Valley Gardening: Lemonade and ‘Butters’


As I write, it is Friday late afternoon, and the rain is coming down! This is all so wonderful…unless you are down in Cole Park for the Summerfest on the Rio. I remember the days getting ready for the extinct Sunshine Festival—the weather was always the scariest part. I would wake up early Saturday morning, pull open the curtains, and look at the trees. Just looking….looking for a breeze. And hoping that the breeze stayed gentle. Here’s to hoping the rain is over with till next week.

Please stop by the Peyton Sanchez Lemonade Stand—even if you don’t like lemonade. He is raising money for the Jerry Reed Scholarship and I just know that your support is greatly appreciated.

AND…keep saying those prayers for Peyton and his family. It’s pretty scary right now—changing chemo medicine, looking for reactions, wondering what will work and what won’t. The waiting…waiting. We are planning a lemonade day at the Green Spot, with maybe a birdbath painting contest, and some fresh, homemade cheesecake (no calories) etc. with all proceeds benefitting the Valley Humane League Building Fund. Stay tuned for more details.

AND…let me put this out there…the Sanchez family is looking for a rescue Cocker Spaniel. Maybe a little older dog that likes to be hugged, and loves to nap. A dog that would keep Peyton company, yet like to play. Did I mention, a dog that likes to nap? Anyone have any connections anywhere?

Alamosa and the Valley and beyond lost a great man when “Butters” passed away last Sunday. Butters reminded me of my brother, who also suffered brain trauma from an accident. Only Butters suffered twice, from different accidents. I didn’t know him well, but I loved his smile and his hugs, and his joy. I respected him for running for Alamosa City Council. He was his own man and had a calling for making Alamosa a better town, with his homemade campaign signs. He danced to his own drum, but he was true and honest and didn’t have to think about politically correct answers, because he wasn’t expecting anything in return. He just wanted to give. Butters…you are missed…by so many people. You left us way too soon, and there is an empty spot in the hearts of many. RIP.

Does anyone, besides me, think Alamosa should buy the parking lot across from the Visitors Center? It is always full! And needed for the Farmer’s Market. It’s only $165,000! Certainly Alamosa has that socked away somewhere?

I asked Cindy Villa, with NRCS, about my White Top weed. She explained to me that White Top can grow 5 meters in a season! That’s 15’ in any direction—no wonder I am overloaded with it this year. Each little plant decided to take off and grow, and grow and grow. It exploded. And it grows from an underground runner so if you try and pull it, you will be working on it for years and years and year. You WILL NOT win!  I sprayed and I am winning, slowly but surely. 

As I was working in Mom’s Garden on Highway 285, I was amazed to see that at least two of my ornamental cabbages were growing. They actually came back. I have never seen that before! Plants always amaze me.

Do you have all your plants in yet? I am giving away some Fingerling and Purple Mtn. Majesty potatoes the next few days, for as long as the supply lasts. Also, I am going to be getting in some “tomato clones” from Three Guys Farm in a couple of weeks. They have a variety, I think it is called a Red Slicer, that produces, is drought hardy, disease resistant, etc. It’s always so great when someone else does the research for you. Get your name on the list and I will let you know when they come in.

The results of my informal study indicates that most folks want more perennials in city landscaping.  Way more! Of course, I don’t have to tell you how many people I interviewed or give you percentages. I just believe folks want more color!

Also, it was VERY gratifying to have two passersby talk to me this week about the dirt in the curb areas on the highway going west. I thought I was the only one who noticed the 2-3 inches of dirt built up.  Now I know that at least three of us noticed. Again, I am not the only one who notices.

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