Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Online Resourses for Front Range Gardens by Carol King

The garden centers are buzzing; the big box stores are starting to burst at the seams!  Yes, planting season has arrived!  Are you confused about what to select for your garden?  So many plants, so little time.  Here are some online tools that focus on plants that do well in the Front Range in our semi-arid climate. 

Plant Select® is a cooperative program administered by Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University in concert with horticulturists and nurseries throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond. The purpose of Plant Select® is to seek out, identify and distribute the best plants for landscapes and gardens from the intermountain region to the high plains. Plants are chosen each year that thrive in the unique and variable conditions of Rocky Mountain gardens. Many nurseries now carry plants with the Plant Select tag.  www.plantselect.org

Front Range Tree Recommendation List© was developed through the collaborative efforts of  the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association (CNGA), municipal arborists representing the Colorado Tree Coalition (CTC), and the Colorado State University (CSU) Extension. Based on the committee’s collective education, knowledge, and experience over 250 trees or varieties were evaluated and rated, resulting in a single reference list for professionals to use and share with their customers or residents. The list was designed to be used by landscape architects, nursery owners and urban foresters, not by the public, but you can find the list by searching “Front Range Tree Recommendation List” in your browser. Contact your tree professional for more information.

Colorado Plant Database.
Colorado's drought challenges and the demand for site-specific horticultural information have prompted the staff of the Native Plant Master Program at CSU Extension to create this database of more than 1,000 Colorado plants. The use of native plants in sustainable landscapes can reduce the need for water which is critical in a drought-prone state. Use of natives can also decrease maintenance time and pesticide use. www.coloradoplants.jeffco.us/
Denver Rose Society
was founded in 1947 by people who enjoyed roses and wanted to learn more about growing them. Their purpose is to promote the love of roses, provide educational services to expand a successful rose culture, and encourage you to show your roses. They provide lists of recommended roses and also provide a variety of educational programs for the rosarian.  www.denverrosesociety.org/

Planttalk Colorado. 
Designed specifically to assist the Colorado gardener, Planttalk Colorado is an excellent resource that offers information on literally hundreds of gardening subjects.  Brief text (or audio) presentations provide concise, practical "how-to" information. Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Denver Botanic Gardens and the Green Industries of Colorado sponsor this highly informative, helpful program. www.planttalk.org/

Gardens Navigator,
a new exciting online resource for the Denver Botanic Gardens has been developed for gardeners.  It allows you to search for plants growing at the York Street location by common or scientific name or by features or garden. Navigator can also help you find plants that bloom at certain times or by flower or leaf color to help you design your own garden. www.gardensnavigator.org

Colorado State University Extension 
Whether you have a question about health, financial literacy, pasture or livestock management, weeds, pests or gardens, 4-H or youth development, renewable energy, elder or child-care issues, CSU Extension can connect you to the latest, most accurate data. www.ext.colostate.edu/