Western Mountains and High Plains

January, 2009
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Pincushion Flower
If you're looking for a dependable, blue, lavender, or pink, long-blooming perennial, the garden should not be without the pincushion flower (Scabiosa columbaria). The plants grow 1 to 2 feet in height and width and seem to maintain themselves as neat little clumps, with fuzzy stems and small, cut leaflets of sage green.

They produce masses of small, lacy blooms throughout the summer, and will bloom even more profusely if deadheaded regularly. The variety 'Butterfly Blue' has lots of lavender hues more than blue. 'Pink Mist' is a subtle shade of pink.

Grow pincushion flower in full sun, well-drained soil. It is very tolerant of alkaline soils.

Clever Gardening Technique

Taming the Horseradish
Horseradish is one aggressive perennial in the garden that can become invasive and quickly crowd out an area. Restrict its growth by growing it in a 5-gallon plastic bucket buried in the ground. Cut the bottom of the bucket out for drainage, bury the bucket so that three inches of the rim remain above ground level. Then fill with soil and plant a horseradish root cutting in the container. It will have its personal space to thrive without taking over. Don't be surprised how quickly it can fill in the container, so divide and harvest frequently or as needed.

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