Navigating Colorado Soils: A Gardener’s Guide to Success

Growing healthy plants begins with healthy soil. With its diverse landscapes and elevations, Colorado presents a unique set of challenges for gardeners. Understanding the various soils across the state is essential for cultivating a successful garden. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different soil types in Colorado and provide valuable insights on how to overcome the challenges they pose.

Clay soils are prevalent in various regions of Colorado and are characterized by their fine particles and ability to retain water. If you notice that water tends to puddle on the surface of your soil rather than soak in, it’s likely you’re dealing with clay soil.

While water retention can be advantageous with clay soil, it can also mean poor drainage and soil compaction. This makes it difficult for plant roots to penetrate and receive essential nutrients from the soil.

Amending the soil with organic matter (compost, aged manure, peat moss, etc.) will help break up the clay and improve both soil structure and drainage. After planting, you can apply a layer of organic mulch to help regulate soil temperature, prevent water evaporation, and reduce soil compaction.

Sandy soils are characterized by their gritty texture and rapid drainage. While this prevents waterlogging and soil compaction, it poses other challenges.

The large soil particles of sandy soils dry out quickly and are often low in nutrients. Both water and fertilizer have a tendency to leach out of the soil before the plants can use them.

This soil can also benefit from added organic amendments. Well-rotted manure and organic compost can help fill in the spaces between the sandy particles and improve both water and nutrient retention. Soil Pep is an excellent amendment for sandy soils. It increases water retention and provides organic nutrients. Applying a top layer of mulch helps sandy soils retain moisture and prevent rapid evaporation, supporting plant growth.

Rocky soils are prevalent in the mountainous areas of Colorado. This type of soil poses challenges for both root development and nutrient absorption.

In most areas of our Rocky Mountains, soil is not soil at all, but mainly decomposed granite. To compensate for this, add sphagnum peat moss to new beds and work it into existing beds as part of spring cleanup and planting. Start with 3 inches of sphagnum peat moss over an area and work it down as far as the rocks in the area permit (hopefully 8–12 inches deep). Then, as you actually plant, add Nature’s Yield Compost to the area in a ratio of 1/3 compost to 2/3 soil.

How to Amend Your Soil
It’s pretty simple. You’ll want to add four cubic yards per 1,000 square feet of unamended soil. This is about 1½” thick on the ground. Then rototill to a depth of six inches. Each year, add organic materials about ½” thick and till them in to keep your soil in shape for a healthy growing season.

Choosing a Soil Amendment
There are a wide variety of soil amendments on the market, and it can be confusing to know which one would be best for your particular needs. If you need help choosing a soil amendment, just ask one of our garden experts. They’re more than happy to help you solve any soil problems. Below, we’ve listed a few of our recommended favorites.

Soil Pep loosens heavy soils and increases retention of water in sandy soils. It is commonly used as an amendment to add organic nutrients to the soil. It can also be used as mulch or a top dressing.

Nature’s Yield Compost is a 100% organic, premium soil conditioner. It improves soil structure, helps retain soil moisture, and is biologically active with microbes, which revitalizes the soil.

Earth Essentials Cow & Compost provides both dairy cow manure and compost, organic matter that will increase the fertility of the soil. It improves the drainage of heavy clay soils and increases the moisture retention of sandy soils.

Black Gold Garden Compost is an organic, ready-to-use compost that is OMRI-listed. It helps your garden grow plants that are strong, healthy, and productive all season long.

Successfully navigating Colorado soils involves understanding the unique characteristics of each type and implementing strategic gardening practices. By amending the soil, gardeners can overcome the challenges posed by clay, sandy, and rocky soils. With a bit of knowledge and effort, anyone can cultivate a thriving garden in the diverse and beautiful landscapes of Colorado.

Nurturing Colorado’s Feathered Friends

A Guide to Supporting Backyard Birds
Through Winter

Here in Colorado, our feathered friends enjoy a variety of food sources and abundant water supplies during our warmer months, but they can face an array of challenges when it comes to surviving winter conditions. It’s important to be aware of what birds need at this time of year and the vital role that bird enthusiasts can play in supporting local avian populations.

Backyard birds need three things to survive the harsh conditions they’ll experience in the winter: food, water, and shelter. It’s crucial to provide proper food sources, adequate shelter, and access to unfrozen water throughout this difficult season.

Birdseed Blends: A Winter Buffet
One of the most effective ways to aid birds in their winter survival is by offering a diverse and nutritious menu through thoughtfully chosen bird seed blends. Rather than bread, which most people think is a good food source, birds need seed blends that are denser in calories and help them generate the energy they need to fly and stay warm. During the winter, natural food sources become scarce, making backyard feeding stations a lifeline for our feathered neighbors.

