A good landscape and garden begins with a good design. To learn how Xeriscaping can enhance your home and save you money on your water bill, read The 7 Principles of Xeriscape. You will also find information on water saving Bluegrass alternatives in this document.
Although the Front Range presents a special set of challenges for growing trees, the desire to have a large shade tree in your yard can be a reality. Learn more about caring for your trees in Castle Pines North.
Want to know the proper way to plant trees and shrubs? Our Tree and Shrub Planting Guidelines can get your plants off to the right start.
Xeriscape has long been defined as a philosophy of using creative landscaping to conserve water. Almost half of all the water we use at home is dedicated to maintaining our landscape. But landscaping traditionally used in Front Range communities features plants native to regions with much higher annual precipitation. This is problematic when, in order to grow successful plants, we must supplement by using our limited surface and groundwater. Fortunately, high water demand plants are not our only landscaping option; neither is removing plants from the landscape.
The concept of Xeriscape was developed in Denver, Colorado, in response to water shortages in the 1980’s. Early in 1981, the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) and Denver Water formed a cooperative task force on water conservation. The team formed two mission tasks. The first was to create an educational demonstration garden to show the beauty possible through proper selection and use of plants that require minimal irrigation. The second task was to produce a wide reaching and ongoing public involvement and education program. The first Xeriscape garden was dedicated at Denver Water in May of 1982 with an "X-RATED" garden party. Positive media coverage spawned interest in other areas of the United States.
The word Xeriscape as a name for both the garden and the education program was created during a group brainstorming session. The task force created the original definition of Xeriscape as "Water Conservation through Creative Landscaping" and the Seven Principles of Xeriscape by early 1982.
Xeriscape refers to a landscape that uses little supplemental water. It does not refer to a dry, barren landscape, and it is by no means a "no maintenance" landscape. By using plants that are well adapted, mulches that suppress weeds and conserve water, and efficient irrigation systems, these landscapes can offer color and fragrance with only monthly or seasonal gardening chores.
Xeriscape is not a landscape style or garden design. Xeriscape is a concept of water conservation that may be applied to landscapes of any style, from traditional to English, Japanese to Southwestern. They may be formal or natural looking. The principles used to develop Xeriscapes are good horticultural practices applied to our unique High Plains desert environment.
These handouts are part of our Water Conservation class series, including xeriscaping and other landscaping and gardening tips.
Find the perfect plants, shrubs and trees for your gardens and landscaping. Each spring since 1997, Plant Select has announced winning varieties of plants that flourish in the unique growing conditions and climates of Colorado. Plant Select® is a cooperative program administered by Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University in concert with horticulturists and nurseries throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond.
Xeriscape Colorado is a program of the Colorado WaterWise Council. Xeriscape promotes creative approaches to water conserving landscapes by helping people improve their landscapes and to reduce the need for water, maintenance and other resources.
The Garden Centers of Colorado website will help you plan, create and maintain a beautiful low-water use landscape. This website provides many gardening resources, including lists of xeric plants and locations of local garden centers.
Master Gardeners at the Colorado State University Extension Office are available to answer questions about your landscaping needs, insects, weeds and wildlife.
The Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado have landscaping tips and help in finding a certified landscape professional to best fit your needs.