Western Mountains and High Plains

March, 2006
Regional Report

Books

Yardening; The Non-Gardener's Guide to Creating a Beautiful Landscape
The environmental gardening book, Yardening (Macmillan Publishing, 1991; out of print but available online) is full of good advice from practical gardeners Jeff and Liz Ball. The lawn is the major focus of most "yardeners" -- the watering, feeding, mowing, and protecting from pests. Learn the most ecological way to maintain a healthy lawn. There's also info on flowers, vegetables, container gardens, dealing with pests, and much more.

Favorite or New Plant

Woolly Thyme
Woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus) is one of the most useful creeping and mat-forming evergreen ground covers. With its leathery, gray-green, aromatic leaves, the plant is a good choice for planting among stepping stones because it's tolerant of being walked on. Planted between wooden pavers, this ground cover didn't even mind the light paw traffic that frequented the pathway. My Sheltie's journey through it left a pleasant scent on his paws. When the plant leaves are brushed or trod upon, an invigorating fragrance is released into the air. As a ground cover, it will even tolerate being mowed to keep the plant neat. The flowers of rose-pink to magenta rise above the foliage in late spring and are beloved by bees. Use woolly thyme as an underplanting beneath pasque flowers, botanical tulips, dwarf iris, or other spring-flowering bulbs for a dramatic spring display.

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