PO Box 2458, Tijeras NM 87059

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

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 2011

The summer is slipping away so fast! We're gearing up for ArtFest--less than two weeks away--most of our booth spaces are filled with artists of every ilk. Photography, painting, jewelry, recycled art, woodwork, pottery. Pinkie's Country Cafe will be there too, with food and drink. We're expecting it to be a great show.

At Mountain Gardens, we're freshening up our pots, and prepping for our big end of season perennial sale--BOGO  (buy one get one) 50% off all gallons of the same variety. Trees and shrubs will be 25% off.

The last talk of the season will be "Success With Perennials," at 2 pm on Saturday. New Mexico natives have confided they've never seen such a season as this has been; the harshest winter with temps ranging below -20 for weeks--we had -30, and some of our customers saw -40!!! Then a balmy April softens our plants up for a second killing spree when May shocks us with one hard freeze after another. All this time the battering winds have never let up sucking moisture out of the hardy survivors which now have to get through the worst drought we've had in a long time. And then we watched rabbits and other varmints steal the last bits of green--because there has been NOTHING out there for them.Wow!

No wonder East Mountain gardeners are confused and depressed.  It's been an education! The rains have finally come--and the toughest of the tough plants are shooting up, taking advantage of the moisture at end of the summer, the falling off of the wind. It's been an eye-opener--to see plants we thought were marginal succeed, and some we had perfect confidence in fail. And it also reveals the importance of microclimate, soil prep, hardening off, good choice of plant material for our zones--and other factors we've been talking about all summer.

We'll touch on all of these in our last talk. Hopefully we won't see another season like this in a very long time--but we want our clients to be well prepared. As always, all talks are free and open to the public--lawn chairs suggested.

We've given two more classes since the pond class, on rainwater harvesting, and landscaping for fire safety (should have scheduled that one earlier given our fire season!). We'd like to hear from everyone on suggested topics for next season. We're game to tackle anything, and love learning new things--but if there's interest in butterfly gardening or more classes on composting--we up for that too. The subject matter (well, must be garden related of course) is nearly infinite--challenge us!

During our winter break when our schedules allow, we're always happy to give talks at garden clubs, etc. You may "sweeten" a fee...really, anything chocolate is good--otherwise, no charge.

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