PO Box 2458, Tijeras NM 87059

Mountain Gardens--finding success with plants for the high desert and East Mountains of New Mexico

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Joining the Plant Select Program

We're pretty excited about joining the Plant Select program. Finding new plants that thrive in the mountains at zone 4 & 5 can be a challenge when our local shopping venues are zones 6 through 8. Try explaining to a customer who just drove in to town and came back with a crape myrtle, or nandina, or an ocotillo--why these plants don't work very well up here!

Our growing conditions are more similar in many ways to Colorado than much of New Mexico. That's why the Plant Select program is so attractive to us. The University of Colorado works with the Denver Botanical Garden, and growers to find plants that are especially suited to the Rocky Mountains. Many of the plants are native, but like the catmints, others are from similar  regions of the world.

New Mexico gardeners are already familiar with many of the program's plants--Sunset Hyssop, Sea Foam Artemisia, Orange Carpet Hummingbird Trumpet. These favorites have met a daunting list of criteria; to be chosen for the program they must be beautiful in form and flower, leaf and fruit; adaptable to a wide variety of fairly extreme conditions that consider high wind, sun, altitude, and soils that can vary from high pH, clay, or near solid rock. They cannot be invasive, and must be easily grown by nurserymen.

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