Nicola and Joe reach the highest point of the garden, this is THE ASPEN AREA. It has Alpine pools and lovely granite boulders and an Aspen woodland. All of the plants in this area are native to the Aspen understory. The Aspen tree has a unique relationship to one another. Populus aspen Trees are the second largest organism, after coral reefs, in the world. They're actually all interconnected by an underground root system. If looking at a hillside when the leaves are changing in the fall one can easily tell because all Aspen groves will change color at the same time. It's quite amazing and quite beautiful.
Nicola has a take away message. She likes to think that what they've done in the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is to create a sense of place, create a garden where the visitors feel like they're in Vail, Colorado. Joe has certainly gotten that feel. But if one lives in another part of the country, one doesn't need to make it look like Vail. Pay attention to plants that are happiest in your specific region. If you do that you'll have a great looking garden and a sense of place.
Photographs courtesy of InstantHedge
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