The things a gardener notices when she visits Colorado are doubtless much different than those noticed by the Mile High city's current influx of visitors.
Flowers along the highway to Vail ... I'm thinking they're some sort of Penstemon. Anyone know? Whatever they are, I am much enamored of them.
I followed this tidy brick path up the hill (and nearly broke my foot yet again when I missed a step while trying to get one of these pictures!).
Off to the right of the path, The Wildflower Inn is tucked away behind the shops of Vail.
A closeup of the Monarda and Liatris. Who'd have thought those colors would work so well together?
Delphinium in August ... just one of the reasons I fell in love with Colorado.
Ligularia, Hostas, a daylily and something with lovely sky blue blooms (I don't think they intended it to artfully echo the blue of the dangling cable to the right.)
Hollyhocks with nary a spot of rust or mildew: can you say low humidity?
A river runs through it ...
These colorful plantings bordered a cafe on the main street of Vail Village.
A view of the magnificent mountains, taken from the passenger side window as we sat in a traffic jam just before the exit to Vail. One local told me she'd never seen anything like it in her years there ... it turned out that an 18 wheeler was on fire. The driver escaped unscathed, thankfully.
The following day we drove from Denver to Estes Park. Imagine my delight to find along the way a beautiful nursery and greenhouse awaiting my visit ... if you're ever in Lyons, you should make time to stop at Gwynne's Garden Shoppe. One of the unique (at least to me) features of her business was a "cut your own flower" garden. Her gardens and the plants for sale were healthy and lush, the kind of plants we gardeners dream about.
OK, so this is why people love Joe Pye Weed! What a beauty.
In an uncharacteristic display of self-discipline, I only bought one plant to bring home with me, a pot of Lobelia cardinalis 'Fan Blue'. I'm cautiously optimistic about its chances of making it here. Here it is planted at Gwynne's:
We got a later start than we'd hoped and not long after we arrived in Estes, it started raining. So we chose not to go into Rocky Mountain National Park and instead ambled along a county road that loops from Estes Park through Glen Haven and then back to the highway. In Glen Haven, a tiny but charming shop with colorful gardens beckoned us to stop. Leah's, owned by Leah Simmons DeCapio and her mom Carol Simmons, had all sorts of funky, unusual and fanciful art, jewelry and gifts ... that's where I found the piranha pictured in my previous post. I loved this planter in the gardens outside her shop. It was as colorful and welcoming as Leah and her mom.
I could have taken far more pictures of the mountains, rivers and rock formations than I did. I told EM that literally every second presented me with another photo op! I'll leave you with a couple of shots from along the road.