Consider incorporating a mix of seeds to feed a variety of bird species that may visit your feeders. Black oil sunflower seeds are a favorite among many birds, including chickadees, nuthatches, and finches. Safflower seeds are an excellent choice, as they are less attractive to squirrels, reducing competition for the precious winter food supply. Nyjer seeds are rich in oils, providing essential energy for small finches like goldfinches and siskins.

Adding suet cakes to your feeder can be a game-changer in the winter! High in fat and calories, suet helps birds maintain their energy levels in cold temperatures. Woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees are particularly fond of suet, making it a valuable addition to your backyard bird buffet.

It’s also important to be consistent with your feeding schedule. Birds will come to rely on the food sources you offer, and a consistent supply helps them navigate the challenges of winter.

Providing Shelter: A Winter Refuge
Colorado winters can be harsh at times, and the importance of shelter for birds cannot be overstated. Dense vegetation, evergreen trees, and well-designed birdhouses offer essential protection from harsh winds and freezing temperatures.

Consider installing birdhouses designed for specific species that reside in your region. Bird houses can be simple or complex and come in many sizes. The size of the entry hole is important for attracting specific kinds of birds. Make sure the house is equipped with a removable panel so it can be cleaned between uses and a drainage hole so water doesn’t collect in the house. Properly placed and maintained birdhouses can be essential for cavity-nesting birds such as chickadees, bluebirds, and wrens.

In addition to natural and artificial shelters, placing brush piles in your yard can create hiding spots for birds seeking protection from predators and harsh weather. These piles also attract insects, providing an additional food source for foraging birds.

Water: A Liquid Lifeline
While it might seem counterintuitive, providing water for birds during the winter is just as important as offering food. Birdbaths provide a safe spot both for drinking and for birds to clean their feathers. Natural water sources can freeze over, leaving birds without access to this vital component of their survival.

You can easily provide water for birds in a birdbath or simply by leaving a saucer full of water near the feeder. Electric de-icers can be used to keep the water from freezing. Alternatively, you can add a submersible heater to your existing bird bath to keep the water ice-free.

When positioning your bird bath, choose a location that offers a clear line of sight for approaching predators, ensuring the safety of the birds while they drink and bathe. Regularly check the water level and clean the bird bath to prevent the spread of diseases.

As winter blankets the Colorado landscape, our efforts to support backyard birds become crucial for their survival. By providing a diverse range of birdseed blends, offering shelter, and ensuring access to unfrozen water, we can make a significant difference in the lives of our feathered friends.

Thriving in the Shadows: Get to Know 7 Gorgeous Low-Light Houseplants

In the realm of houseplants, not all species are created equal. Some plants flourish in bright light, some need direct sunlight, and others are perfectly content in the subtle embrace of low-light conditions. For those of us with spaces that lack abundant natural light, there’s still a world of green possibilities out there! Let’s explore seven remarkable low-light houseplants that not only survive but thrive in the shadows.

What does Low Light Mean?
It’s important to remember that low light doesn’t mean no light! Even plants that prefer to be out of direct sunlight will need some light to thrive and look their best. Low light can refer to positioning a plant in a bright room, but out of direct sunlight. It can also be created by diffusing direct light through a sheer curtain, or even by placing another plant in front to shield the low-light plant.

Peace Lily

The Peace Lily is a true gem in the world of low-light plants. It will survive in light too dim for most other plants. Its glossy, dark green leaves are complemented by elegant white flowers, creating a beautiful accent in any indoor space. Beyond its visual appeal, the Peace Lily excels at improving indoor air quality. It’s known to filter out common pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia, making it an excellent choice for bedrooms and living areas. TIPS: Keep out of direct sunlight. Leach soil monthly to remove salts which can cause brown tipping of leaves.

Rex Begonia
(Begonia rex)

If you’re looking to add a little color in a low-light location, Rex Begonia fits the bill nicely. This is a stunning foliage plant that adds an artistic touch to your indoor garden. Known for its mesmerizing, variegated leaves that come in a wide array of colors and patterns, this plant is a true visual delight. It thrives in low-light conditions, provides color throughout the year, and is surprisingly low-maintenance. TIPS: Avoid direct sunlight to prevent leaf scorch. Avoid getting water on the foliage.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

The ZZ Plant is the epitome of resilience in the plant kingdom. This member of the Cyad family features glossy, dark green fronds that add a touch of modern elegance to any space. One of the most low-maintenance houseplants available, the ZZ is exceptionally drought-tolerant and can survive extended periods without water. In addition to its adaptability, it’s also a superb air purifier, efficiently removing toxins from the indoor air. TIPS: Prefers to stay warm — a minimum of 55°F in winter. Do not overwater. Likes to be somewhat pot-bound.

