Saturday, September 3, 2011


Here comes another garden tour. Can you believe how many I have been on this year? However, this one was not in England and not in Seattle. It was in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. On our way up to the Seattle Fling, avec trailer, we pulled into a friend's driveway for the night. We had skipped through Steamboat last year and never even gave it the time of day. Nice main street. Little did we know what we had missed. I'm so glad we got the guided tour this time. Knowing full well how much I love gardens our host made the first stop at the Yampa River Botanic Garden.

My dream rock garden. Just look at all that color. See what that cool, clear mountain air does for your garden.

The garden was created to ' encourage the enjoyment, conservation and study of the native plants of Colorado.' Rather like our own Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Funded entirely by membership, donations and endowment. There is no entry fee.

Most of the plants are perennials and must survive on the little summer rainfall. Precipitation comes in the winter in the form of snow, about 15' a year.

The air is thin and sunshine very bright. Plants must adapt to this. They seem to have done a fine job.

I don't think my yarrow is ever as bright as this.

Native to North and South America, we saw many varieties of penstemon.

You can see we are both all smiles after spending an hour walking round the garden.

We then went down to the Yampa river to look at the springs which gave Steamboat its name. French trappers who came through there in the 1860s heard this chugging sound which they likened to the sound of the boats on the Mississippi River. It was the sound of steam from far below, which would erupt in a geyser. The geyser no longer blows having been interrupted when the railroad came to town. Instead there are pools of sulfurous water and this clear pool bubbling with CO2.

We then took the short hike up to Fishcreek Falls, where the falls were in full spate. Just another example of why fly-fishing has been a disaster, so far, this year. We then went to visit our friend's daughter who has a small acreage ranch in the area. We visited with her horses and dogs in a lovely setting. I could live here, I thought, until I heard how much snow they had last winter and how it reached the bottom of the upstairs windows. Our stay in Steamboat was brief but very enjoyable.


  1. I'm sorry the fishing has not been good, but I think with views like these, I would get over that quickly.

  2. What a wonderful garden! I particularly like the first colorful, so natural. It seems as if you are in paradise...thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. Aren't the colors so vivid in Colo. I loved living there. For 3 years. Had to move back to the flatlands because of the economy. The dry air and cool nights really favor the blooms. Your tour was great, "our" kind of garden for sure.

  4. I'm not surprised you and your DH are all smiles after touring that beautiful rock garden! It really is something special.

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  6. Wow-there are a LOT of great ideas I can steal off this post. I have a climate similar to that one-NO rain all summer, but cool temps and lots of moisture in the winter. Thanks so much for this post!

  7. Lovely bright colorful post! A dream rock garden indeed. The photo of the falls is beautiful- you can almost hear the water rushing by. Great photo of the two of you.

  8. Nice variety - I like your rock garden more! But in summer, that cool, clean mountain air is nice...I'm just lucky I can drive up to scenes like this post in <30 min, when I need a break from the desert!

  9. Les- Afraid he hasn't. However, he is going out by himself for a few days fishing this fall.
    Sage butterfly- They tell me the season of floral abundancy is a short one but we were lucky to be there at the peak. Imagine the winter scene.
    Greggo- Lauren Springer told me it was a protective mechanism against the clear sunny skies but cool nights must have something to do with it.
    Sweetbay- So glad we got to visit this lovely garden.
    Sue- I'm getting ready to work with rocks again.
    Kacky- The falls were really cooling. The spray from the rushing water wet is through.
    Desert dweller- Thanks for the compliment. Im about to go hunting for more rocks to extend the dry creek. Yes, you are very lucky. We also revisited Denver BG which I will write about later.

  10. You two look right at home in that rock garden.
    Sorry the fishing wasn't good.
    Colorado is my second favorite state.
    Thanks for taking us along.

  11. Thanks for taking me along on this beautiful journey. The rock gardens are magnificent

  12. How nice to see a CO rock garden. I keep wanting to get back up to Denver to visit the Botanical Garden there. That's a great picture of you and your husband.

  13. Those gardens are fabulous! I'm putting Steamboat Springs on my must see list now!

  14. What a spectacular — and all that color in September!