by Lisa Crockett
The snow has finally melted, but months of snow cover left most yards in Castle Pines North (CPN) drab and dull, in need of a touch of color. Spring is the perfect time to add flowers, and drought-tolerant varieties will help you keep water consumption in check.
Soil can be improved with one cubic foot of sphagnum peat (available at garden centers) per eight-by ten-foot area to a depth of nine inches. Sphagnum peat should be added each year in the fall until the soil is easily worked and does not compact. If soil has a high sand or clay content, do not plant perennial flowers until the soil has been sufficiently conditioned (which usually takes a year or two); in the meantime, annuals can be planted.
Shady Garden Spots
For shady spots, plant Sweet Violets and “Bleeding Heart,” which flower in the early spring. Later in the season plant Monkshood, Italian Bugloss, Columbine, Harebell, Candytuft, Cardinal flower, Primrose, and Dragonhead.
Flowers that thrive in sunny spots generally consume lower amounts of water than shade flowers, adding maximum impact with little water. Basket-of-gold and Iceland Poppy are early-spring flowers that thrive in sunshine. For later spring and summer, look for Butterfly Weed, Aster, Cornflower, Delphinium, Painted Daisy, Daylily, Bearded Iris, Lavender, Shasta Daisy, and Paperflower.
Be sure to get the appropriate approvals from your homeowners association before embarking on any changes to your landscaping. For more information on growing conditions in Colorado, and what to plant and when, visit www.colostate.edu.