Spring in Colorado - creating a rock garden
June 02, 2013
I can hardly believe that it is the beginning of June. I love spring- early spring, mid spring, and late spring. I love seeing the trees green up, and watch birds nesting. I love watching bulbs come up, and I love the listen to the birds singing. The days start to warm up, and the nights no longer drop below freezing.
This year we have had a fabulous wet spring. I have never seen it so green here in Colorado.
This photo was taken at St Vrain Park, Longmont. Note the snow on Longs Peak, and the very full lake in the foreground. The trees don't yet have their leaves.
I am always excited to discover Greater Horned Owl nests. They are the earliest species that starts nesting, and it always is a great way to begin spring. We were lucky we found a number of good nesting sites in Ft Collins, and Loveland.
This nesting site in Fort Collins had three very healthy babies. This photo was taken at the end of April. Note how the babies have almost all lost their white fluff. They were soon off their nest.
In Colorado it always is a good idea to wait until AFTER mother's day to plant anything. The weather can be dicey and there is nothing worse than losing your carefully planted plants to a May frost! But when the weather is gorgeous I am always excited and impatient. But I forced myself to wait, and in due time, I went nursery shopping, spent far too much, and planted my outdoor containers. Each year I have a different color scheme. For the last 2 seasons I have chosen a white and yellow theme. This year I have chosen pink and green. I love to select herbs and plant them in a container or two. In that way I will have fresh herbs for the remainder of the summer (weather permitting.)
I have been meaning to do something with a bare patch in the front of the house. It must have at one time held a flower bed. But the plants have long since died, and all there is is a round area for weeds to grow.
This photo is taken from our front door, and you can see the bare patch located in the top right hand corner. We had just done a very successful moss rock purchase, and Kevin had managed to move the rocks from the car to the place where I wanted to put in a rock flower garden. I am calling it a "rock" garden because it has two rocks in it. No other reason. The area is very flat, and I thought adding some interesting rocks would create some interesting shapes and textures.
We bought the rocks from The Rock Garden in Fort Collins. I then rushed out and bought weed fabric (3 feet x 3.5 feet); some soil, some mulch and some plants.
The first order of business was to clear the area as best I could and then put down the weed barrier fabric.
It helps to measure the space, and then get exactly the amount of fabric that you need. Luckily we had landscape staples from a prior project, and so I laid out the fabric and stapled it in.
I tried to cover the edges with the landscape rocks that were already there. I then wrestled the two moss rocks into place.
The next step was to add some old newspapers. Newspapers make a great additional weed barrier. I put down the newspaper, and then emptied the soil that I bought over the newspaper.
Once I had the soil in place I got the plants out and arranged them to see how they look. Once satisified with how they looked I planted them. Once they were planted I put mulch on the bed. I started with the edges first, and then put the mulch over the entire bed.
Once I was done with that I watered the bed (I had watered the plants prior to mulching, and then once after mulching to wet the mulch down so that it wouldn't blow away with our high winds.)
All in all, I had a very satisfying day, and I got a beautiful rock flower garden out of it.