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Photo courtesy National Garden Bureau

Just as 2018 is the year of the dog in the Chinese calendar, 2018 also has a designated bulb, perennial, annual and edible. These “2018 Year of” plants present growing opportunities for Colorado gardeners.

All the 2018 designees by the National Garden Bureau are quite growable in Colorado gardens – even if your garden plot is as small as a container on your patio.

2018: Year of the Tulip

Tulips are members of the lily family and have been cultivated for 400 years. Though their native home spans southern Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and Asia, they do find a good home in Colorado because it offers the cool temperatures the bulbs need during for their winter dormancy.

Say it with tulips. Plant or give purple tulips to show loyalty, red to show love and white to say, “I’m sorry.”

2018: Year of the Calibrachoa

Though saying it may be more difficult to roll of your tongue than its big brother petunia, calibrachoa offers a broader range of annual color. It is often called a “mini petunia,” but it is not the same.

Calibrachoa is best suited to container gardens where it can spill over the edges like its Brazilian ancestors spilled over the edges of mountain cliffs. It is somewhat drought tolerant and prefers well-drained soils.

2018: Year of the Coreopsis

In the language of flowers, coreopsis means “always cheerful” which is exactly what its bright color brings to a perennial garden. Usually seen in yellow and gold, many species contain red, bronze and burgundy. It blooms throughout the spring and summer and finds a good home in Colorado’s growing conditions.

Coreopsis is an American native with at least 80 known species.

2018: Year of the Beet

The common beet is growing in popularity as a super food. Beets are high in fiber, vitamins A and C and have more iron than most vegetables. They are also rich in antioxidants and minerals. More recently, baby beet leaves have become popular as a salad ingredient.

For vegetable gardeners, beets make a great and healthy addition to the mix of edibles. Plant them as seeds during the cooler shoulders of the growing season as they don’t thrive during the heat of summer.


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