High Sierras Gardening

Hi everybody- I'm moving from the middle of the corn belt and leaving my beloved garden for the 6000 ft alt. rocky side of a mountain near Lake Tahoe. Shall I start crying now, or can anyone give me any tips on gardening here. What I've found so far indicates that I might as well forget my English cottage garden and my heirloom tomatoes...
Peg, who will soon be cultivating a tumbleweed
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wrote:

Before you give up, get a copy of the book "Sunset Western Garden Book."
--

- Charles
-
-does not play well with others
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You can also grow most bulbs beautifully, as many are native to high mountain regions - tulips, chionodoxa, crocus, etc.
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ah, I'll never forget the day my first tumbleweed left home.
What fond memories ...
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Hi Peggy, the high Sierra climate you're talking about will have a short growing season, but lots of possibilities for interesting conifers - dwarf alberta spruce, alpine firs, etc. It also will be ideal for many kinds of hardy perennials - columbines, delphiniums, peonies, penstemons, etc.- and lots of rock garden plants that languish in warmer climates - aubrietas, saxifrages, alyssums, moss phloxes, etc. Also, some gorgeous annuals that are hard to grow elsewhere where the nights are too warm will do well there. Iceland poppies will bloom all summer, pansies, calendula, larkspurs, shirley poppies, california poppies, etc. Most of this display will be crammed between June 1st and Sept. 15th, but lots of folks don't have the gorgeous mountain and lake scenery to look at in the dull of winter either.

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Hi Peg,
It can't be that bad, can it? First I would like to recommend that you pick up the Sunset Western Garden Book. A great tool for those living in the Western U.S. Your area, I believe is sunset zone 10, and I see no reason why you can't grow plants that if nothing else will give a Cottage Garden effect. If nothing less, see if there is a garden society there or in Carson City, a great way to network and learn about your area.
I'm envious because, looking at some of the zone 10 plants you can plant, I see Lilacs on the list. Something I can not grow in the lower desert valleys of Arizona. It looks like there is a host of wonderful perennials you can grow. Rocky Mountain Columbines, Bluebells of Scotland (Campanula rotundifolia), some wonderful Penstemon's.
Some wonderful foliage plants. Blue Spruce - now I'm real jealous ;) Do pick up the wonderful Sunset Western Gardener book. It opens up a world of opportunities for you. Listing all the plants you can grow in your Sunset Zone 10.
Janet
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Hi Peg, I can't help you much with gardening tips up there, but I just had to say "Hi" and let you know that we did the opposite of you. We moved from the Sierras to the midwest. I lived all my life in California and don't miss it much. But the 2 years we lived in the Sierras were the most beautiful place we ever lived. We would got snow in the winter, but it would quickly melt unless you're in a shady canyon.
I think I prefer Nebraska, though. No crowds, no road rage, and I can leave my doors unlocked at night.
I hope you like living in the Sierras, and hopefully you're not in a canyon that prevents you from having long summer days. Where we lived, by 2:00pm in summer, we were in the shade created by the mountains around us, making gardening very challenging.
Brigitte
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