Heartleaf Philodendron
(Philodendron hederaceum)

The Heartleaf Philodendron is a beloved classic in the world of indoor gardening. With its heart-shaped, trailing leaves, this easy-to-grow plant is beautiful as either a hanging plant or climbing a trellis. It’s exceptionally adaptable to low-light conditions and can thrive even in rooms with minimal natural light. This lovely plant makes a wonderful addition to any living space. TIPS: Avoid temperatures below 60°F. Prune to increase fullness.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

The Snake Plant, also known as Mother-in-law’s Tongue, is a stalwart in the realm of low-light houseplants. Its striking, upright leaves come in various shades of green, often with unique variegation. This plant is not only resilient in low-light conditions but also boasts impressive air-purifying abilities. It’s known to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, making it an excellent choice for bedrooms. TIPS: Does best when potbound. Fertilize only in the summer.

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Look at any beginner-friendly houseplant list, and you will find Pothos near the top. With its cascading vines and shiny heart-shaped leaves, it’s a versatile and especially easy-to-grow houseplant. It is particularly well-suited for environments with limited light, and will also tolerate lower humidity levels and still remain happy. Pothos is resilient to most pests and diseases, and is an excellent choice for beginners and seasoned plant enthusiasts alike. TIP: water only when the soil turns dry to the touch.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

Chinese Evergreens are renowned for their striking, lance-shaped leaves that come in various shades of green, often adorned with silver, pink, or cream-colored patterns. This easy-care plant makes a significant visual impact with very little maintenance. They are exceptionally adaptable to low-light conditions, making them an excellent choice for offices and rooms with minimal natural light. TIP: Keep out of drafts and avoid placing them in cold rooms. Prefers frequent light feedings.

In the world of low-light houseplants, there’s a wealth of options to choose from, each offering its own unique charm and benefits. By incorporating these resilient and visually captivating plants into your indoor space, you not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also promote a healthier and more tranquil environment. Embrace the beauty of greenery, even in the shadows!

Choosing the Perfect Maple: 5 of Our Favorite Varieties for Your Colorado Garden

Adding a tree to your landscape can bring years of enjoyment throughout every season, but there’s something extra special about a maple tree in the autumn. Their vibrant colors are part of what makes the season so very beautiful.

There’s no shortage of choices among this popular type of tree. Over 130 different types of maple trees can be found within the Acer plant genus, which are further divided into eleven different varieties. A walk through our nursery will provide you with plenty of choices among these popular trees, and it can be downright difficult to choose.

Each type of maple tree offers its own unique charm and benefits. Let’s explore five of the most popular varieties: the Autumn Blaze Maple, Redpointe Maple, Armstrong Gold Maple, Crimson Sunset Maple, and Sensation Maple, and discover why each would be an excellent choice for your landscape.

Autumn Blaze Maple
(Acer x freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’)

Bringing the Fiery Beauty of Fall to Your Garden

The Autumn Blaze Maple is a tried-and-true favorite among Colorado gardeners, and for good reason. This hybrid variety, a cross between the silver maple and red maple, is renowned for its breathtaking display of fiery autumnal colors. Its leaves transition from vibrant green in spring to a blazing spectrum of red, orange, and yellow come fall. With its upright, oval shape and rapid growth rate, it can reach a height of 50 feet or more, making it a majestic addition to any landscape.

Colorado’s fluctuating climate can be a challenge, but the Autumn Blaze is well-suited to withstand the state’s diverse weather conditions. It’s adaptable to different soil types and is relatively pest and disease-resistant. This maple’s hardiness and stunning seasonal show make it an excellent choice for Colorado gardeners looking to add a touch of autumnal brilliance to their outdoor space.

Redpointe Maple
(Acer rubrum ‘Frank Jr.’)

The Epitome of Elegance and Durability

If you’re seeking a maple tree that embodies both elegance and resilience, the Redpointe Maple should be at the top of your list. This cultivar of the native red maple is celebrated for its refined appearance and adaptability. Its glossy, dark green leaves turn a vibrant red in the fall, creating a stunning contrast against its gray bark.

One of the key advantages of the Redpointe Maple is its ability to thrive in a variety of soil conditions, including the alkaline soils often found in Colorado. It also displays excellent resistance to pests and diseases. With its moderate growth rate and mature height of 40 to 50 feet, this maple offers a perfect balance between manageable size and striking presence. For Colorado gardeners wanting both a versatile and visually striking addition to their landscape, the Redpointe Maple is a standout choice.

