Find out how we can turn your home landscape into a beautiful investment!
Find out how we can turn your home landscape into a beautiful investment!
It’s already February, which means crocus, those colorful little harbingers of spring will soon be peeking up through the frozen soil. We want to see the first crocus of 2017, so if your crocus is first, share your photo on social media and earn a chance to win!
Here’s how to enter
All entrants shall retain ownership rights for their submissions. Fort Collins Nursery reserves the right to use any works submitted for promotional or advertising purposes free of charge. Fort Collins Nursery may not sell or redistribute submitted works for any purpose other than the promotion or advertising of Fort Collins Nursery.
If you love plants, enjoy helping people, and want to work on a team of friendly, fun, and motivated peers, Fort Collins Nursery has a great opportunity for you! We are a full service retail garden center. We pride ourselves in our energetic and helpful staff and provide paid training to ensure our employees can help customers succeed in all aspects of plant selection and care.
We are now accepting applications for our 2017 season. We offer a wide array of seasonal employment opportunities, including:
For a listing of current job openings, click here
The 2016 Orchid Obsession event is now in the books. Thanks to Hi-Country Orchid Club and Mark van der Woerd for organizing such an amazing event! Local clubs, organizations and vendors wowed us with their beautiful displays and hundreds of orchid enthusiasts and curious onlookers strolled the greenhouse to take in the breathtaking sites and exotic fragrances. We sincerely enjoyed hosting this event and getting to spend the weekend with the orchid clubs, American Orchid Society judges, presenters and guests!
Best of Show Awards:
Best Oncidium Alliance
Best Dendrobium Alliance
Best Cattleya Alliance
Best Vanda Alliance
Our 8th Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off was a huge success thanks to many awesome contestants from all over the region. They dedicated their time and energy all summer long to produce some eye-popping entries. Overall, we received 12 entries in multiple categories including heaviest pumpkin, heaviest squash, prettiest pumpkin and longest long gourd. The days top honors went to Joe Scherber from Wheat Ridge, CO. Joe’s 2016 entry came in at a monster 1410 pounds, setting a new contest record for Fort Collins Nursery. Here is a list of all of this year’s winners:
Howard Dill (Prettiest Pumpkin)
Longest Long Gourd
By Deb Courtner
Special occasions call for the creation of memories. What better way to commemorate a graduation, wedding, birth, anniversary, housewarming, holiday or other significant event than by planting or donating a carefully selected plant to be enjoyed year after year? Alternatively, plants are a deeply meaningful way to pay tribute to the life of a loved one or cherished pet who has passed on.
Flowering trees that convey caring include Autumn Brilliance serviceberry, with its fluffy white blooms, June berries and fabulous fall
color; the fruitless Spring Snow crabapple, with its fragrant white blossoms; Fringe Tree, with its distinctive, fragrant, hanging white flowers that look just like the tree’s name; Eastern Redbud, with its deep pink blossoms set against gray bark; or Hawthorn, with its spring/early summer flower clusters, dark red berries, and impressive autumn foliage. If you like trees with colorful leaves all season long, consider a Japanese maple in well-protected locations, or Purple Smoke Tree. If you prefer an evergreen, take a look at the dwarf Alberta spruce, with its compact, conical form, which will fit into almost any garden.
As for shrubs, options include the semi-evergreen Carol Mackie Daphne, with its tiny, sweet-smelling pink blooms and variegated leaves; Tiger Eyes sumac, with its lacy chartreuse foliage, red stems and unparalleled fall color; butterfly bushes, with their heady scent and summer-long blooms; Hedge cotoneaster, with its shiny green leaves, black fruit and outstanding orange fall foliage; viburnums, with their full blossoms, ornamental fruit and pleasing autumn leaves; weigela, with their outrageously showy pink, purple or white flowers; and, of course, many varieties of roses.
Also, keep in mind that Fort Collins Nursery offers delivery and planting services for its trees and shrubs, and a one year satisfaction guarantee.
