Today’s first speaker was Ginger Kaiser of Willows Floral in Golden, Colorado. Ginger shared with us today a list of perennial shrubs and plants that work well here in Colorado and our Zone 5 climate. First, Ginger spoke of the state flower – the Columbine – this is a short-lived perennial that should be replanted every 3-4 years to keep their original color. Otherwise, just allow them to go to seed and replant themselves. The Columbine thrive with regular watering and produce the best color if planted in a place that allows for afternoon shade. These flower color will fade if grown in full sun which is why you see some many pale yellow flowers everywhere, which is the song bird and blue jay variety. The other varieties are cardinal, a red flower and the mockingbird that has a plum and white flower.
It is always nice to have a few fragrant shrubs in your yard – besides being colorful and pretty, the scent they produce can help you relax after a long day at work. The scent they produce helps to attract pollinators, such as bees, birds, moths, flies and ants. Some blooms have nectaries – small nectar filled sacks that offer food and fragrance for pollinators such as hummingbirds and bees. Other blooms have scent cells in the petals that combine with essential oils, this type of bloom will usually attract insects.
Ginger shared a few of the fragrant shrubs that do well in Colorado.
1) Magnolias – The “Susan” magnolia blooms late in the spring so there is less of a chance of losing blooms to a late frost. It produces a 5” sweetly fragrant flower and is drought tolerant. Can get to 8-12’ tall.
2) Palibin Dwarf Korean Lilac – This shrub has fragrant lilac purple flowers at the ends of the branches in late spring, again works with our late frosts. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has dark green foliage which emerges burgundy in spring.
3) “Spice Girl” Korean Spice Viburnum – With its sweet pink blooms and vigorous growth, this shrub is the best choice for springtime fragrance. Large flower clusters emit a spicy-sweet scent in mid-spring, and autumn brings an unforgettable display of bright red foliage. This deer resistant – although no plant is truly deer proof – deer do not like fuzzy plants.
4) “Crystal Clear” Sweet Alyssum – This plant is great to plant next to a path. This plant has larger flowers that the other Alyssums with the white flowers that come out in the evening. This shrub also does well in a container and can be perfect for a deck or patio garden.
5) “Black Cherry Frost” Dianthus – This is a perennial flower and a  cousin of the carnation and has a clove like scent. This plant will attract butterflies and re-bloom all summer long if you shear off the spent blossoms.
6) Butterfly Bush – This shrub has light green to blue-green leaves and purple blooms that have a lovely fragrance that definitely attracts butterflies. There is a fun variety called “Rocket” which produces red, white and blue blooms! Any variety of the Butterfly Bush needs to be planted in full sun – if in a shady area it will become spindly and not produce many blooms.
If you are looking for a florist that will work with you for a personal bouquet and at a reasonable price give Ginger Kaiser and Willows Floral a call!
Ginger Kaiser * Willows Floral * 303.989.6446 *


The second speaker today was Debbie Hansen of La Dolce Vita Coffee House in Olde Town Arvada, Colorado. Since it is now officially summertime Debbie wanted to talk to us today about another item they offer at La Dolce Vita – ice cream!  Debbie filled us in on the history of ice cream. Ice cream’s history starts in the 5th Century BC in ancient Greece the Greeks ate snow mixed with honey and fruit in the markets of Athens. The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, encouraged his Ancient Greek patients to eat ice for the health benefits. In the 1300’s Marco Polo brought an early form of ice cream back to Europe from China. This was a frozen mixture of milk and rice where they poured a mixture of snow and saltpeter over the exterior of the containers filled with the milk and rice syrup. Then in the 1700’s ice cream was introduced to the United States by Quaker colonists who brought their ice cream recipes with them. 1776 brought the first ice cream parlors in New York City becoming quite popular in the colonial era. In early America, ice cream was mainly made and sold by small businesses, mostly confectioners. Then in 1851, Jacob Fussell of Baltimore, Maryland became the first person to manufacture ice cream on a large scale. With an unstable demand for his dairy products it often left him with a surplus of cream, which he made into ice cream. He built his first ice cream factory in Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania.
The creation of the ice cream sundae is somewhat in dispute there are 5 places that lay claim to being the first to create this most delightful treat. The earliest is 1881 in Berners’ Soda Fountain in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, where the claim is that for 5 cents you could get your dish of ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup.
Ice cream cones had been around for a while but their popularity increased during the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. According to the legend, at the World’s Fair an ice cream seller had run out of the cardboard dishes used to put ice cream scoops in, so they could not sell any more of their product. However in the booth next to the ice cream booth was a Syrian waffle booth which was rather unsuccessful due to intense heat of the summer the waffle maker offered to make cones by rolling up his waffles. These are still very popular today!
A few quick facts about ice cream:
• Ice cream is second to cookies in favorite treats
• Top five Ice cream consuming countries per capita – gallons per year per person:
5. Sweden – 3.8
4. Finland – 3.8
3. Australia – 4.8
2. United States – 5.5
1. New Zealand – 7.5
• California produces the most ice cream in the United States
• 50 Licks to finish a single scoop
• June is the largest production month for ice cream
• Chocolate is the most popular topping
• Ice cream has been in space only 1 time – 1968 on Apollo 7
• 19% of United States people say they eat ice cream in bed
• July is National Ice Cream Month – 3rd Sunday is Ice Cream Day
• The people that taste test ice cream use golden spoons
If you are looking for a new hang out whether it be for an iced coffee or ice cream – be sure to check out La Dolce Vita in Olde Town Arvada!
Debbie Hansen * La Dolce Vita * 303.456.8919 * 5756 Olde Wadsworth, Olde Town Arvada, CO