Armstrong Gold Maple
(Acer platanoides ‘JFS-KW202’)

Vertical Elegance and Dazzling Foliage

The Armstrong Gold Maple is a cultivar of the Norway Maple, known for its elegant, upright growth habit and brilliant golden-yellow leaves. This slender tree reaches heights of 30 to 40 feet, making it an excellent choice for smaller gardens or spaces where vertical emphasis is desired. Its compact size also makes it a fantastic option for urban and suburban environments.

In Colorado, where space can sometimes be limited, the Armstrong Gold shines as a space-saving yet impactful choice. It’s also well-suited to various soil types and exhibits strong resistance to pests and diseases. The striking gold foliage persists throughout the growing season, adding a touch of radiance to your landscape. For Colorado gardeners who would like a vertical focal point with year-round visual interest, the Armstrong Gold is a stellar pick.

Crimson Sunset Maple
(Acer truncatum x A. platanoides ‘JFS-KW202’)

An Invigorating Burst of Crimson All Year Round

The Crimson Sunset Maple is a captivating hybrid maple that brings a burst of deep crimson to your garden throughout the entire year. Its distinctive, maroon-red leaves maintain their rich color from spring through fall, providing a consistent display of beauty. This cultivar is known for its rapid growth and ability to adapt to various soil conditions.

At a mature height of 30 to 40 feet, the Crimson Sunset is well-suited to a wide range of landscape designs. Its dense, rounded canopy provides ample shade, making it a welcome addition to outdoor spaces where relief from the sun is desired. With its striking foliage and adaptable nature, this maple is an excellent choice for Colorado gardeners who are looking for a reliable, year-round burst of deep-crimson color in their garden.

Sensation Maple
(Acer platanoides ‘Sensation’)

Delight in the Symphony of Foliage

The Sensation Maple, a cultivar of the Norway Maple, is aptly named for the symphony of colors it brings to your garden. In spring, its leaves unfurl in shades of pink, cream, and green, creating a visually captivating display. As the seasons progress, the foliage transitions to a stunning variegation of white and green in summer, and finally into an outstanding display of brilliant red autumn foliage, providing year-round interest.

This maple’s adaptability to various soil types, coupled with its resistance to pests and diseases, makes it a reliable choice for Colorado gardeners. With a mature height of 30 to 40 feet, the Sensation is well-suited to both large and small landscapes. Its unique and ever-changing foliage ensures that there’s always something exciting happening in your garden.

In the vibrant tapestry of Colorado’s diverse landscapes, these five maple trees each bring their own unique personality and benefits. Whether you’re looking for the fiery hues of the Autumn Blaze, the refined elegance of the Redpointe, the vertical grace of the Armstrong Gold, the year-round deep burgundy of the Crimson Sunset, or the ever-changing foliage of the Sensation, there’s a maple tree that will be perfectly at home in your garden.

If you just can’t decide, come in and talk to one of our certified nursery professionals! They’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and help you choose one of these remarkable maples for your landscape.

Autumn Lawn Care

Autumn is your lawn’s favorite time of year! It’s the best time to treat your turf to a little extra maintenance, that will ensure a thick, green, healthy lawn next spring!

Remove the Leaves
Leave the leaves” may be an excellent idea for your perennial beds and the ecosystem in general, but not for your lawn! Leaves block light and trap moisture. Those soggy mats of leaves on your turf can lead to disease problems. So as leaves fall, rake them from lawns and add them to the compost bin or shred them and dig directly into your vegetable garden.

Aerate to Loosen the Soil
Regular aeration prevents soil from becoming compacted and covered with a layer of thatch. Thatch blocks water, oxygen, and nutrients from reaching the soil. It’s a good idea to aerate your lawn BEFORE FERTILIZING, so the fertilizer will be able to reach the roots.

Apply Winter Fertilizer
Green Thumb Winterizer should be applied in mid October. This slow-release fertilizer will feed continuously for the next sixteen weeks, giving grass roots plant sugars to protect roots from freezing over the winter, and enough energy to bounce back in the spring.

Get Rid of the Weeds
In the autumn, weeds prepare for winter by sending energy and nutrients into their roots. It’s a good time to apply Weed Free Zone to kill these invasive weeds, roots and all. Make sure to remove weeds before they go to seed for the season, or you’ll see them again in the spring!