When selecting a plant for yourself or for a recipient, there are several factors to consider:
The staff at Fort Collins Nursery will be happy to help you choose a suitable plant for your special occasion.
Deb Courtner is a garden designer and writer who creates low-maintenance environments for busy homeowners. She owns and operates Blossoms and Blueprints, LLC, a design and consulting firm in Fort Collins, Colorado.
By Deb Courtner
Pity the poor groundcover; it gets no respect. While trees, shrubs and taller perennials bedazzle gardeners, lowly groundcovers just quietly do their jobs–spreading steadily, preventing weeds, and providing a stage from which taller plants can emerge.
Groundcovers typically grow one foot high or less, although there are some taller ones, such as spreading roses. These plucky plants add color and beauty to a garden, in addition to performing their regular jobs.
If you currently use wood or rock mulch around your plants, why not create a living mulch instead by planting attractive, low-maintenance groundcovers?
No matter what your lighting or moisture conditions, you can find a groundcover that will thrive in your garden.
If your garden is sunny and dry, for example, it’ll provide an ideal home for prairie winecups, with their lush, purplish goblet-shaped flowers and deep-cut, geranium-like leaves; orange carpet hummingbird, with its neon orange, tubular flowers that hummingbirds crave; Angela sedum, with its plump chartreuse spikes that turn orange-red for fall and winter; Pawnee Buttes sand cherry, with its white spring blossoms, outstanding red fall color, and black cherries that birds love; and soapwort, with its abundant pink or white blooms and evergreen leaves. Incidentally, orange carpet hummingbird and soapwort are quite rabbit resistant.
Low growers that favor sunny, moister conditions are woolly speedwell, with its spring indigo flowers and evergreen foliage; cranesbill geraniums, especially the showy, long-blooming Rozanne, which can be drought-tolerant once established; and June-bearing strawberries, with their delicious fruit and bright green leaves;
Options for dry, shady gardens include pigsqueak, with its broad, cabbage-like leaves and upright pink blooms; some drought-tolerant varieties of heuchera, with its delightful foliage available in many colors; and dead nettle, which is anything but dead with its green or white/silvery variegated leaves and delicate pink or white blossoms.
Shade lovers that perform well with average moisture include plumbago, with its startling blue flowers and copper seed heads set against dark green leaves; ajuga, with its beautifully variegated foliage and whorls of tiny flowers on spikes about four to six inches tall; sweet woodruff, with its delicate, scented white blossoms and small, umbrella-like leaves; and, of course, periwinkle, whose dark green leaves and purple blooms contrast nicely with those of sweet woodruff.
Once you familiarize yourself with groundcovers and their uses, you can create a more beautiful garden with fewer weeds and lower maintenance. Then, perhaps, groundcovers will receive the respect they deserve.
By Daniel Laucher
Yellowjackets are a nuisance around the garden and home, and can be caught in a variety of traps using baits that bees and other wasps are not attracted to. They are scavengers that seek out any food source, including your garbage and your pets’ food. Yellowjackets are aggressive and will sting repeatedly if they or their nests are disturbed.
Yellowjackets nest in holes in the ground, unlike most other wasps, which build hanging nests made from chewed wood fibers. These paper wasps, such as the bald-faced hornet and the European paper wasp, will defend their nests if threatened, but they are not otherwise aggressive. You may find paper wasp nests hanging in trees or bushes, or in the rafters or on the sides of your home. They should be left undisturbed, if possible, since paper wasps are pollinators and also prey on undesirable garden insects.
Honeybees and bumblebees feed on pollen and nectar, and will therefore avoid yellowjacket traps. Many commercially available yellowjacket traps use heptyl butyrate as bait, which bees are not attracted to. It is safe and effective to use such traps around your home and garden.
Homemade traps will also work to control yellowjackets. To make one, mix some dish soap into a bowl of water and place the bowl in the problem area. Tie a small piece of meat or fish to a short piece of string, then tie the string to a stick. Place the stick in the ground by the bowl so that the meat hangs about half an inch above the water. Yellowjackets fly very erratically; when they touch the soapy water, they will sink and drown.
