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Report from Colorado

Several people have expressed curiousity about what Bloom Time will be
like in the Denver area during Convention, which begins in 2 weeks on
6/2. Lord knows, the weather could veer either way & totally mess up my
expectations, but here's what I can tell you as of now.

We had a very wet, snowy winter & spring but it was not a particularly
cold year. There's good snowpack in the High Country & the creeks are
running full, good for the water table(s). The past 2 weeks along the
Front Range have been basically sunny & dry, cool to cold at night
depending on elevation & with some rain showers but no deluges in the
immediate area to date. Recently, it's been increasingly warm (hot,
even) with much wind, which rapidly dried things out to the point that
the fire danger is up. A couple of fires in the greater metro area (near
Golden just west of Denver & in rural Douglas Country to the south &
west) flared up this past weekend but are under control now. Fire is a
fact of life in the West so this is not unusual & response crews are
very good -- don't be overly concerned about forest or brush fires.

I was at the Denver Botanic Gardens in the east central part of the city
on 5/8 (Mother's Day) & most MDBs & SDBs & many IBs & ABs were blooming
then but not at "peak". Lots of buds on TBs, BBs & MTBs but also lots
that hadn't yet sent up bloomstalks so I think there will be good
flowering of these & perhaps some ABs plus plenty of SIs, SPUs & Junos &
the odd JI & LA (some folks in the flats can grow these last 2, but
they're not that common.) The Host Gardens range all the way from
Boulder (NW) thru Denver proper & the western & southern suburbs as far
south as Sedalia & Colorado Springs so there will be great variety in
conditions & micro climates, increasing the chances of seeing lots of
different irises.  

Near as I can tell, this year isn't all that "hurry-up" for East Slope
Colorado -- certainly nothing as early & wild as has been reported by
those in assorted locations around the US & parts of Canada. In & around
the city, spring bulbs are over or finishing up, the early flowering
trees & shrubs are waning & the first irises are winding down, too, but
there should still be lots to see come the 1st week in June. The Region
20 show is at the DBG on May 30-31 -- if you arrive in time to attend it
should be a good one this year, unless Ma Nature does something vile
between now & then...

In my foothills garden at 7,400', I'm still basically in Tulip Time,
which is about par for the course in mid-May, maybe a week earlier than
last year. Typically, I'm about 3 weeks to a month behind Denver in the
spring -- I get seasonal shock just by driving 30 minutes down to the
flatlands. I'm just now finding fat buds on some SDBs but no "bloom
clues" on TBs yet, nor on my old reliable variegata. The most colorful
things on my hillside right now are tulips (species & hybrids),
daffodils, grape hyacinths, creeping phlox, arabis & aubretia, plus some
of the spring wildflowers.

Hope this info is helpful. Let me know if you want more...

Marte in the mtns	Zone 4/Sunset 1  Colorado -- where something called a
neutral buss got fried in our power main about 10 days ago (probably
during a general power outage along our road), causing weird sags &
surges in our household electricity. Just got the problem diagnosed
Tues. p.m., will replace the buss tomorrow. I've been staying OFF the
computer in spite of a UPS & surge protectors, afraid it might go up in

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