Grub Control
No, the Japanese Beetles haven’t gone away — they’ve burrowed into your turf for the winter! Early Autumn is the prime time to apply a grub control before the weather turns colder and they burrow deeper. GrubGONE! is a bio-insecticide that is effective at controlling turf grubs without side effects of off-target damage to beneficial insects.

Continue Watering
Continue to water as long as the temperatures remain above freezing, and always be sure to give your lawn a good watering before you drain your sprinkler systems for the year. While it’s true there is less evaporation at this time of year, natural moisture may not be enough to keep the grass roots hydrated and healthy going into the winter. Make sure your lawn continues to receive at least an inch of water a week.

Keep mowing
Grass will continue to grow up until the first hard frost. If you put the mower away too soon and allow the grass to become too long, it will mat, which can make it susceptible to fungi like snow mold. In the autumn, aim to maintain an ideal height of 2 ½”-3.” This is long enough to protect the root system over the winter, but not long enough to encourage disease. Regular mowing is also an easy way to chop up those fallen leaves for a natural, soil-enhancing mulch.

Reseed and Repair
The cooler temperatures of autumn make it an ideal time to thicken up existing turf. The soil is still warm, moisture doesn’t evaporate as quickly, nights are cooler, and the sun isn’t as hot during the day. This allows grass to grow more rapidly and gives it a chance to establish before cold weather arrives.

Protecting Your Spring-Flowering Bulbs from Squirrels

Are you planting a bulb buffet for squirrels each autumn? It can be frustrating to go through the work of planting all those beautiful flower bulbs only to discover them dug up and chewed a few days later.

Take heart! Many a gardener has had this experience, and a few have come up with some creative ways to solve the problem. Armed with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a squirrel-proof spring garden. Let’s dive in!

Delay Your Planting Schedule
The problem is bulb planting season coincides with squirrels-fattening-up-for-winter season, and that leads to hungry squirrels eating freshly planted flower bulbs! One solution can be to delay your planting time. The height of their feeding frenzy typically peaks in early fall, but it begins to wane by late October. By then, squirrels have already fattened up sufficiently and stored up their winter supplies.

In Colorado, it’s generally a good idea to wait until the weather cools in October before planting spring-flowering bulbs anyway. You can always purchase your bulbs when they first hit the garden center shelves in September, then keep them stored until the weather cools enough to safely put them in the ground.

Add Something They Don’t Like
Are tulips and crocuses your favorite spring flowers? They’re a squirrel’s favorite too! To give your tulips & crocuses a fighting chance, try mixing in a few bulbs that will make squirrels turn up their noses and look for better smelling food elsewhere.

Try adding Allium bulbs to your spring display. Squirrels have an aversion to the scent of this member of the onion family! Planting these ornamental onions among your vulnerable spring bulbs can act as a natural deterrent. Try intermingling Allium with your tulips, crocuses, and other spring favorites. This not only adds an interesting floral visual element, but also helps shield your more delicate blooms.

Create a Protective Barrier
Before planting your bulbs, consider laying down a layer of chicken wire over the soil. This mesh barrier will deter squirrels from digging while still allowing your bulbs to grow through.

Make sure to firmly secure the edges of the chicken wire to prevent any curious critters from lifting it. This extra step ensures your bulbs stay safe and sound. Then cover the wire barrier and the bulbs with soil. The wire will make it difficult for squirrels to dig and encourage them to look elsewhere for an easier meal.

Try Squirrel Repellents
There are several natural substances that squirrels find unappetizing. You can sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or a garlic-based repellent around your bulb beds.

There are also several ready-to-use squirrel repellents that use all-natural ingredients that you can try. They also repel through strong smells like cedarwood and garlic. Be persistent with all of these, as they’ll need to be reapplied after rain.

Conceal with Mulch Magic
Applying a generous layer of mulch over your bulb beds serves two purposes. Firstly, it helps regulate soil temperature and moisture levels, creating an ideal environment for bulb growth. Secondly, it conceals the scent of the bulbs from prying squirrel noses! Choose Wisely: opt for a heavier mulch like wood chips or bark, which are more difficult for squirrels to move aside.

Remember, persistence is key when it comes to outsmarting hungry squirrels! By combining these tactics, you can create a more formidable defense against these crafty critters and ensure your spring flowering bulbs dazzle with lots of vibrant blooms.

Why We ❤️ Our Patio Furniture!

We curate our patio furniture lines to offer what we feel is the finest outdoor furniture available. We don’t sell what we wouldn’t own ourselves! Here’s a quick rundown on our favorite patio furniture and why we love it.


Recycled Poly lumber

Why we love it:
It’s environmentally friendly, sustainable, amazingly durable, maintenance free, and we love
the color choices.

