THE GARDEN OF JEAN MORGAN IN LOUISVILLE
Jean Morgan’s garden doesn’t take itself too seriously. She strives to offer food, water and refuge for butterflies in all their life stages (including the eating your plants to a naked stem phase) and rest plus a sip of water for her bird visitors within a native landscape that can get by when it needs to with virtually no supplemental water.
Jean is standing at the ready to greet us but most of us have stopped to take in the shallow plant filled front yard which runs the length of her cottage.
While there are quite a few permanent plantings, including this rose, the overwhelming sense of this front bed is that of masses of freely seeding wildflowers. Blue love-in-a-mist is everywhere, including cracks in the asphalt surface of the street. There are large colonies of both pink evening primrose and yellow sundrops–both of the genus Oenothera. Although Jean has both natives and non-natives, she admits that in a conflict where one must go–the natives win every time.
From the Denver postcards–this chocolate guardian angel watches over the yellow flowered Berlandiera lyrata, chocolate flower. The flower heads of this plants were used by native Americans to flavor their foods. Jean shares that passersby often pick up the Hershey’s wrappers she has used to highlight the plant’s fragrance and bring them to her with apologies for the actions of a careless litterer.
Jean’s home is one of Louisville’s historic miner’s cabins. The left photo shows its original size and the right photo is of the miner who built the cabin. Jean has lived and gardened here since 1972 when her passion started with a few hens-and-chicks given to her by a neighbor.
Jean believes that every garden belongs to the gardener who tends and loves it. She clearly enjoys her garden every day and revels in seeing the birds and butterflies who make it their home. She is active in community causes including the preservation of other miner’s cabins in danger of demolition. Jean is also involved in annual Boulder County butterfly inventories conducted by Jan Chu, author of Butterflies of the Colorado Front Range. Her cabin and very personal outdoor space shines in a small, clearly aging neighborhood only a block from the railroad tracks–the only thing brighter I saw was her enthusiasm for sharing her garden with us.
7 thoughts on “In a daze near Denver…tough plants, easy smiles”
Jean looks like she enjoys every visitor to her garden. Yes, everyone should have the garden they wish for on their own property. Loved the photos of all the flowers. Communing with nature is a great way to live one’s life.
Jean was a charming lady and really a little incredulous that our group—40ish to a bus, times 2 buses—would want to visit her. Forty+ years gardening the same space clearly has seen her garden go though many phases and focuses. She had a story to go with each unique vignette. A garden not to be missed if you are ever near Louisville, CO! >
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I am sure Jean could tell some very interesting stories of her past.
I didn’t even see the hippo in the pond! There was much to enjoy and smile at in this garden. I just finished writing up my own post about it – it goes live tomorrow.
I love your pictures and philosophic view of Jean’s whimsical, but important, garden!
I loved this garden, although not conventionally beautiful, it was an expression of its maker. She was not bound by meeting anyone else’s expectations for what her garden should be. I always admire that strength in both garden design and home decor choices. Great to meet you at the Fling!
Hey, you were just a few blocks away from my great-great grandparent’s old home, which is another historic miner’s cabin, right next door to the Louisville Historic Museum on Main Street, just north of South Street. It has my name on it!