What message does your yard, or garden, or property convey? Is it one of indifference (i.e. rentals that haven't seen a
hose, or mower, or trowel for years) or commitment?
Does it display your dedication to water conservation by utilizing water-wise, or xeric, planting practices; or is it
a badge of honor when it comes to how few weeds you have in your well-manicured lawn?
I honestly feel that your space is what you make of it, and if you don't feel the need or desire to be out toiling in
the sun, then so be it. There is probably a multitude of other things you would rather be doing.
Personally, I find solace in my yard and garden. This past weekend, when we were actually blessed with warm
temperatures and light winds, I seem to have spent a lot of time out there. (The small area of skin on your back
between the bottom of your shirt and the top of your shorts that you never think about putting sunscreen on can
attest to that.)
For like-minded people out there, CSU Extension is excited to announce an online garden contest, Beauty and Bounty, open to all residents of La Plata County.
The volunteer project of Adele Kurtz, who is a current Colorado Master Gardener, the Beauty and Bounty contest is a
fun way to show off your space and provide inspiration for others.
Gardeners are invited to submit photos and descriptions of completed works and/or "works in process" and to share
garden tips and resources.
Categories open as submissions are received, and could include Community & Private Gardens, Vegetable Garden or
Food Production, Wildflower Works, Water Features, Landscaping Projects, etc.
The garden is an extension of your living space, and the opportunities are endless. I always enjoy visiting gardens -
especially the ones that give out free lemonade - because it tells me so much about the members of our community.
This last weekend, my family was blessed to visit with some friends on their property out in the valley. With
pristine views, they were able to create a space of comfort, beauty and functionality. With a multitude of fruit
trees, a huge garden, dozens of chickens, a tree house so nice they could probably rent it to a college student and a
naturalized lawn, I was able to get a much better feel as to what their lives were all about.
And it is impossible not to smile.
So if you are interested in submitting your space to the contest, send me or Adele a brief description of your
challenges, purposes or vision; attach some photos - in progress, before and after, etc. - to provide the story line;
and share your resources and comments.
Some local retailers have agreed to give discounts to those who show proof they have listed them on their contest
entry forms. Sponsors include Kroeger's and Log Finishers Supply (check the Extension website for updates to the
Native Roots is also providing a year-end prize that all applicants are eligible for.
Visit our website for more information and search for "Garden Contest" at www.co.laplata.co.us, or contact me at
And don't forget the lemonade.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6464. Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County