We are making excellent progress on the Vegetable Garden! On July 7th, the Board approved moving ahead with the project. The Veg Garden committee met with our contractor and finalized measurements and details, including the approval of the prototype for the raised garden beds.
On July 19th thru the 21st several volunteers removed plants from the old garden and potted them up to replant in the new garden, as well as removing weeds and shoring up the grapevine. Daniel and his crew from Parks and Rec spent three hours scraping and leveling the area and relocating the soil for us to re-use.
The second phase of the project, the fencing and trellis, is underway, and we are awaiting the prototype for the first fence panel (a combination of wire fencing and hardware wire for rabbit deterrence). The west side of the garden with the grape trellis will be the last part of phase two of the project. Our contractor has been wonderful to work with and we thank all of you who have been contributing ideas and physical labor to the project!
One of the raised beds for the renovated vegetable garden
The HAS is excited to invite you to the most special garden tour that we have offered to date—a tour of OUR gardens in celebration of our 60th Anniversary! Come and join us as we celebrate the history of the HAS and its place in the greater history of Colorado Springs. Learn how our gardens have changed over the years, and what our goals for the gardens are now. Familiarize yourself with the native plants that we have on display, and take home ideas for your own garden beds. As if that wasn’t enough, we will have some lovely music performed by the Colorado Springs Saxophone Quartet, and harpist Marta Taylor, as well as refreshments. Kids also will have some activities, with participation prizes to take home. So come help us celebrate, and bring your family and friends. Our public gardens are for everyone!
The HAS Demonstration Garden in 1965
A NOTE TO OUR GARDEN VOLUNTEERS: This is a big event, and we would like to have the gardens looking tip-top. We know that summer is a busy time for traveling and visiting family and friends—but if you could spare some time to help us, we would greatly appreciate it!
To those who are considering volunteering in our gardens, please fill out the volunteer form found at our website (hasgardens.org). We are not requiring masks while working outside in the gardens, but feel free to wear one if you choose. If you are not feeling well, please take the time to care for yourself first, then join us when you have recovered. We promise we won’t run out of chores to do in the garden!
The Founders’ Day Lecture held April 2nd at General Palmer’s Glen Eyrie estate, was no snooze. David Salman, known to a lot of us for his many contributions to horticulture in the West, talked on “Gardening with Native Plants to Benefit Pollinators and Songbirds”. Pollinators often rely on natives for their sustenance, but Salman stressed that some of the plant introductions he has made to our market over the years (non-natives) have been natural offspring of natives and do support the pollinators and thus the songbirds that depend on them to feed their young.
The pollinators and birds that we so enjoy in our gardens need water, shelter, space and a diversity of food–the flowers that provide nectar, pollen and small insects to munch for the entire season. Salman said that we are planting to attract the beneficial insects and that systemic pesticides, especially the neonicotinoids, poison the pollinators. A healthy, living soil grows better and more resilient plants.
The time for us to make a significant contribution to help in the “Web of Life” is now, through our gardens. Pesticides kill bugs. Bugs are a very important part of the garden ecosystem. And Salman did get passionate about healthy soil, healthy bugs and healthy plants. The soil needs help, but don’t dig up your plant, rework (dig) the soil, and replace the plant. That harms the microscopic arthropods and beneficial fungi that improve your soil. Put your organic additions on top and let them work into the soil. It may not be fast but it will be effective.
One of the sources that was mentioned multiple times was ‘Nature’s Best Hope’ by Doug Tallamy. High Country Gardens, a source of plants and information that many of us use, was started and nurtured by David Salman. He is currently the chief Horticulturist for High Country Gardens and the owner of Waterwise Gardening, LLC, where he breeds and propagates waterwise plants.
Many of the plants, trees to shrubs to herbaceous perennials, that Salman picked out for his presentation are available at the HAS Gigantic Plant Sale this year. Some of them are: Pawnee Buttes Sand Cherry, Cheyenne Mock Orange, Kannah Creek Buckwheat, Fernbush, Salvia Pachyphylla, Rabbit Brush, Giant Sacaton grass, Claret Cup cactus, Banana Yucca, Penstemons, Evening Primrose, Wild Four O’Clocks, Beebalms, Purple Prairie Clover, Agastaches, Salvias, Goldenrod, and Zauschneria.