While each growing season in the high country can change from year to year, I think we can all agree that 2020 will be a year  we always remember.  Between the challenges and hardships faced staying at home more than usual, keeping loved ones safe and healthy, and uncertainties with many jobs and school programs, it’s fair to say this was a new experience for most of us.  It feels like emotions were constantly challenged week to week as we tried to maneuver this new reality together.  As we approach December and the final month of the year, I admit I am hopeful we can move on from this in 2021 and possibly even come out of it stronger, more united, and increasingly grateful for the positive things in our daily lives.

The growing season of 2020 started early this year.  As the snow melted and the first signs of plant emerged at the end of April it was a bittersweet feeling.  Typically the last substantial snowfalls in April and May provide much needed snowpack for summer moisture conditions.  However, with the ski resorts closed early, and the option to break free from my home, I gladly went outside to start playing in the dirt.  With the exception of a very early snow the first week of September, we saw the plant life continue into November this season.  While a long growing season is great, the challenge of a statewide drought and wildfire danger also could not be ignored.  These types of drought are becoming more apparent and the major reason we train our gardens to not require daily waterings, use sustainable maintenance methods, and adapt to the challenging conditions.

Our commitment to sustainable practices in the landscape and floral industry continued this season with a certification in Sustainable Landscape Management through the statewide organization Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado in February.  This course highlighted the most recent practices in sustainable landscape management specifically for Colorado.  We were also featured in the Colorado Green Magazine for industry professionals promoting our commitment to sustainability in various aspects of our company.  We also continued to promote high-country vegetable growing with our Stay-at-Home seed starter kits and gardening classes teaching families to grow their own vegetable gardens at home. Our floral cutting garden from seed was also successful and used in designing seasonal arrangements, decreasing our carbon footprint of waste and travel that is a large part of the floral industry.

While group gatherings and activities were decreased this year, we still enjoyed a small, safe Lady Garden Club Potting Party in the Spring, and the Succulent trough Hypertufa planter workshop in July.  Thanks to all who participated!  We are humbly honored to be a Finalist for Small Business of the Year through the Summit County Chamber of Commerce, and also received 3rd place for Best Landscaper of Summit County.  I could not have done this without my awesome all-lady crew this year. Thanks Roxy, Kirsten and Emily!

The end of each season brings an array of feelings and emotions.  Relief of long days and completed projects brings time for much needed rest.  Trading in my garden tools for my snowboard brings alive another passion.  While I am skipping my usual out-of-country travels this year, I’m forever grateful to be stuck in such a beautiful place and looking forward to discovering new nooks and crannies.  I’m committed to writing more this winter and exploring more options for other passions , while continuing to share educational tips through the blog and social media.

Enjoy our favorite images from 2020.  Can you spot your garden?

wedding photos by B.Elizabeth Photos

Wedding photos by WildflowerWanders      Styled forest fairy photos by WhitsPics and Hairdaze