Gardening | KUNC


Scott Dressel-Martin / Courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens

After three years, “Stinky” -- the Denver Botanic Gardens’ beloved corpse flower -- may be preparing to bloom again.

Denver Botanic Gardens horticulturist Nicholas Giaquinto predicted the rare bloom, which is said to give off an odor much like rotting corpse, to occur in early to mid-September.

Officially known as the “amorphophallus titanum,” it’s related to common house plants the philodendron and the peace lily, Giaquinto said. The rancid smell is used to attract pollinators such as flies and beetles.

The potent plant also attracts humans.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

Estes Park's Stanley Hotel was the inspiration for Stephen King's novel The Shining, but it has long faced one key problem: The hedge maze that audiences saw in the iconic film version? It didn't exist.

Now, 35 years later, the hotel finally has that hedge maze. Sort of.

"It's a little smaller than I would have thought," remarked Earl South as he walked through the maze for the first time. "I think I had the expectation of like, BOOM! here's the maze, and not having to see the process of it growing in. So probably in a year or two it's going to be really spectacular."

This 'Queen of the Night' Reigns For Just A Couple Hours Each Year

Jun 23, 2015
Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

It’s Monday, around 9 o’clock, and the library is locked for the night. Silently, Linda Zellmer appears on the other side of the glass door. She opens it and guides us up four dark floors towards a puddle of light.

“There it is,” she says, gazing down at the swollen bud of an orchid cactus. “It’s slowly opening.”

Zellmer perches on a stool behind her camera and waits in anticipation of the night’s big event: the moment when the bud opens.

While most plants flower for weeks, orchid cacti only blossom for a few short hours a year, and always at night. Botanists name it Epiphyllum oxypetalum, but the plant’s elaborate, nocturnal mating dance has earned it the nickname of “Queen of the Night” or “Lady of the Night.”

Keith / Flickr - Creative Commons

A drop in temperature by 60 degrees in just a few days may be damaging to perennials, shrubs and trees. There isn’t a thing we can do about the cold front that came through the Front Range this past week, but there are some things we can do to minimize the potential plant damage.

andiezoe / Flickr - Creative Commons

One plus for the residents of Fort Collins is that their community is host to Colorado State University's Flower Trial Gardens. Located along College Avenue, the gardens feature annual flowers, perennials and cool season bloomers.

Gareth / Flickr - Creative Commons

One of the joys of horticulture and gardening is it’s a continual learning process. Just when you think you know how a plant is going to react, nature throws a curve ball and the plant doesn’t react as expected.

Time's Up / Flickr - Creative Commons

With the fall garden clean up come piles of yard waste generated from dead-heading, weeding, mowing and moving plants. Tossing all of that organic matter doesn’t make sense, especially when it can be turned into riches for the garden – compost.

Jaqueline / Flickr - Creative Commons

It’s October and that means we’ll begin seeing more and more squash and pumpkins on display. These annual, trailing vines are native throughout the Western Hemisphere. The family includes soft-sided summer squash like zucchini and hard-shelled winter squash like acorns and pumpkins.

Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

With a late spring cold snap, and an early September freeze, climate data show the 2014 summer was the shortest growing season in more than 30 years along Colorado’s Front Range.

Pam Morris / Flickr - Creative Commons

To enjoy Colorado is to appreciate summer temperatures even well into the fall. While this weather is wonderful for people, it’s quite confusing for plants. Like other life forms, plants need to prepare for winter. Cool weather is one of their triggers to stop growing.