Monthly Archives: April 2016

Seed Library Open House This Saturday

The Denver Public Library is hosting a seed library open house this Saturday from 10-12 at the Ross Broadway branch, located at 33 East Bayaud Avenue.

All are welcome to visit, bring seeds to exchange or select from the library’s newly stocked offerings.  For more information visit:

or the library’s Facebook page

Sounds like a fun outing for a soggy Saturday!




Seed School

You may be familiar with the Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa. As a member you can buy or exchange seeds with other members.  They encourage heirloom seed saving.  You can grow the same variety of Hollyhock or Sunflower that your grandmother grew because people have saved the seeds and passed them along for other gardeners to grow.  seeds

A relatively new organization is the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance.   The founders of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance spoke at the Denver Botanic Gardens in September 2015 – “Seed: the Future of Food”.   Seeds saved from successful plants are uniquely adapted for the local environment which makes local or regional seed groups important.

Both of these organizations offer “Seed Schools” where they teach best practices in seed harvesting and preservation.   The Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance offers webinars on seeds and has a seed school in Aurora, CO in August 2016 

If you want to see some interesting videos about International Seed Banks see my earlier post on this site.

Denver Master Gardener Plant Sale

pepper plantsVegetable gardeners looking for unique plants can find them at the Denver Master Gardener Plant Sale, May 14th and 15th. This fundraiser, now in its 11th year, has long been known for heirloom tomato transplants as well as chile pepper plants form the New Mexico State Chile Pepper Institute.

All vegetable plants are grown by Denver Master Gardeners from seed at the City of Denver Greenhouse.

The sale is Saturday, May 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (or until sold out) at Denver’s Harvard Gulch Park, 888 E. Iliff Avenue. Rain or shine! Cash, check or credit cards!

In addition to heirloom tomatoes and NM peppers, there will also be hot and sweet peppers, modern tomatoes, herbs, perennial plants, and annual flowers. Denver Master Gardeners will be on site to help you choose your plants and answer your garden questions!

For more information, please call 720-913-5270 or email


Planting Seeds of Humor – A Growth Spurt out of Bashful Gardening.

Starting your journey to gardening can be difficult, but everyone has to start somewhere!  This week, I gathered some information about the rare and unusual questions we encounter here at the Denver Extensions Office for this weeks’ edition of: Planting … Continue reading

What are your 2016 Garden Resolutions?

picjumbo.com_IMG_7189 (1)Spring is such a tease. One day its warm temperature and brilliant blue sky lure you into the garden, the next day you’re frantically protecting  plants from late season frost with sheets and buckets!  For many passionate gardeners, this transitional season marks the real start of the year. So it follows that Spring also offers a do-over on January’s resolutions. Not the “I’ll never eat another french fry” type, but rather, goals that expand your gardening skills, accomplish something you’ve long wanted to tackle or spark your creativity. Here are a few ideas.

  • Embrace shade. Relocate those plants that used to be in sun, but are now shaded by  vigorously growing taller plants. Observe the kind of shade you have – moist or dry or semi-shady with early or late day sun. Re-plant with plants  that are suited to your area such as Annabelle hydrangea (like moisture, especially to establish), coral bells (many new beautiful varieties), sweet woodruff (vigorous and non-picky), Oregon grape holly, bleeding hearts or plumbago (needs some sun, great for late summer blue color). Many more shade gardening ideas here.
  • Grow something you’ve never grown before. Maybe it’s a new vegetable, like heirloom tomatoes or New Mexico chilies. How about some new-to-you herbs to take your cooking up a notch?  For an extensive variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers, we’re partial to our Denver Master Gardener Plant Sale on May 14th and 15, but wherever you get your plants or seeds, resolve to eat veggies you grow yourself.
  • Shake up your planters. Are you guilty of using the same plants in your container gardens? This year, try mixing perennials, grasses or herbs or using a new color palate. Select plants requiring the same light and moisture which will fit your container once mature. Also  consider waiting to plant containers till after the traditional Mother’s Day weekend when a wider variety of plants, which are often more mature, are in the marketplace. Or, if you have perennials to divide, consider using your new plants in containers. Some that work well include Denver Gold Columbine, Kent Beauty Oregano and May Night Meadow Sage.

What are your garden resolutions this year? We’d love to hear.


Submitted by Linda McDonnell, a Denver County Master Gardener

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