penstemon heterophyllus electric blue

Electric blue beardtongue, Penstemon Heterophyllus

Last night, in our side garden I noticed a forgotten penstemon nearly swallowed alive by the ever-expanding lamb’s ear. This part of the bed  gets limited sun and absolutely no additional water, just rain fall. This plant is impressively xeric. I will not to hesitate to repurchase given the chance. This one was found at Smith Marketplace for only $2.99. I wonder how long a well established penstemon flowers, mine are so young their blooms seem very fleeting. Continue reading “penstemon heterophyllus electric blue”



Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 9.27.07 PM

In Utah roses that are elsewhere more or less everblooming really only have a spectacular show of blooms in the spring before the temperatures climb into the 90’s. By the summer the blooms are rare and if we are lucky fall sees another flush, rarely as spectacular as spring’s. This seems to be true of English or Hybrid Tea roses but less so of shrub roses. The Iceberg rose, often mocked for being too ubiquitous is splendid in our climate.  Continue reading “white”

red goes with everything

Red goes with everything

Today we are entering day 4 of rain here in Salt Lake city. I am in heaven and celebrating all red things happening around the garden! This weekend I moved plants around under the downpour, getting soaked to the bone and loving every minute of it. Last night before Thomas had to leave town for business I begged him to help me transplant a large-ish prostrate cut-leaf Japanese maple. It was a huge risk and  big job that may or may not pay off. I suspect that we did not manage to save enough of the root system but who knows, with the terrible weather it could work. What stresses me most about it is that it looks so good in its new home… Continue reading “red goes with everything”

roses and the Utah gardener part 3

picture credits: Ruby Voodoo Rose.
picture credits: Ruby Voodoo Rose.

Which rose to choose for drought tolerance is not necessarily a guessing game. Horticulturists in Texas have done a lot of work for us on that subject and created a list called Earth-Kind Roses. These shrubs are selected to survive drought, cold and disease with minimal intervention. My favorites on the list are pink: The Fairy (polyantha), Cecile Brunner (polyantha), New Dawn (large flowered climber). Continue reading “roses and the Utah gardener part 3”

hard working annuals

November survivors

A small flat of four starts of flowering tobacco came home with me the day of the spring Red Butte Garden sale. Little did I know how large they would become. One specimen can hold its own in the middle of any border. The stems tend to flop terribly but the non-stop flowering even after the first frost is impressive especially on so little water. This is an experiment I hope to repeat next year given the chance. Continue reading “hard working annuals”

Gardening in the Intermountain West

Mid August Garden
After years of writing mostly about sewing, crafts and gardening I find that I have nothing left to say about the first two. About Gardening on the other end I could go on and on aloud and on the virtual page. Keeping a garden log is essential, keeping a garden blog should serve much the same purpose I hope but in Technicolor!
Continue reading “Gardening in the Intermountain West”