Many people who live in hot, dry climates have a tough time growing things in the garden. They think it’s because they don’t have a green thumb. They think it’s because they neglect their pants or that there is some gardening secret that eludes them.
This is usually not the case. Most of the time they are planting the wrong plants.
Plant Select® is administered cooperatively by The Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University along with horticulturists and nurseries to identify plants that are adapted to the particular climate of the Intermountain and Rocky Mountain Range.
The web site provides a wealth of information from insightful articles about plants to a searchable plant database, examples of actual gardens and downloadable garden designs for you to use in your own garden.
There is an abundance of information on the site even for the gardener who is not in the Intermountain or Rocky Mountain region. You can sort through the database for plants using all kinds of criteria.
And don’t think this site is only useful to those living in dry, hot areas. We are all trying to use less water to irrigate our landscapes which makes this site particularly useful as it focuses mainly on plants that can survive on little water.
It truly is a worthwhile resource.
April 5, 2012
Clematis integrifolia Photo Courtesy of Plant Select
Plant Select® is a great organization located in Fort Collins, Colorado that works in cooperation with the Denver Botanic Gardens, Colorado State University, horticulturists and nurseries throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond to seek out the best plants for landscapes and gardens for the Intermountain region and the high plains.
Most people think of Clematis as vines that grow to 20 feet or more and climb over everything. But there is a group of Clematis that only grow to between 2-4 feet. Clematis integrifolia Mongolian Bells is in this group.
A man named Harlan Hamernik, the founder of Bluebird Nursery in Nebraska, found the seed for this amazing Clematis on a trip to Inner Mongolia back in the 1990′s. In an article about the plant written by Panayoti Kelaidis of the Denver Botanical Gardens, Panayoti describes the plant as a “…compact, almost ground-covering race of Clematis integrifolia [that] blooms from spring to fall, with nodding, leathery four-parted flowers in blue, lavender, pink and pure white. It appears to have greater drought tolerance than typical clematis.”
I myself planted this in a landscape I installed in Idaho and it did quite well. Once established it needed little care and looked very pleasing creeping through a bed of perennials. Because of its long bloom season it is a good plant to add to a perennial bed of plants with shorter bloom seasons as the Mongolian Bells will carry the bed through times when not much else is flowering.