Where do I Start?..................

Even though it is increasingly possible to purchase commercially grown native plants (flowers, grasses and shrubs) in reputable nurseries, they cannot be thought of as 6-packs of petunias or pleasant pots of geraniums. Pennington County Master Gardener and native plant authority, Louise Engelstad,lists some reference books that are helpful guides and indicates her favorites in parenthesis. (All books are available from Amazon.com or other online sources.)

 Growing trees on the Great Plains. Brazell, Margaret. Fulcrum Publishing, 1992. (one of my favorites) Even though this book is out of print, thankfully it is still available from on-line vendors. This is to "go-to" book for establishing and growing trees in the demanding Great Plains setting.

Denver Water. Xeriscape plant guide: 100 water-wise plants for gardens and landscapes. Fulcrum Publishing, 1996. (one of my favorites)

The American meadow garden: creating a natural alternative to the traditional lawn.By John Greenlee and Saxon Holt. Photographs by Saxon Holt. Timber press, 2009. (one of my favorites)

Ornamental grasses for western gardens. Raff, Marilyn. Johnson Books, 2005. (one of my favorites)

Natural landscaping: gardening with nature to create a backyard paradise
.  Sally Roth. Rodale Press, 1997. (one of my favorites)

Sunset Western garden book. 8th edition. Sunset Publishing, 2007. (one of my favorites)

Best perennials for the Rocky mountains and High Plains. Tannehill, Celia and James Klett.Bulletin 573A. Colorado State University, 2002.

Gardening with prairie plants: how to create beautiful native landscapes
.Wasowski, Sally. University of Minnesota Press, 2002.

Creating the prairie xeriscape: low-maintenance, water-efficient gardening. Williams, Sara. University of Saskatchewan, 1997.



Drowning In Tomatoes? Try Something Different This Year.


If you’re a home gardener about to drowned in tomatoes rolling in off the vines and demanding to be consumed before they go bad, hang on. Here comes a life preserver.

I chop up a small bowlful of fresh very ripe tomatoes, add chopped red onion or scallions, minced garlic, chopped fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil.  I sometimes add Kalamata olives. I make this dish in the morning and let it set on the kitchen table all day. By evening meal time, the flavors have melded nicely, and I serve it over hot cooked spaghetti noodles and top it with fresh grated parmesan for an easy meal on a hot summer day.

other such survival gardening from Off the Grid News