Colorado Day 3

A visit to Colorado would not be complete without seeing my old friend Kirk Fiesler. Way back when, he was a speaker for our BNARGS chapter at Stockbridge MA.  While visiting he spent a golden afternoon with Anne and me canoeing the Bantam. An excellent speaker, he also wowed us with his growing techniques for specialty items like astragalus and oxytropis. Now retired from teaching, he is still proprietor of  LaPorte Avenue Nursery. Do you know it? If not you are missing one of the premier sources of the some of the best of the West.
front entry
Not only does the nursery have a complete selection of primulas and saxes, but they offer some of the choicer astragalus.
Campanula choruhensis

While having "been there and done that" with the alpines, Kirk is now excited by grafting conifers. Turns out, he gets to propagate his selections from a 25 year collection of witches brooms.  A worthy goal, he is trying to help introduce growable species of conifers for the full sun areas in Colorado and the West.
Kirk Fiesler
Kirk grows all his own stock. The process is quite lengthy. After seedlings emerge, they are gown on for a year, then pricked out into single pots. Then comes the graft.

For those of you not jumping up and down at the sight of conifers, there are still some nice things to see. In addition to the small alpines, everything from Paeonia mlokosewitschii to various penstemons were to be seen.
Clematis x texensis
Cyclamen purpurescens
Lilium pardalinum

Gentiana parryi
Pterocephalus pinardii
Another subtext of Kirk's interest is a cross between Clematis scottii and Clematis fremontii.. Pictured below are all three.
Clematis x scottii x fremontii
Later that afternoon we took a look at the new rock garden under construction in Fort Collins at Spring Creek. They are using amazing sandstone for an ambitious half acre classical construction.
entrance to the new garden
dry creek bed in formation
down the new path

Kudos to Fort Collins!
Spring Creek Garden


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