Wide Open Spaces

As I started to plan my side-yard garden this season, the lyrics from the Dixie Chicks song Cowboy Take Me Away came to my mind: “I said I wanna touch the earth / I wanna break it in my hands / I wanna grow something wild and unruly.” Gardening for me has always been an excuse to release my inner tomboy and get dirty. To lose myself in the act of tilling the soil, planting the seeds and following my design plan is as rewarding as watching the garden spring to life.

The length of the growing season in Colorado has always been a challenge for me and I found help in the Colorado Gardener's Guide. This book help me identify the best plants for Colorado and when to plant them for the greatest garden success. The more time I spend in Colorado gardening, the more I understand this specific landscape. My gardening efforts now do not try to tame the landscape but to enhance it. Taking every opportunity to plant flowers and grasses that will attract wildlife of all kinds.

The Wildlife Gardener's Guide is a wonderful primer on attracting birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your garden. It includes hands-on garden projects that your whole family can participate in and you'll enjoy the reward of wildlife visitors all season. Because we are in Colorado and always concerned about water conservation in our aird climate, we always try to chose plants and grasses ofr our gardens that survive and thrivein tough conditions. Dryland Gardening contains practical advice and extensive plant lists for hardy, drought resistant grasses, ground cover, herbs, and shrubs to make your garden beautiful and water-wise. By far my favorite book this gardening season is the American Meadow Garden. Beautifully photographed, this book shows you how to create beautiful, sustainable natural meadows that can be an alternative to a formal, stuffy garden. The lure of the meadow extends the idea of allowing the landcape to thrive with natural grasses and plants and encourages wildlife. It reminds me gardening does not have to tame the earth but allows us to tend it for a little while, creating something wild and uruly.

If you do not have your own space to garden in, you are lucky to be an Anythinker! Become part of the Anythink Garden Project and find out how you can garden at several different Anythink locations. Our latest community gardens project is at Anythink Wright Farms. Join us on Tuesday, April 30 at 6:30 pm to find out more about the garden plans and how you can sign up for a plot.  


I want to start gardening but I have had no idea where to get started! Thanks for sharing some of your favorite resources with us :) Hopefully I can keep a garden alive longer than I kept my potted cactus

Sheena, I am happy you found these resources helpful! Gardening in the ground is infinitely more rewarding that watering a potted plant and I know you will excel. You can do it! Beth Ann

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