Rocky Mountains

June, 2004
Regional Report

Books

Just Weeds
Most gardeners and homeowners do not hold weeds in high regard. But to Pamela Jones, those plants we call weeds are far from being the scourge of the garden. They can be Nature's most generous, useful, and fascinating gifts. Just Weeds: History, Myths, and Uses, by Pamela Jones (Prentice Hall Press, 1991; $29.95) is a fun read. Learn about 30 of the most common weeds, their botanical and common names, history, myths, folklore, and practical applications in recipes for food, cosmetic preparations, and herbal remedies.

Favorite or New Plant

Blue Grama
Blue grama (Bouteloua gracilisis) is a native, warm-season bunchgrass that is very drought enduring with its ability to go dormant during extended hot, dry periods, and then recover when moisture returns. It has been used for erosion control and pastures for years. When grown under favorable conditions, blue grama will root at the stem nodes to form new plants and grow into a comparatively dense sod. Blue grama has an attractive, grayish green to bluish purple cast and interesting seed heads in late summer. This grass does well in Colorado's alkaline soils and tolerates soil variations from clay to sand. It's a warm-season grass that is often mixed with buffalo grass for diversity and to reduce seed costs. Blue grama turf areas can be mowed to a height of 3 inches or left unmowed to naturalize with a feathery appearance. The seed heads that form are quite ornamental, resembling short, curved combs.

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