Sophy Kohler, owner of Park City Gardens

Image: David Newkirk

The months leading into summer at Park City Gardens (4459 N Hwy 224, 435.649.1363) have been full of progress, planting, and building. Owner Sophy Kohler has been busy creating a new greenhouse (aptly named Casa Verde), a garden café, a flower barn, and upgrades at the garden boutique.

“Having the greenhouse in the winter will be a game changer for us and for our customers,” Kohler explains. “It will be a beautiful, lush place year-round, where people can soak up that therapeutic feeling from the plants—a true sanctuary.”

Not surprisingly, the past pandemic year meant many new customers for Park City Gardens (formerly known as Park City Nursery), along with existing clients who were at home and paying even more attention to their outdoor spaces. Now, customers will have even more to explore throughout the multiacre property.

Kohler recommends taking extra time to sip a coffee while meandering through the gardens or enjoying the outdoor seating areas.

“Our intention is for this to be a magical experience and a place for inspiration, in addition to meeting our customers’ gardening needs,” says Kohler.

Kohler's Green Thumb Tips

Embrace container planting for flowers and veggies. Container planting can protect your garden friends from Park City’s alkaline soil (clay-like, high pH) and cold temps. You can further protect a container with a frost cloth, which can add 5–10 degrees of warmth. Adding drip lines to containers can be much easier than managing irrigation systems throughout your landscape as well.

You get what you pay for. Don’t be cheap with your soil; buy premium planting soil. The growing season is short, and if you get premium soil, your flower beds and container plants will respond in the best way.

Don’t skimp on fertilizer. Make sure to fertilize in the spring and fall and add a quality, natural compost to all of your plantings.

Go with the flow. If something doesn’t work for you, don’t force it. Have fun experimenting, and then build on what is working in your garden. You might have unique sun exposure, wind, cold pockets, and soil factors that are different from what your neighbor has. Focus on what thrives in your garden.

Less can be more with water usage. Water-wise plants are a real thing. After becoming established, some will even naturalize to the environment and not require additional watering. Some of Kohler’s favorite water-wise plants include columbine, penstemon, and hollyhock.

Perennial Stunners

With most Parkites living at or above 6,500 feet in elevation, success in the world of perennials can seem daunting. Kohler offers the following list for lush, romantic blooms that will return year after year, all of which you can use to create garden-fresh arrangements at home:

  • Delphinium
  • Poppies
  • Lupine
  • Peonies
  • Oriental lilies
  • Irises
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