Welcome to Friday where we join our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard to see what’s going on in our ‘Hood in the 303. The intrepid duo decided to sleep in today (for reasons I’ll explain later), so I’ll be bringing today’s edition.
Spring is in full swing with a riot of colors, from pinks to red, blues and lavenders, pops of bright yellows and greens but today we’re gonna look at orange. No Max, not Bronco orange…but the kind of orange from Nature’s very own slice on the color wheel. Besides it’s hockey season and we. just. can’t. do. football yet. So let’s get to it.
Walking around the neighborhood it’s easy to find lots of orange. First, fresh annual marigolds are brightening spots all over Mile High gardens. Bright and happy, they also are guardians in the veggie garden. Harmful bugs do not like their scent, so I always plant some of this hardworking annual around the tomato plants so I don’t have to spray any toxic herbicides.
When it comes to orange nothing says springtime quite like Oriental Poppies. Native to the Caucasus, northeastern Turkey, and northern Iran, they grow from a mound of leaves and are drought resistant. Coming in a variety of colors, bright orange seems to be the standard default. They beg passerby’s to stop and stare at the paperlike blooms and fuzzy teardrop-shaped buds.
Another type of poppy around here are Papaver nudicaule, commonly known as the Icelandic Poppy. Native to subpolar regions of Asia and North America, and the mountains of Central Asia as well as temperate China (ironically not Iceland), these charming poppies can pop up in unusual spots, like in this retaining wall which were clearly not planted. Again, flowers are crepe papery textured, bowl-shaped, supported by hairy, curved stems in the feathery blue-green foliage. First described by botanists in 1759, they are hardy in USDA Zones 3a-10b and xeric with low water needs.
No low-water garden in the Mile High is complete without Blanket Flower or Gaillardia, a member of the Asteraceae family, native to North and South America. It was named after Maître Gaillard de Charentonneau, a French 18th-century French magistrate who was an enthusiastic botanist.
Next entry on the Orange Tour are perennial Daylilies (Hemerocallis), whose name refers to its flowers, which typically last about a day. Hemerocallis are native to Asia (primarily eastern Asia, including China, Korea, and Japan), and popular everywhere because of the showy flowers and their hardy nature. There are thousands of registered cultivars. Despite their name, daylilies are not true lilies growing from bulbs. Be sure to keep your pets from ingesting as like most spring bulbs, they are harmful to pets.
Last on our walking tour, is this tiny cactus. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it save for it’s bright shock of color. Regrettably, I have no idea what kind of cactus it is but it was pretty enough to include in this edition.
So what’d you think of the Orange Tour? Some interesting and certainly lovely blooms, right? Glad I was able to present them for your enjoyment since we’re under a winter storm watch. Yes, w-i-n-t-e-r. A late season storm moving through the northern and central Rockies is calling for 3 to 6 inches of heavy, wet snow for the metro area with freezing temps (note to self: cover the freshly planted veggies and emerging flower seeds and disconnect the hose). It will be the first decent snow since mid-March. We hope.
I haven’t got the heart to tell Norman about the snow…preferring to let sleeping dogs lie. Ignorance is often bliss.
So what plans do you have for the weekend. We’ll be drinking hot chocolate and nursing our wounds from the first lost in the Stanley Cup Round 2 playoffs and hope the Round 1 team shows up again instead of the guys who played last night. Whatever you do, we hope you have a fun-filled weekend enjoying the wild, diverse beauty of Mother Nature, especially from the orange pallet.
Light Rain – feels like 36°
High today: 42F°/38°
Friday Rain to Snow Showers
Saturday – Snow
Sunday- Scattered Showers