Friday, March 11, 2016

Sandy's antidote to winter...S

Sandy Snyder
 We've been enjoying toasty weather for much of several weeks now, but much of the Denver Metropolitan region is horticulturally a...well...wasteland. Nothing much to see or enjoy in most gardens except for the occasional dwarf conifer or red osier dogwood bark. Except for one garden which is ablaze and glorious with thousands, possibly millions of flowers. I have featured Sandy Snyder's garden dozens of times in my blogs, and once again I give tribute to this Queen of Qolorado gardens. (Btw: she did not approve of my taking this picture--don't tell her I posted it...)

Vibrunum farreri 'Nanum'
 Sandy has not ONE, not TWO, but THREE specimens of this exquisite ball of fragrance and pink glory growing on the berm along Ridge Road: the drivers who pass by must be green with envy: I am. (I have two squinny little specimens I'm nursing in my home garden to quell my jealousy). And there are more in the back yard. It's hard to explain to people in mild winter climates how awesome the first flowering shrubs are: I've never seen this look (or smell) so glorious!

A slightly closer shot. It's so fragrant some of the smell may have lingered through cyberspace....

And a wretched closeup...sorry!

 One of innumerable Hellebores in the Snyder garden....this H. niger retained its foliage unblemished--a tribute to long snow cover this winter! A lot of pink in this one...

Draba hispanica
 The dry rock garden behind her house has burst into early color with this brash draba...

Draba hispanica closeup

Buffalograss lawn...
 A remarkable garden innovation that Sandy and Bill Snyder invented was growing bulbs in buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides)--planted here over 30 years ago. The Crocuses are out first, and they have seeded to make an almost solid mass--probably millions!

Chionodoxa sp.
 Of course there are tons of bulbs all over the garden--not just in the buffalo grass--like this wonderful Glory of the Snow (I shan't venture a guess now that all the species have been flip-flopped)...
One of the deciduous species Hellebores: purpurascens? torquatus?

Cylindropuntia 'Snow Leopard'
As catholic in her tastes as I am in mine, Sandy has plenty of cacti in her garden: this Snow Leopard was particularly outstanding yesterday morning when I visited...


  1. I was wondering how the fragrance of V. farreri compared with the fragrance of V. carlesii. I have V. carlesii in my garden, but I have never seen a V. farreri.

    I have many crocuses in my garden too. However, I am sure they do better in Colorado than they do for me in Illinois. Our more frequent heavy spring rains ruin them fast so we do not get long to enjoy these small delicate flowers.

  2. The fragrance of farreri (and x bodnatense) are both very sweet--similar to but different from V. carlesii: DEFINITELY worth seeking out--if only because they bloom so much earlier. They do bloom almost every year for us, although sometimes the flowers are spoiled with extreme cold. We are definitely crocus country here: they bloom for weeks--with nary a rain. If precip comes, it comes as snow, and they just close till it warms up again! Great to hear from you, James!


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