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Old 11-11-2007, 06:50 AM
 
Location: New York
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So what does Denver Landscaping look like. What I mean, is using native plants, that require little upkeep, with a look at sustainability.

(EG: It's dumb to keep big giant green lawns in the middle a desert town)

So can someone post pictures?
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:47 AM
 
Location: on an island
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A lot of Denverites love their huge green lawns.
We always had *some* lawn in front, but as you say, sustainability matters, too, and we got rid of a lot of our grass and planted as much native vegetation as we could.
Flowers and vegies can always be grown in containers (which is a smart thing to do anyway when late spring snowstorms--or early fall ones--inevitably occur.)
Some people plant buffalo grass with success.
Some people just do native wildflowers and boulders.
Colorado State University offers a lot of information online:
Colorado Gardening (http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/pubgard.html - broken link)
Also, there are usually master gardeners at various farmer's markets around town. They helped me out several times in the past.
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Old 11-11-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roseba View Post
S
(EG: It's dumb to keep big giant green lawns in the middle a desert town)
Sadly, That's exactly what 95% of the residential landscaping is. In fact, if you live in the suburbs, many (if not most) HOAs will actually force you to have "big giant green lawns" of Kentucky bluegrass, and of course will fine you if you don't keep it green. It's also a easier to just roll out sod like a carpet on your lawn, so for most it becomes easier -- don't have to plan out anything.

However, as cil mentioned, there are some very attractive, thoughtfully designed xeriscaped landscapes here. Denver Water (also has some information on their website:

Xeriscape Index page (http://www.denverwater.org/cons_xeriscape/xeriscape/xeriscape_index.html - broken link)
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:59 PM
 
1,763 posts, read 5,364,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roseba View Post
So what does Denver Landscaping look like. What I mean, is using native plants, that require little upkeep, with a look at sustainability.

(EG: It's dumb to keep big giant green lawns in the middle a desert town)

So can someone post pictures?
Here are two pics of our backyard in Albuquerque. The grass you see is buffalo grass, indigenous to the plains and drought tolerant. We have to water some of these plants a tad, but in Denver they would self-sustain.
Attached Thumbnails
Denver landscaping-backyard-i.jpg   Denver landscaping-backyard-ii.jpg  
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Just fishing through some old threads and came across this one. I love the concept of xeriscaping! Those pictures Tim Rankin posted are beautiful, but I've seen people's xeriscaped yards that make that look like nothing. In the Phoenix area, probably about 40 percent of homes have irrigated lawns, 30 percent have yards filled with nothing but rocks and maybe a few ornamental cactuses, 25 percent have ugly dirt yards that aren't maintained at all, and 5 percent have full blown xeriscaped desert yards with tons of plants. That 5% is a small number, but I've seen some spactacular examples of what people can creatively do wth low-water plants. A xeriscaped yard in Denver would have totally different plants than would be found in Phoenix, of course, probably more of an Albuquerque-style look (but still different), but I don't see why it couldn't be done. You can still water even a xeriscaped yard a little bit to keep the plants looking fresh, but it would take dramatically less water than turf lawns, and it would look a lot more in tune with the landscape of the west. Would plants like sagebrush, yuccas, prairie grass, pinion pines and junipers work in Denver? I think having trees are great since they provide shade and can cool your home in the summer, but Kentucky bluegrass is totally worthless in my opinion.

Is there anywhere in the Denver metro area, any neighborhoods in particular, where you can find some good examples of beautiful xeriscaped yards?
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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I believe the Denver Botanic Gardens has a xeriscape demo plot. Of course, it's still winter here. The best time to visit is later in the spring. Mother's Day weekend is free days there (again, I think) for their plant sale, so that's a good time.

Junipers and pinons work here, thought junipers can sometimes smell funny. We tore out some of ours. I think if you're going to xeriscape a vacant lot, you should hire a landscape architect. There are a lot of yards around here "xeriscaped" with rocks and concrete.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
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Here are a few from my landscaping. I don't have much grass, but you can grow interesting things here without all rocks and grass.



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Old 02-12-2008, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 82,693,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
Here are a few from my landscaping. I don't have much grass, but you can grow interesting things here without all rocks and grass.
Gorgeous garden, great photography too. It doesn't look like xeriscaping though. I live at 7300 feet, I wonder if I can get that kind of color. Other than my sod lawn (I know, I know) all of my landscaping is xeriscape with drip system. Late last summer I planted a bunch of roses with drips but they look dead now, not sure if they are really dead. The label said good down to -15F or -20F. Oh well, if they die I'll buy new ones at Home Depot, keep the receipts and return them if they die.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 02-12-2008 at 09:30 AM.. Reason: No need to repeat all the pix.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
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Some of it's xeriscaping, like the grasses, yuccas, some of the perinials, shrubs, etc. don't require a lot of water. I hand water the banana trees since they require more, but those are just for fun to make it really interesting!
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:07 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,818,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
Some of it's xeriscaping, like the grasses, yuccas, some of the perinials, shrubs, etc. don't require a lot of water. I hand water the banana trees since they require more, but those are just for fun to make it really interesting!
They do add interest.
But do you plant new banana trees every summer, or bring them in when the cold comes? No way will they make it through a Denver winter.

Charles, you'd be surprised at just how much color you can get at higher altitudes. One of the most beautiful gardens I've seen is the Betty Ford Alpine Garden in Vail.

Some people call xeriscaping "zero" scaping.
One thing I used to do was try to go for color and contrast with different foliages, not just flowers.
I got some great ideas from Colorado horticulturalist Lauren Springer:
5 Great Garden Designs
but if you like blooms:
Flowers such as echinecea (coneflower) and penstemon (lives at high elevations) can take drought, and will come back year after year.
Alyssum smells good and will re-seed. And of course there is the state flower, columbine. Other Colorado flowers: liatris, flax, sages and poppy mallow.
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