What is recycled poly lumber? Simply put, it’s recycled plastics. Every year thousands of HDPE (high density polyethylene) milk jugs and water bottles are rescued from America’s waste stream and recycled into sturdy poly lumber by Breezesta. These raw plastics are decontaminated, then formed into a rigid board material that’s mold & mildew resistant and guaranteed not to warp. The resulting finished product contains over 90% recycled plastic by weight. That’s eco-friendly!

Breezesta offers a variety of beautiful color choices, but the polywood color is not just a paint on the surface — it runs all the way through the lumber! Using a proprietary process, ultraviolet inhibitors and stabilizers are mixed in with the pigments as the polylumber is formed. So the rich colors cannot chip off with wear, and any scratches may easily be sanded out. The color is guaranteed not to fade for three years. The polylumber itself is covered by a limited lifetime warranty against cracking, splintering, chipping/peeling, rot and insect infestation.

Jensen Outdoor

Ipé Wood

Why we love it:
Ipé is one of the densest woods in the world with a remarkable resilience and a rich, chocolate brown color. Sustainably sourced and grown.

Ipé (ee-pay) wood grows abundantly in the tropical Chiquitania Forest of Eastern Bolivia. Due to the unique dry climate there, trees grow very slowly, resulting in extremely strong, durable wood. Jensen’s commitment to sustainable growing and harvesting has earned them the distinction of being one of the first outdoor furniture manufacturers to receive an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification.

Ipé timber is known for its amazing durability and resistance to weather, moisture, sun and wind, which makes it an ideal wood for quality outdoor furniture. Its remarkable resilience makes it resistant to damage from scuffing, cracking, and warping due to weather and wear. These beautiful pieces will stand the test of time.

The deep chocolate-brown grain may be allowed to naturally age to a silver patina or it can be brought back to “new” at any time with a wood oil. Mortise and tenon joinery maintain long-term strength, and fine-grain sanding techniques bring the timber to a glass-smooth finish.


Polyethylene Wicker

Why we love it:
Maintenance-free, all-weather wicker on aluminum powder-coated frames equals optimal strength and durability.

We love Kettler’s commitment to creating outdoor living comfort through high-quality materials, solid construction techniques, and outstanding durability in their furniture. Their indoor/outdoor wicker is intricately handwoven with a synthetic, maintenance-free, all-weather rattan over aluminum powder-coated frames. A UV rating of 2000 hours provides a high level of colorfastness combined with all-weather Sunbrella fabrics to withstand even the harshest elements. It’s wicker that can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors. The aluminum and wicker are both warranted for three years. Finally, an all-weather wicker!


Galvanized steel

Why we love it:
Durable steel that’s hand welded and hand finished in contemporary styles and bright, cheery colors.

It’s easy to bring a bright pop of color to your garden with one of Innova’s contemporary styles. We love Innova’s commitment to blending superior construction and unique design. Made from galvanized steel and fully powder-coated for enhanced color retention and weather resistance. Hand welded and hand finished garden benches that make outdoor living both comfortable and beautiful.


Cast Aluminum

Why we love it:
Classic designs that are comfortable and elegant combined with durability that will provide years of carefree enjoyment.

We love Hanamint for their commitment to providing quality furniture with durable finishes in timeless elegant designs! Their patio furniture is sandcast aluminum, which is noted for its durability and rust resistance. The process of sandcasting dates back thousands of years, and each piece is the result of numerous craftsmen working together to produce each handmade piece.

They are then finished with an 8-step polyester powder-coating process. This ensures the finish will stay beautiful year after year. Hanamint only uses Sunbrella fabrics for their cushions. That means they’re easy to clean and stay beautiful in all types of weather. If you’re looking for classic design, durability, and maintenance-free patio furniture, choose Hanamint!

Stop by and visit our outdoor living department! You’ll find quality furniture along with fire pits and lots of accessories that’ll make your outdoor rooms comfortable and beautiful year in and year out.

5 Must-have Perennials for Your Water-wise Colorado Garden

It’s the hottest topic for Colorado gardeners right now — waterwise gardening. How can we make the most of our landscape while using less water and supporting local pollinators at the same time? Choosing the right plant for the right location is always a recipe for success! Following are five of the best performing plants for our region.

Zauschneria Orange Carpet

(Epilobium canum ssp. garrettii)
Height: 4″-6″
Width: 18″-24″
Sun requirements: full sun to partial sun
USDA Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Rapidly spreading groundcover with masses of orange-scarlet flowers in summer. A selection made from seed collected in Idaho, this is the best form of California fuchsia for high altitude or cool climate gardens. To help establish new transplants, provide supplemental winter water for the first couple of years if winter conditions are dry. Needs full sun for best growth. Thrives in disturbed soils – aerate surrounding soil with push aerator or spading fork from time to time.

