Our Colorado skies have stayed blue and the sun has kept shining yellow, but winter’s white and beige landscapes are ready for their yearly transformation. It’s time to tap into your “green thumb” and bring bursts of reds, yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples to your home and our Stepping Stone Community. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or sowing your first seeds, this year everyone can get involved in infusing color and cheer into your family’s outdoor spaces and our beautiful neighborhood.
Your Floral Flair, Our Community Share
While a stroll through Stepping Stone’s streets highlights our community parks, manicured gardens, and open green spaces, celebrate your individuality through personal touches in your home garden. As our community continues to grow, you can carve out your unique tastes and personality through your floral flair – to be enjoyed by all into the summer and fall!
Not sure where to begin when it comes to Colorado gardening? We break it down here, with tips from local nurseries on “going native,” the best flowers and plants to thrive in our Parker climate, and how to get the whole family involved in the green thumb fun.
The approach you take for your front and backyard spaces is your opportunity to get creative. Your backyard space is a more intimate place to be enjoyed by you and your home guests, and could be best accented with gardening décor like hanging plants, wheelbarrow flower beds, a flowing fountain, or even a family vegetable garden. Check out Stepping Stone’s gardening ideas on Pinterest
for further inspiration. And always be sure your projects fall within Stepping Stone’s HOA guidelines.
What Thrives When You’re a Mile High?
So, what flowers do I chose? When do I get started? And what do I actually do?
Seasoned Colorado gardeners know that the best flowers and shrubs to plant are native to the region. Focus on perennials like the purple coneflower and dianthus, and annuals like petunias and begonias. It’s always good to try a mix of perennials and annuals – some that you know will make their cheerful appearance again next year, and others that you can experiment with for new color and variety next season. For inspiration, explore the beautiful flora and fauna of the Mountain West and read more on why local plants will flourish.
Like most things in life, timing is everything! The unpredictable Colorado weather patterns heading from winter into spring can make knowing when to start planting a bit tricky. It is generally recommended that hardier flowers be planted in late April or early May, and that it’s best to wait until late May or even June for more “tender” flowers, in case of frost or snowfall (local FYI: flower “hardiness” is rated on the USDA Hardiness Scale and our location here in Parker is considered 5b. The U.S. is rated by 13 temperature zones, and a common flower tag you’ll see at the nursery is zones 3-7, which covers you in our climate.)
When the planting time is right, we recommend tapping into the expertise of local nurseries. Nearby garden centers carry plants and flowers that thrive in Colorado’s dry climate and high altitude, and their specialists will be able to recommend specific quantities and offer planting tips. Some local nurseries in Parker include: Tagawa Gardens , The Gardens, Silver Sage Garden Centers and more.
Top tips from locals: plenty of fantastic “how to” videos hosted by Parker’s Tagawa Gardens will help beginners and seasoned green thumbs alike to maximize gardening efforts in the Colorado climate. You can also tap into the latest edition of Colorado Gardener Magazine online for free, which provides insight on why planting native is beneficial, “Seed Sowing 101” for beginners, and a calendar of local gardening events.
Green Thumb Families: Get the Kids Involved!
Building a garden together can be a bonding experience for your entire family and serve as a creative outlet for your kids! Loads of educational ideas will help get your kids engaged in the science behind gardening, as well as awesome video tutorials on kid-friendly gardening projects. You might consider building a “Fairy Garden” with one of the local video tutorials from Tagawa Gardens, or growing a family vegetable garden with advice from Pine Lane Nursery.
We look forward to sharing a year of color and excitement ahead with our entire community. Happy gardening!