Tag Archives: pioneer plants

Heirloom apples in Utah

Apples were among the most important orchard trees grown by Utah’s pioneers, judging by references to them in historic sources and by the number of trees surviving in old lots today. Though Utah’s climate can be harsh–both cold and dry–many … Continue reading

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Pioneer apricots

We’re just enjoying the last of our apricots, so I thought I’d celebrate with a post about apricots in pioneer Utah. Early Utah nurseryman Joseph Ellis Johnson listed several types of apricots in his garden journals, circa 1870: Blenheim, Kashia, … Continue reading

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Cemeteries in southeast Idaho

A couple of weekends ago I escaped from the blistering heat to go on a treasure hunt in the mountains of southeast Idaho. I had heard a rumor that a pioneer cemetery in the area had an old red rose … Continue reading

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Portlandica, the Duchess of Portland

One of the roses I ordered this year was the Duchess of Portland (which I’ve heard is more properly called Portlandica) and I have to sing her praises now. This rose first appeared in the late 1700s, and many experts … Continue reading

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Rose buds

The roses just started blooming in my garden over the last week, but while waiting for my favorite spring show, I’ve been watching the buds, which are sometimes as interesting as the flowers. Crested Moss, or Chapeau de Napoleon (Napoleon’s … Continue reading

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Lilacs in Mendon, Utah’s historic cemetery

I’m fascinated and moved by historic cemeteries because they’re such concise, visual records of so many human stories. Especially in pioneer cemeteries, you see unique headstones telling stories of lives far too short or so long and full of heartache … Continue reading

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Box elder maple syrup

Last month my husband and I decided to experiment with making maple syrup out of sap we collected from box elders at the American West Heritage Center. Box elders aren’t the most sought-after tree–they’re sort of the gawky cousin of … Continue reading

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