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EMERALD ASH BORER

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

What is it? How bad is it? What do we do about it? Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive beetle that found its way from China or eastern Asia to the US, stowing away in shipping crates. It was first identified in 2002 and has since spread to 22 states. In September 2013, Emerald Ash […]

ELDERBERRY: SHRUB, FOOD AND MEDICINE

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Elderberry is a remarkable shrub or small tree of several species and many forms and colors of foliage, flowers and berries. It has been found in Stone Age and Bronze Age excavations, was one of the sacred trees of the Druids, and has been used as a medicinal herb by early Europeans, native Americans and […]

GOOSEBERRIES IN THE GARDEN

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Most of us think of gooseberries as the small, green, sour fruits in a gooseberry pie. I remember, as a kid, thinking that they were only fit for a goose. But now I have had the pleasure of eating several varieties that are delicious, right off the bush, when fully ripe. Europeans have had a […]

PLANTS IN HIGH TEMPERATURES

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Plants have evolved to time their seed germination, flowering and fruit/seed formation within particular temperature ranges (often regulated by day length). Their distribution geographically is also limited by high and low temperatures. Extreme conditions affect plant performance, survival and reproduction. In 2012, in the Denver-Boulder area, we had record-setting high temperatures: We tied the all-time […]

GOT SILVER?

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

          In the mile-high, sunny and dry west, silver is more valuable in the garden than gold. Gold and variegated foliage effects may be a gardener’s delight in the moist, shady and cloudy east and northwest, but here many of those leaves burn while silver leaves reflect heat and ultraviolet rays. The silver color of […]

BIOLOGICAL FARMING & GARDENING

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

by Mikl Brawner A newer science that’s not tied to petroleum profits is emerging to challenge the industrial approach to agriculture and gardening. Enormously powerful, politically connected giants like Monsanto, Bayer, and Dupont will continue to make money, but after 60 years of dominance, the “Better Living Through Chemistry” model can no longer hide its […]

GROWING AGAVE IN COLORADO

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Most of us in Colorado know that Agave is the source of tequilla and Agave sweetener, but fewer have seen it growing here. Even more rare is the sight of Agave in bloom. The Century Plant doesn’t really take 100 years to bloom, but it does seem to take forever. After 13 years, my Agave […]

2011 PLANT SELECT WINNERS

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Plant Select is a 25 year old cooperative program combining the efforts of Denver Botanic Garden, Colorado State University and some members of the local green industry. Their intention is to chose, propagate and promote plants that are well-adapted to Colorado conditions, colorful and are either little known or underutilized. The 2011 choices are a […]

WILL THE NEW LAWN BE A MEADOW ?

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

I used to be prejudiced against grasses because I associated grasses with the American monoculture of Kentucky Bluegrass that we all know as “the lawn”. But after testing many kinds of xeriscape plants for over 20 years I finally realized that most sustainable ecosystems have grasses mixed with the other plants. And I also came […]

WHAT IS TRANSPIRATION? AND WHY SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT IT?

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

by Mikl Brawner Plants have many important functions, like making leaves, making flowers and seeds, growing, storing starches in the roots etc, but we humans are usually unaware of the vital function of transpiration. It is estimated that 98% of a plants energy is used in the work of transpiration. How does this process work? […]

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