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June 6, 2015 / mountainparks

A Great Leap Forward: New Plants

Following April’s search-and-destroy mission on weeds and TWO May follow-up weed pulls, we had room for new plants. Thanks to Arts and Venues participation we were able to purchase about 50 new plants. On June 6, we set up a special workday to get them in the ground, between rainstorms, for the next phase in rejuvenating our native garden.

Rick Brune sets out some of the new plants in selected locations for planting. June 6, 2015.

Rick Brune sets out some of the new plants in selected locations for planting. June 6, 2015.

We also hope Arts and Venues is going to provide funding to enable us to have more consistent guidance from botanical consultant Rick Brune, who has more than 30 years experience in gardening with natives. We have purchased native seedlings from Rick for the garden in the past; his excellent prairie garden is a source of inspiration. Rick and Sally visited Timberline Gardens to pick out the plants (see species list).

After being instructed in planting technique, garden team members scattered out to plant the new arrivals. All were heavily watered to settle the soil around their roots and, despite expected rains, will be frequently watered the next couple weeks. We have high hopes that, with weed competition reduced, we will have great results with this planting, perhaps even something approaching Rick’s backyard prairie in due time.

Indian paintbrush (Castelleja integra) flourishes in Rick's backyard in Lakewood. We dare to dream!

Indian paintbrush (Castelleja integra) flourishes in Rick’s backyard in Lakewood. We dare to dream!

Newly installed John Denver statue in a corner of the garden.

Newly installed John Denver statue in a corner of the garden.

We also learned in May that, with the opening of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in the Trading Post near the garden, a life-size statue of John Denver was to be erected nearby. Installation of the pedestal base has been in progress for a couple weeks, and the statue arrived just a day or two ago. It’s already proving to be a visitor attraction! Perhaps it will help draw attention to the garden as well.

It’s been a productive spring! With interpretive signs planned for installation in the fall, the garden should be a wonderful educational resource for Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. The photo gallery below recaps events. Click on any image to view as a slideshow.

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