Mvptree

Colorado is known for its fall aspens, but those tend to turn color and finish up by the first week of October. In Colorado Springs, our in-town color doesn’t really start kicking in in earnest until about that same time. So we get a nice long season of fall color most years. 

I’ve posted many times about the plants that are blooming in the park throughout the spring and summer seasons, but I’ve never really given a list of the trees that one can see in the north part of the park (the more “natural” part of the park where I concentrate my plant watching efforts). After a group of about thirty gathered for my annual tree walk early last month, I promised a list of the trees, so here we go….

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Puccoon 2

This year’s “Wildflower Walk in Monument Valley Park” (sponsored by the Friends of Monument Valley Park) is coming soon!

I lead this walk every year (plus a tree walk in September). Recent heavy rains should make this one extra interesting. The walk is free and open to the public.

Join us and learn a little about the plants in the park!

Date: June 6, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. – noon
Where: Meet at the West Fontanero Street parking lot
(travel west on Fontanero St from Cascade Ave until it ends at the parking lot)

 

Helianthus annuus

Helianthus annuus

MAP – Here is the helpful map of the north part of the park. I use the areas I’ve labeled on the map to identify where plants appear in the park. (Fox den area, turn-around point, playing field, etc.)

NOTE: Mark your calendars for a Sep 21 Tree Walk in Monument Valley Park! (10:00 a.m. – meet at the Fontanero St parking lot)

It’s been almost two months since I posted a “what’s blooming” article because…well..there has been so little blooming. We had a super dry early summer and then rain started kicking in in late July and it has been quite heavy the past week. The park area has received nearly 2.5″ in the past week!

So while the weeds are definitely making an appearance, there have been some other plants stepping in and blooming as well. None of these is occurring prolifically, but if you know where to look, you can see these lovely little bloomers. (more…)

 

Syringa reticulata

Syringa reticulata

MAP – Here is the helpful map of the north part of the park. I use the areas I’ve labeled on the map to identify where plants appear in the park. (Fox den area, turn-around point, playing field, etc.)

Wow…no measurable precipitation (NONE!) has come to the park since mid-May (and that was only a quarter of an inch). And it shows. The moist April and early May weather got my hopes up that we might have a good bloom season in the park, but it looks like that is not to be. The short bloom spurt that happened in late May is over with the wild onions all done and many other plants finishing their bloom times quickly. So, sadly, this will be a brief post! (more…)

Oenothera spp.

Oenothera spp.

Some moisture in April and early May has led to some nice blooms in the park this spring (hooray!). The super cold temps during that same period has also delayed some of the flowering as well. Hence, compared to last year’s exceptionally warm and early spring, we’re seeing things bloom several weeks later. It’s never the same bloom year twice in the park!

So, here is some of what’s going on plant-wise now in the park….

MAP – Here is the helpful map of the north part of the park. I use the areas I’ve labeled on the map to identify where plants appear in the park. (Fox den area, turn-around point, playing field, etc.) (more…)

mirabilis_close.jpgMirabilis multiflora (Desert Four O’Clock) is one of my favorite Colorado native plants. Part of what makes it a favorite is that it successfully grows in my landscape. It’s planted along the south foundation of the house in an area that gets no supplemental irrigation. So, yes, it is a drought-loving plant that loves HOT locations. And in the height of the summer, around 5:30 or so (it apparently cannot tell time), it opens beautiful little magenta blooms that last until late the next morning. Some years it reblooms later in the season.

Given the conditions this plant will take, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that it has a tap root. I’ve never been able to pin down just how long and large of a tap root it can grow. I see descriptions like “VERY tap-rooted,” “does not transplant well because of its large taproot,” and “substantial taproot…up to 12 inches in circumference.” (more…)

gaura_coccinea.jpg

Gaura coccinea

It’s been about six weeks since my last post. In that one, I was nearly breathless with excitement over some of the early blooms in the park. (See last post.) Well, now things have slowed down a bit, and those things that bloomed early also finished early. We’re staying quite dry and abnormally hot for this time of year. As many know, we have a HUGE wildfire burning about one hundred miles away, and my last visit to the park was a rather smoky experience.

But here is what has been blooming over the past six weeks in the north end of Monument Valley Park (which I define as the area north of the Fontanero entrance). And here is a MAP which shows the areas to which I sometimes refer. (more…)