Western Mountains and High Plains

July, 2011
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Hens and Chicks
Since childhood, sempervivums have been in my garden, no matter where I go. Commonly known as hens-and-chicks, there are hundreds of species and cultivated varieties to choose from. They make excellent ground covers as they cover slopes, fill in niches, or mix with other low-growing succulents in beds or containers. Hens-and-chicks spread rather quickly by forming small offshoots (chicks) that cluster or radiate out from the central rosette. Thus, colonies are created for a dense cover. Roots are shallow, so despite the fact that another common name is live-forever, they won't survive prolonged drought. Plant in well-drained soils.

Clever Gardening Technique

Make a Pocket Herb Garden
In limited space you can still grow a successful herb garden by constructing a pocket garden. Use cinder blocks, an old wagon wheel, or wooden ladder set partially into the soil. Plant compact herbs like chives, basil, oregano, lavender, and rosemary into the openings. This also keeps the herbs from sprawling as the structures form a barrier to prevent rapid spread.

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