Plants that thrive here

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— Our gardening hats are off to plants that can take the heat to plants that stand up to our blustery winds.

We raise a trowel in salute to shrubs and flowers that don't need daily rainfall or rich soils.

Who are these hardy souls?

Winecups (Callirhoe involucrata) is a beautiful wine-red, low-spreading plant that loves hot sun and grows well in a wide range of soils, including clay. It's also a 1999 Plant Select winner suitable for growing in the Yampa Valley.

Plant Select is a cooperative program of the Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University in concert with horticulturists and nurseries throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

Its purpose is to evaluate and recommend the very best trees, shrubs and perennials for landscapes and gardens in the Rocky Mountain region and beyond.

Each year, researchers and landscape professionals choose several plants that thrive in the sunny, variable conditions of our high country gardens.

Some are plants that have grown here for years but have not yet attained popularity. Others are plants discovered by members of the Plant Select cooperative.

And some are hybrids or superior forms of plants tested in experimental gardens.

The stunning blue spikes of Turkish speedwell (Veronica liwanesis) with its glossy evergreen leaves is a 1997 Plant Select winner that can be used to create a thick carpet of lush ground cover. It requires full sun to partial shade.

It blooms in early spring, but with a little extra watering, it may rebloom in late summer.

For a shrub with good resistance to browsing wildlife, the 1999 Plant Select winner, Spanish gold hardy broom (Cytisus purgens) provides profuse bright yellow flowers in late spring.

It has minimal water requirements and enjoys full sun to partial shade.

Look for the Plant Select symbol in catalogs and at garden centers for plants that have aced the test for successful growth in our challenging gardening environment.

Deb Babcock is a Routt County resident and a Master Gardener through the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension office in Routt County.

Questions? Call 879-0825 or email: gardeners@co.routt.co.us.

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