Vail Landscape Logic column: What do broccoli and roses have in common?
Just like 2017 is the year of the rooster in the Chinese calendar, 2017 also has a designated bulb, perennial, annual and edible. While a national designation, these plants offer noteworthy advantages for Colorado gardeners and all of the designees could be good for your landscape, even if your garden plot is as small as a container on your patio.
• 2017: Year of the Daffodil — Did you know our country has always enjoyed daffodils because women sailing to the new world sewed the bulbs into the hems of their skirts because they had nowhere else to put them on the ships? And if you guessed they are a plant distasteful to many animals, then you earn a gold star.
These early bloomers of spring are in our heritage and a great fit for gardens nibbled by wildlife. Daffodils are well suited to Colorado’s climate and require little maintenance.
• 2017: Year of the Brassica — Say what? The word “brassica” denotes the family of hardy, early- and late-season edible crops that are so healthy for us. Think broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, rutabaga and turnips. These crops have been a major food source throughout history and are grown around the world.
Brassica are among foods highest in vitamin C, antioxidants and other compounds that reduce risk of cancer. Simply buy a packet of seeds, follow the instructions on the package and you’re off and running to enjoy healthy, homegrown veggies.
• 2017: Year of the Rose — The U.S. National Flower is perennial of the year. Long before arriving in America, the rose was recorded in China some 7,000 years ago. Fortunately, today’s varieties are easy-to-grow staples in the landscape. Plant them where they will have six to eight hours of full sun, and irrigate them with water-conserving drip irrigation. Drip avoids common diseases brought on by wet foliage watered by spray irrigation.
Roses require some pruning to produce many blooms, but the process is user friendly, as long as you know when to prune and avoid the thorns. Ground cover roses require no pruning at all.
• 2017: Year of the Pansy — The plant considered a weed until early in the 19th century now has varieties that are grown worldwide and enjoyed for their range of colors, from near-black to bright yellow and many soft shades between. They are suitable for any sunny space and can be planted in the ground, in containers and hanging baskets. Pansies are edibles, so plant them with early lettuce and use their blooms to dress up salads. Blooms can also be candied to decorate cakes.
Colorado gardeners can always rely on pansies for transitional color between the warm and cool seasons — on the front end of winter turning to spring and on the back end of summer turning to fall.
Information is courtesy of the National Garden Bureau. Becky Garber is a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.