Yellowjackets nest in the ground. Locating and destroying nests will help keep their numbers down. However, they will forage up to 1,000 feet from their nests, so the yellowjackets in your garden may have come from somewhere else entirely.
Prevention is important in controlling the yellowjacket population around your home. As scavengers, they are attracted to garbage, standing water, and will even eat honey and larvae from beehives. Make sure your trash cans are covered and tip out any standing water you find around your home or garden to limit their possible food sources. Place traps around your patio, grill, mulch pile, hummingbird feeders and anywhere else you observe yellowjackets foraging for food.
Get rid of those pesky yellowjackets early with prevention and traps, and keep those honeybees humming. Happy gardening!
By Deb Courtner
Nothing delights a gardener like the sight of pollinators flitting from one plant to the next. These fascinating creatures transform a mere garden into an animated celebration.
Which plants attract these winged beauties–those butterflies, hummingbirds and bees? It depends on which pollinator you want to entice.
Butterflies, for example, need host plants, such as milkweed, butterfly weed, rabbitbrush, chokecherry and hawthorns, to provide egg-laying sites and food for the caterpillars that will eventually become butterflies. Then once the caterpillars reach adulthood, they want showy plants that will provide a perch and plenty of nectar. Some of their favorite nectar producers are zinnias, butterfly bushes, serviceberries, rose of Sharon, lilacs, hollyhocks, hardy hibiscus, salvia, asters, coneflowers, daisies, sunflowers, and blanket flower. Generally speaking, they like brightly colored flowers with open centers.
Hummingbirds, with their long tongues, prefer tubular flowers–especially red ones. They go absolutely gaga over hyssop. They also like columbine, penstemons, snapdragons, bee balms, foxgloves, daylilies, lilies, delphiniums, petunias and weigelas. Additional nectar sources include butterfly bushes, pincushion flower, verbena, catmint and tall garden phlox. And don’t forget herbs, especially those in the mint and sage families. Hyssop is a member of the mint family, as you can tell from its smell.
Then there are bees that, like hummingbirds, have long tongues. These prolific
pollinators revel in many of the same flowers as the hummingbirds, and they particularly enjoy blue mist spirea. But they also like some large, open flowers, such as zinnias, cosmos, daisies and coneflowers. Color-wise, bees prefer blue, purple and yellow flowers, particularly with strong fragrances.
When planning a pollinator habitat, note that flower selection isn’t the only consideration. Other factors to keep in mind include:
Once you create a comfortable environment for butterflies, hummingbirds and bees, your garden will come alive with magic and wonder.
After many years of building our Ladies’ Night fundraiser for Project Self-Sufficiency, we have decided to switch gears in 2016. While the old model proved to be a very fun community event, it did not consistently reach our internal goals and expectations as a fundraising model. This year, we will in essence be splitting the event into two separate events in order to maximize our donation potential. On Thursday, June 16th we will kick off our Rock Garden Concert Series with a benefit concert for Project Self-Sufficiency featuring local music legend Liz Barnez. This is a ticketed event with 50% of ticket sales going to Project Self-Sufficiency in addition to 100% of the event’s beer and wine sales. Several elements from last year’s Ladies’ Night event will be incorporated into this festival atmosphere and we plan on having more fun than ever!
Fort Collins Nursery will be closed for shopping during the concert hours from 6:00-8:30pm. We realize many of you coordinate your seasonal shopping with the Ladies’ Night event in order to support this wonderful non-profit. This year we have marked Saturday, June 18th as Project Self-Sufficiency Saturday, and a percentage of our sales for the day will be donated to Project Self-Sufficiency in lieu of Ladies Night sales.
We apologize to our loyal Ladies’ Night participants and hope you will join us for the exciting next chapter in support of our friends at Project Self-Sufficiency.
Fort Collins Nursery