Bluemat Penstemon
Waggon Wheel

(Penstemon caespitosus)
Height: 1″-2″
Width: 12″-14″
Full Sun
USDA Hardiness: Zones 4-

Tiny, spoon-like leaves sprout on prostrate stems that grow into circular, evergreen mats, outfitting this plant’s name, Waggon Wheel Bluemat Penstemon. Centimeter-long tubular flowers glow blue to lavender throughout the foliage from early June to July. Native to Colorado and Wyoming mountains, it prefers well-drained soil, but is adaptable to clay loam conditions. It does not like to be over-watered, making it perfect for water-wise gardens!

Leprechaun Southernwood

(Artemisia abrotanum)
Height: 24″-36″
Width: 24″-30″
Sun, Shade, Partial Sun
USDA Hardiness: Zones 4-8

A compact selection of the ancient garden herb that forms a dense, symmetrical mound of whorled silver-green foliage. Plant en masse to create a low garden hedge suggestive of boxwood but heat-loving! Cut back in January to early spring when fully dormant. Tolerant of shady conditions as well as full sun.

Showy Milkweed

(Asclepius speciosa)
Height: 4-6 ft.
Width: 4 ft.
Full Sun
USDA Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Showy milkweed is similar in form to common milkweed but less aggressive, making it more manageable in a garden setting. Spiky pink flowers atop thick upright stems bloom June through August. Monarch butterflies lay eggs exclusively on plants in the Asclepias genus. With this plant in your garden, you’re sure to see monarchs!

Poppy Mallow Winecups

(Callirhoe involucrata)
Height: 4″-6″
Width: 24″-30″
Full Sun
USDA Hardiness: Zones 4-

Also known as simply “winecups.” A native wildflower that decorates the garden with a summer-long display of bright magenta-pink flowers. A sprawling grower, Callirhoe involucrata’s long branches spread out across the ground to create a colorful mat of flowers and foliage. This plant will cascade over a rock wall or will make a good rock garden plant. Blooms appear July through September.

We have plenty of different types of perennial plants for almost any landscape. You can use our plant finder reference tool to search for more water-wise plants. Once you have an idea of what kind of plants you’re looking for, come in and see us! Our experts are always happy to provide advice and answer any questions you may have.

Garden Fun in the Summer Sun

With the arrival of summer comes an abundance of sunshine, warm temperatures, and maximum daylight hours. It’s definitely time to get outdoors and enjoy a little fun in the sun — garden fun, that is!

While working in your garden can be lots of fun, gardening has many practical benefits as well. From alleviating stress to weight loss to improved mental health, time spent in the garden gives back to us in so many wonderful ways.

Boost Your Vitamin D
Intake Naturally
After a long winter spent indoors, it’s positively blissful to get out in the sun and breathe fresh air again! One of the secrets that Coloradoans have known for years is that a little sunshine goes a long way towards improving your mood naturally.

What is relatively new knowledge is the fact that when exposed to the sun, your skin can manufacture its own Vitamin D. The role of Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) in keeping bones strong is already well-established. A Colorado summer will provide plenty of sunlight to boost the vitamin D levels in your body naturally.

Build Muscle & Lose
the Winter Pounds

Those seemingly endless garden tasks like digging, planting, weeding, watering, and mulching all keep you moving — and that’s good!

Here’s a fun fact: just thirty minutes of active gardening can burn up to 280 calories. You can banish weeds and pounds at the same time! Who needs a treadmill when you’ve got a garden?

Improve Your Diet Effortlessly
A natural extension of growing your own food is that often there is a change in your diet. After all, when you’re growing your own fruits and veggies, it goes without saying you’ll be eating what you grow!

The freshness and flavor of homegrown vegetables are what every gardener looks forward to. Fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and corn are the precious rewards for all those hours spent toiling in the garden. Superior taste and quality are just the beginning though. Those humble fruits and veggies are jam-packed with valuable dietary fiber, and fiber intake is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity. They are also a source of important vitamins and minerals.

Enjoy the Positive Effects
on Your Mental Health

Many people like to get outdoors and dig in the soil because it just makes them feel good. Nowadays, it’s a great way to unplug from the ever-present digital devices and destress naturally.

