Last week while Amy McIntyre was writing her Master Gardener column, I snuck out of town for one last camping trip. I went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and had a great, relaxing time.
Of course, I had to spend some time looking at gardens in the area. I was happy to see a lot of native plant gardens. In one area I visited, the houses were spread out and there was a lot of native, untended vegetation between small yards.
It was interesting to see the difference between native plants living completely wild and plants being babied in gardens. Most of the truly wild plants were long finished flowering, but those same flowers in the tended and watered gardens were still blooming.
Of course, there were lawn areas and flower beds near the houses. Keeping evergreens and sagebrush away from a house can save it from wildfire.
The aspen trees in Jackson Hole had already turned to gold. Its a higher elevation there and the nights were already getting down to freezing. The elk were bugling and it was a beautiful sound to go to sleep by.
Speaking of plants being past their flowering, theres one native plant in the foothills and along the highways that is full flower now. Those yellow flowers you see are rabbitbrush. They host the last of the butterflies and insects before the cold kills them.
When I got home from Jackson Hole, I noticed Oregon Juncos in the yard. In the past few years, I watched carefully and took note of the first and last day I saw Juncos and hummingbirds in the yard. According to the dates I wrote down, there are about 10-14 days between one bird leaving and the other arriving.
Now that the Juncos are here, I can take down my hummingbird feeders.
Its time to get the last of the summer chores done, to start looking for spring bulbs (although its too early to plant them) and wait for the leaves to drop.
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