Saturday, December 13, 2014

Time Capsule: Boreas Pass August 26, 2009

Gentiana parryi
Late summer may not have the masses of color that spring and early summer boast in the Rockies, but they have their compensations--gentians being high on the list. How fun it is to finally get into some old files of pix and relive old hikes--especially after the rather traumatic onset of this winter!
Jan, Jesse and I had a lovely hike on one of the numerous passes that you can reach from the many roads fanning out from Denver into the high country: Boreas Pass is less than two hours away, and one of the gentlest and most rewarding drives.
Son checking out a cliff
Kids always find the perches...

Fireweed hiding in a trunk
It would have been fun to come back and see how the fireweed fared in its deep, wild pot of a tree trunk..

Cirsium scopulorum
Hooker's thistle--however frightening--is almost impossible to cultivate. It was still in fresh bloom at the end of summer: hard frosts were imminent...

Mystery Cirsium (mutant?)
Among the typical Hooker's we found this--a hybrid? An unfamiliar species (none key out?)...Colorado is full of anomalies like this...

Meadow at treeline
Warm, luminous summer days in the high country are one of the great delights of life. Aaaaah!

Salix nivalis
The creeping willows were starting to catch autumnalf fire...most of these can be grown in rock gardens--one never sees enough of them in gardens though.
Salix along a fell field
Here you can see how the willow carpets the whole edge of the fell field.
Krummholz Picea engelmannnii
I am always curious if the spruce would stay prostrate if rooted: I don't know of a low form of engelmanii--must try it some time!
Gentianopsis thermalis
I can never have enough of gentians--and there are wonderful patches of fringed gentian here and there--wherever it's wet enough.

Haplopappus macronema
One of the strangest dwarf shrubs of the alpine: I actually grew this for a few years in a trough--but it grew to rangy. I'd like to try it again.

Haplopappus macronema

Juniperus communis at almost 12,000'
Seeing these low mounds of common juniper (which I've seen in central Asia as well) reminds me that prostrate junipers are really underused in our gardens: I have a few spots in my largish garden where I could use just this sort of mass--which would be a lovely green now that our landscapes have turned tawny and gray for several months. Just a few weeks and I shall be back in the summertime--only in South Africa this time!


  1. The Hooker's thistle is stunning! Thanks for posting...I love reading your blog.

    1. Thank you, Fritz! I have enjoyed pouring little sips of my life into the blogosphere!

  2. Your "mystery cirsium" looks like Cirsium eatonii. Rich Haswell


Featured Post

A garden near lake Tekapo

The crevice garden of Michael Midgley Just a few years old, this crevice garden was designed and built by Michael Midgley, a delightful ...

Blog Archive