It’s easier to relax and let go of stress while performing repetitive tasks, and gardening provides a lot of repetitive tasks. Recent studies show that what’s good for the body is also good for the mind. Working outdoors in the garden releases “happy hormones” like dopamine and serotonin. These are hormones that make us feel good, while at the same time reducing the level of destructive stress hormones like cortisol. While all of those gardening chores may be tiring, they are naturally dissipating excess energy which helps us sleep better at night.

Passing it Forward
to the Next Generation

It goes without saying that all kids just naturally enjoy playing in the dirt! Gardening can indulge that desire in a productive way. Kids are thrilled with unexpected garden surprises like digging up a carrot, radish, or potato!

Involving them in the garden provides invaluable teachable moments in life as well. Planting something and watching it grow will naturally teach children a sense of responsibility. If their first gardening experiences are fun and successful, they’re likely to develop a green thumb that will stay with them all their lives. Research suggests that gardening encourages a lifetime of healthy habits too. Try growing this year’s Halloween pumpkins in the garden. Learning to love growing your own food is a gift that will keep giving back to them for a lifetime.

The Element of Fun
George Bernard Shaw once famously said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”

Having fun is not just for kids! It’s important at every age — in fact, it’s a basic requirement for good health in general. So why not add a little fun to your garden? You can introduce an element of whimsy with a kinetic sculpture or a wind spinner. You might choose to add an enjoyable glow to summer evenings with colorful solar stakes, or just sit back and relax while watching birds at play in a birdbath.

Summer’s here, but it won’t last forever! Make it a point to get out into your garden each day, and enjoy some summer fun in your garden.

The High-Country Plant Palette

Your mountain garden can thrive if you start by choosing the right plants! These are plants that will tolerate the high-altitude conditions in your particular climate zone. Many trees, shrubs, perennials, and cool-season annuals grow well at higher elevations.

The Mountain Floral Palette
Consider classics like columbine, delphinium, lupine, bleeding heart, shasta daisies, and gaillardia in your garden. Enduring favorites like peonies and colorful oriental poppies are the mainstays of many a mountain perennial garden — and for good reason: they are all plants that will thrive at elevation!

Mountain gardeners should select perennial varieties that bloom in early to mid-summer. Late bloomers (good at lower altitudes) will get caught by the early fall mountain freezes. Brown-eyed Susan, painted daisy, yarrow, sunflowers, and columbine can also be seeded or planted in gardens or natural areas.

Don’t overlook roses. Grafted roses may not be winter hardy over 6500′ and should be treated as an annual in the mountains. Look for roses grown on their own roots including miniature roses and Rugosa roses. The Canadian, Parkland, and Explorer series also do well. It is important to follow instructions on winterizing your roses by protecting canes and roots from cold temperatures.

For the Vegetable Garden
Look for all of those cool-season veggies that grow so well at lower altitudes in the spring and fall. They’ll be happy all summer long in the cooler growing climate in the mountains! Vegetables like leafy greens and root vegetables are good choices, as are broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and peas.

Shrubs That Will Shrug Off the Cold
There are many shrubs that do well in a mountain landscape. The curly leaf mountain mahogany is a native evergreen and has a beautiful upright shape. It sports attractive seed heads in late summer. The tiny trumpet honeysuckle would make a nice addition to a mountain landscape. It offers showy, fragrant, reddish-pink trumpet-shaped flowers for many weeks in the summer.

One of our favorites is the serviceberry bush. It offers beautiful white flowers in the spring, followed by edible fruit (serviceberries) the service berry bush also provides fall color in shades of oranges and yellows. The red twig dogwood provides a showy red contrast against winter snow banks. It grows to a height of 3 feet with a spread of 3 feet.

The Apache plume is a native shrub with a white flowers similar to that of a rose. These are followed by feathery, rose colored seed tails. Planted against a dark background, the Apache plume’s white stems are striking. Often overlooked and many times hard to find, the Russian hawthorn is a small tree (or large shrub). The Russian hawthorn sports yellow to orange fall color and provides food for the birds in the winter. The beautiful cinnamon bark of the native river birch
gives the tall shrub an interesting winter texture.

The lingonberry, an evergreen 4 to 8 inches high is rated to zone 2 and ideal for a part shade border. This shrub is self pollinating and its berries are great for jams, jellies, and sauces.

Wild Cranberry? Yes! This conversation piece grows to zone 3 and is evergreen. The wild cranberry has delicate foliage followed by edible berries in the fall.

Echter’s plant profile signage provides and elevation guide for most plants, and our nursery, perennials, and annuals experts will be happy to answer questions about the suitability of plants for a high-altitude garden.

Remember to harden your plants off before planting! It gives them the best possible chance to adjust to their new environment!