Friday, July 21, 2006

Slim volume has wealth of information

On the Greener Side


Dana Dugan

We've toured, noted and lusted after the many gardens in the valley over the course of this summer's garden tours, and now it's time to look at our own overgrown or mismanaged plots. Here to help is the fabulous new "A Wood River Valley Gardener's Calendar & Journal," compiled by bird watcher and naturalist extraordinaire Poo Wright-Pulliam of Hailey.

"Gardening in the Wood River Valley can be a challenge," Wright-Pulliam writes. "This calendar is being presented as a timeline for gardening in our high altitude, mountain desert with tips from those who know it best, local gardeners."

Like an easy-to-use spiral desk calendar, Wright-Pulliam's tidy little book has tips for each month, a glossary of native plants, photos, a list of flowers by season, pronunciations and varmint-resistant plants.

To see what kind of native plants you might like, consider taking a hike along the Harriman Trail, north of Ketchum. Currently profuse along the Harriman Trail are sego lily, sticky geranium, buckwheat, scarlet gilia, paintbrush, goldenrod, cinquefoil, asters, yarrow, penstemon, hawk's beard and prairie smoke.

As well, "A Wood River Valley Gardener's Calendar & Journal" has helpful and fun quotes from valley gardening enthusiasts, some of whom are Master Gardeners, such as Phil Puchner, Denise Jackson Ford, Starr Weekes, Trudi McGonigal, Sallie Hanson, Jo Ann Robbins, Helen Stone, Steve Haims and several others.

One of my favorite quotes is April McLeod's in May: "Snow off Della Mountain, time to plant beans." Who knew?

Diane Walker offers the July quote: "Gardening is a time when more than you need is less than you want."

Tips for the month of July include fertilizing the lawn (hopefully organically) and container plants, adjusting sprinkler levels for the hotter temperatures and putting in annuals for quick color. She also suggests pulling weeds, but frankly who has the time in this busiest of months.

Published by Dan and Poo Wright-Pulliam locally at Express Printing, "A Wood River Valley Gardener's Calendar & Journal" is available at valley garden centers.

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