Valley Gardening: Low water landscaping doesn't have to be ugly

Life is good in the neighborhood—and it is almost warm enough for me to unload the flowers and vegetables out of my truck. It’s kind of like “welcome to the Valley, here is where you are going to live—put your big girl panties on.” Maybe by the time you wake up and read this, we will have the truck unloaded, and the potatoes and onions out for sale. 

I am always thrilled and proud to work with Rockey Farms for potato seeds. Sheldon brought in Purple Majesty, Yukon Gold, Russets, Sangre Red, Harvest Moon and Fingerlings—now that’s a buffet all on its own. The Rockey family has done so much for the Valley as far as promotion of organic potatoes and how to make your soil really healthy naturally. Good people, good family.

Two other folks I want to make mention of are Jamie, from Ef’s Restaurant, and Art, from the El Charro Cafe. BOTH of these fine gentleman want to beautify the areas in front of their restaurants—and NOT just put down rock, which, in my humble opinion should be against the law. Beautification can be done with shrubs and perennials and LOW water usage—it can be done, because I have done it. Sometimes it is not intentional, but rather a lack of time allowing me to water, and so I test the plant on how well it can do with no water. Many do quite well with minimal water and still provide color!

I don’t know that I will do either one of the above jobs, but I am certainly going to do my very best at advising—my two cents (that I give away for free.) It’s kind of exciting that maybe the tide has turned on beautifying Alamosa. I, my husband and a couple of friends (when my back gave out) have dug out the rock at the back door to the First Southwest Bank. Years and years ago these two small areas were as nice a flowerbed as anywhere—that was when I worked for Ralph Outcalt and Don Wuckert. The beds were so nice because they were so warm—with the concrete and parking lot and the walls reflecting heat. And now…I will recreate.

Over the years new folks were hired and the plants were destroyed, and rock laid down, and then new folks were hired, and a different kind of rock was laid over the top—all making for a fun job to dig up. I started the east bed last summer—getting the soil back up to snuff is not always easy—but I did spot a worm this week, which shows hope!

I want to give a huge thank you to Charlie Griego, Alamosa city councilor, for trying to get LOCAL financing for the recent city water purchase. I’m not sure who sold the water to the city, so will have to go to the courthouse and check records I guess. Was there really an emergency in getting the deal done? Where there other buyers who were ready to write a half million dollar check? Would not the folks selling, wait 30 days to let the local institutions come together? Did all local financial institutions receive RFP’s (is that what you call it)? It just seems like every non-profit in Alamosa/Valley sooner or later approach the local financial institutions for support and these same institutions donate thousands and thousands of dollars to our community. Will this out of town institution do the same? Will they?

Also thanks to the Alamosa County Commissioners for awarding the jail bid to Van Iwaarden Builders!  The VIB family has done so much for our community! They will buy most of their supplies locally, they hire locally, their kids and grandkids go to school in Alamosa, they pay property taxes, they are the kind of people we need in our town! The prisoners should have to pool their money to help pay for any overages…just saying.

There is an ongoing fundraiser for the Jaiden Rogers family—the medical bills keep rising, keeping this young man alive. If you are a parent or grandparent or aunt or uncle, with healthy children, could you possible donate $2 and just be thankful for what you have—healthy kids. You can donate at the Valley Courier, Kristi Mountain, Rubi Slipper, Chili’s, and the Green Spot. Thank you, thank you!

And…it was my fault…totally my fault that my words of wisdom didn’t get in the paper last week.  Technology is great when you follow the directions—and I didn’t follow through. Hopefully the two of you reading my words of wisdom (including Don T.) did not call the Courier and complain!

RIP in Jerry Reed. Three trees are being planted at Society Hall, in memory of Nora Holmes, Marie Szkalak and you, Jerry. The trees are being purchased by Justin Szkalak. Thank you, Justin.