower has a historical or meaningful significance. Some people are surprised to hear that birth flowers exist. Here is a brief overview of the birth flowers and their meanings.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

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Where do bees go in winter?
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Ever been curious about why you rarely see bees flying in winter? Where do all the bees go?

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

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Firewood: Choosing the right wood, splitting, and seasoning
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

A cup of hot cocoa, a warm crackling fire, and good company. Ah, it must be winter. A fire can be a wonderful source of economical warmth as well as a comforting necessity in colder months. Choosing the right kind of wood to burn, learning how to split it correctly, seasoning and storing it properly will help insure your safety and keep your house as well as your heart warm as the mercury drops.

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Friday, November 4, 2011

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Three cheers for your green thumb
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

If you are one of the many people who think you are just plain “black thumbed,” read on because there is hope for you yet.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

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Tour the Denver Botanic Garden
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

The Denver Botanic Garden is a wonderful resource for gardeners in Colorado and surrounding areas. The Colorado environment is not an easy one to grow in and having any inspiration or help you can get is welcome. The Denver Botanic Garden has demonstration gardens for all different types from water gardens to tropical gardens. If you don't live close enough for a visit, here is a quick tour.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

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House Plants as Décor: From Jumbled to Just Right
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

As gardeners we want what we want, which is generally every plant we come across. As a result, indoor gardeners often end up with a plant on every surface, sill and shelf in their homes. While this look is probably fine in our eyes, it might not strike the fancy of our spouses, house guests, and likely won’t win us any decorating awards. If you would describe yourself as “decorating dumb” or even just need a few pointers, here are a few tips for making that Schefflera look like it was born to sit next to that couch:

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

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Choosing Plants for Your Water Garden
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

As your water garden starts to fill in this summer, knowing a few basics about choosing pond plants can help you make the best ecosystem possible. Water garden plants come in five different categories and if you choose plants from each type, you can help boost your biological filtration capacity and the health of your pond.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

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The Thrifty Gardener: Do-it-Yourself Pond, Part 2
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

In this second article of the Do-it-Yourself Pond series, I will address finishing your pond, water quality issues, and adding plants. You've gotten the hard work done and now it's time to have fun and start enjoying your pond.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

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How peculiar: A green flower
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Green thumb? Check. Green leaves? Check. Green with zone envy? Often. Green flowers? Say what? I love green flowers because of that very reaction; that and chartreuse is my favorite color. Here’s a few of my favorite green flowers to put in and around your garden to evoke a reaction of your own. Or, why not try a green-themed garden?

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Friday, May 28, 2010

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Astilbe: Introduction and Cultivars
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Astilbes boast airy plumes of feathery blooms high above deeply cut, glossy foliage. They are perennial to Zone 3 and lend an elegance to moist, partial sun borders or ponds. If you are unfamiliar with Astilbe, delve into their graceful world with me.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

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Plants for your pond surround: Sunny & wet
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

While any plant will probably be fine next to a pond, some will do and look better than others. Whether you have major splashing from a fountain or a still water hole, here are some ideas for plants to put around your pond or water feature.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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Starting water lotus from seed
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

What could be more beautiful than a blooming water lotus above a tranquil pond? Although water lotus plants can sometimes be hard to come by, they are not impossible to start from seed. Why not take on the challenge of starting one from seed this spring?

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

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The Thrifty Gardener: Do-it-Yourself Pond, Part 1
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

At the end of this past summer, I set out to build my own pond. I found myself immersed in conflicting research, pricey gadgets and some very confusing directions. In the end though, I came out with a beautiful pond that works perfectly for me. It’s not the fanciest pond and it’s definitely not the end all, be all of ponds, but it works for me. This is the first installment in my guide to building a small backyard pond inexpensively, with some short cuts and some don’t-cuts, and plenty of dumb mistakes to avoid.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

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Harvesting seeds that hurt
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Spiky, prickly, and thorny seedpods can make for an ouchy seed harvesting experience. Where exactly are the seeds and how do you get them out without losing a finger?

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

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Home Grown Teas
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

If a productive garden is just as important to you as a beautiful garden, why not add tea herbs to your inventory? Chamomile, spearmint, and lemon balm are some easy plants to start your tea garden with, while more advanced tea enthusiasts can try their hand at Camellia sinensis and Yerba Mate.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

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The Dreaded Algal Bloom
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

So you’ve done everything right so far this pond season; you did spring cleanup, lifted all your hardy plants, and maybe even added a few beneficial bacteria into the system. Then why on earth do you have impenetrable pea soup!?!?

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