Steamboat Springs Gardening and landscaping in Northwest Colorado have their own unique problems. Just because a plant is hardy in zone 3 or 4 doesn't mean it will thrive in your yard. How do you avoid repeating the mistakes of others or making some mistakes of your own?
The best way is to study your environment, talk to other gardeners (especially the Master Gardeners), and take a look at what other people have been successful with in their yard.
How do you get to peek in someone's back yard without trespassing? On Saturday, you have the perfect opportunity for a detailed look at seven of Steamboat's most successful gardens. That is the day the Guild of Strings in the Mountains will host its annual High Country Garden Tour.
Novices and seasoned gardeners alike can benefit from the garden tour. Begin the morning by shopping the garden market outside the Strings tent. Local vendors will be purveying Native plants, containers, garden art and crafts.
At 9:30 a.m., a lecture will begin inside the tent. This year's speaker is Dr. Whitney Cranshaw, an entomologist and expert on managing insect pests in Colorado. He is on the faculty at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and is an instructor in the Cooperative Extension Service's Master Gardener program. Got something bugging your garden? Bring it to the lecture and Dr. Cranshaw will identify it for you.
The gardens open for viewing at 10:30 am. There is a wide variety of gardens featured on this year's tour. Everything from child- and pet-friendly play areas to historical sites, low maintenance and low water requirements to multi-generational plantings, and small plots to 35 acres. This year's tour has it all.
To further enhance the quality of the tour, there will be two Master Gardeners at each garden from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Feel free to ask them about the gardens where they are working or bring questions about your own garden. They'll be happy to provide answers on the spot or give you a return call with an answer.
Master Gardeners are members of the community who have undergone extensive training by the Cooperative Extension Service at Colorado State University. Master Gardeners also have ongoing educational requirements and community commitments to keep them up to date with current gardening techniques. They are a community resource available to all residents in this area.
An added delight will be various musicians providing entertainment throughout the day. Flutists at one garden, a keyboard player at another; reggae here and jazz there; solo, duo, trio and quartet. The musical offerings are as varied as the gardens.
Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to study other gardeners' successes or just stroll through the beautiful environments they have created. Available through Strings in the Mountains box office, Off the Beaten Path, All That Jazz, Gondola General, Yampatika, Garden Pit, Windemere and Steamboat Floral, tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
And while you are enjoying yourself for the day, you will be supporting Strings in the Mountains for the future.