Master Gardener: One of my favorite plants
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
A few years back, I decided to redesign a walkway path, which extended from the street to the back of my property and around the house.
The hardscape was completed by a local landscape company. No artificial landscape barrier cloth was employed. Stones were placed in the gravel/sand base that allowed them to remain stable over time, and between each stone, topsoil was used to fill in the spaces.
Without the artificial landscape cloth, I knew I was committing to substantial weeding each year, but I hoped the selected “walkable” ground covers would be hardy enough to keep the weeds to a minimum. As it turned out, this premise was realized, and my weed invasion along the path is minimal. My goal was to have a path interspersed with plants of varying heights, colors and textures.
Of course, as with any other of my gardening ventures, unforeseen problems emerged. I did not foresee the hardiness a of some of the plants selected and the need to cull and reduce some plants every season.
Some plants thrived, and some did not. Some had to be moved to a better location, and some had to be mourned as losses and learning experiences.
In this article, I would like to sing the praises of one of the plants that has thrived in my garden. It is a plant new to me, not particularly common.
Dwarf globularia. I discovered this plant in our local Yampa Valley Botanic Park. It caught my eye because it was located just outside the park entrance, in a sunny location. It was dense and prolific, and even dandelions appeared choked out and unable to compete with it.
I was volunteering that day, and the park director said I could take a small sample from the area where the plant was, in fact, taking over and choking out other plants in the bed. I spent hours pulling up this beautiful but invasive plant as it grew in the park — in circumstances of full sunshine and ample water.
I took home my small sample and planted it in a problem area in my yard. It came back year after year, bloomed beautifully, but only survived. It did not thrive. When I started planting my pathway, I moved the globularia to the pathway in an area that receives partial sunshine and remains somewhat moist, although not to the level of the water available where I found it in the Botanic Park.
Here, it has found a perfect place. It thrives but does not invade. Every spring it produces a beautiful and long-lasting array of blue flowers. When the flowers die, the plant remains lovely and dense. I have divided and replanted the dwarf globularia several times along the path, and it never dies or needs special care.
Estella Heitman is a master gardener who has made her retirement home in Routt County for the past 12 years after many years of part-time residence. Migrating from the Midwest, she had many lessons to learn as a transplanted high-country gardener. She enjoys the challenges and joys of gardening in the mountains at 8000 feet elevation at her home near Stagecoach Reservoir.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Steamboat Springs has begun refurbishing the two Snake Island pedestrian bridges along the Yampa River Core Trail. The bridges will be closed during the duration of the project, which is expected to continue through Sept.…