1. What percentage of the plants in the pictures do you think came from Harlequin’s Gardens?
About 30 to 40%
2. Did you create this garden (you and your family) or did you have professional help? Describe briefly
I created it.
3. What is the age of this garden? What town or area? What elevation?
3 years old- North West Longmont The elevation is 4984.
4. What irrigation method(s) do you use and how often do you water and for how long?
Nature and hand water. I have watered twice this summer, once in July & once in August. That is not counting the new plants. I go out & water some areas more than others when I hand water. Some need very little & some need to be watered longer. The rain, when we get it, has been helpful this year. I plant those with like watering needs together.
5. What is your soil like? Did you amend it? With what?
The soil here started out as heavy clay. Into that, I amended it with good top soil, with compost, & mixed in squeegy. It drains well, & since it is a rock garden, has lots of rock.
6. How big is your garden and how often do you work in your garden?
It covers my entire front yard. Not counting the small strip on the other side of the drive way. I go out now & weed once a week in the spring. As the summer goes on, maybe every 2-3 weeks now. It is mostly bind weed I battle. I go out & walk through the garden almost everyday. I weed bits here & there. The focused weeding happens less. I like that part. I also cut back & trim when I weed.
7. What has, or currently does, inspire you to garden and use sustainable practices?
I have been a lover of Xeric gardens for a long time. I lived in the Desert Southwest at points early on. I love cliffs & rocky views. I got inspired after a visit to the Western Slope. It has continued to morph as time has gone on. I visualize my designs as I go at night.
I have never liked grass, & I resent spending money on the water. It is a waste of my time to mow & feed a parasite. I grew up in Kansas on a farm, & never knew anything but grass.
8. How do you deal with “weeds”? What is your approach to insect pests and disease?
I dig them & use a pre emergent for seeds. As time goes by I need to use less & less. I don’t use it around where I feed the birds. I will kill certain insects if I find them, while I just leave others alone. If I find disease I need to deal with, I just cut it off. I have lots of bees, butterflies & birds. I encourage healthy competition.
9. Share a brief story about something you learned from your garden or plants, or inspiration received from gardening?
I have always been a gardener. Even helping my Grandmother as a child in her garden. It has always been in my DNA. When I became a Master Gardener, it just developed as I went. It took me almost ten years to figure out what I wanted my garden to be. My friend & fellow Master Gardener helped me build this one. It is almost totally complete. Started in July 2016. Like I said earlier, I have always loved digging in the dirt. It has saved my sanity. My Father built a lot with stone & I always loved the way soil & stone work together.
The trip to the Western Slope stuck with me.
10. What is your experience growing plants from Harlequin’s Gardens.
What I like about Harlequin’s, is that I know the plants will grow here. They are not Eastern plants. I source plants form different places. I like unique plants that have a certain use or look, & I Love plants that have texture. I am such a texture freak. I love cold hardy cactus & succulents. I experiment with different plants–some work & some don’t. The plants I have from Harlequin’s are plants the have both use & texture.
I have also had to be aware of cost, so I look for ways to achieve the goal, but maybe are not the perfect choice. I use sustainable & reuse hardscape. I have gotten lots of info & ideas from Harlequin’s.
11. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us and/or our community?
I think to have true joy from a garden, for me it is the feeling of the dirt & the love you feel when you look at what you have created. It brings me such peace. That is my goal.