If you are a homeowner, you can cut down on your water usage by adopting a few water-efficient landscaping and gardening techniques. With a little bit of ingenuity, you can create a beautiful yard that reduces the water used on your property, saving you money and conserving a natural resource.
Developed by Denver Water and the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC), Xeriscape is a landscaping method that aims to minimize superfluous irrigation in gardens and yards. One of the main components in this practice is growing water-wise plants, which are ideal for the state’s semi-arid climate. Flowers and greenery that are native to Colorado’s dry weather require less maintenance than non-native ones. However, some imported plants are able to retain more water after their soil has been adjusted with organic materials like compost or manure.
It may sound limiting, but working with low-water use or drought-resistant plants still offers a colorful variety of flowers, herbs, shrubs, and trees to grow. The long list of options for your garden or yard includes: blanket flowers, lavender, rockrose, succulents, honeysuckles, and crape myrtle. There are many water-efficient plants to choose from, and local stores like Harlequin’s Garden or Sturtz & Copeland can help you find the greenery that compliments your personal style.
In addition to growing more water-efficient plants, Xeriscaping also emphasizes the importance of zoning them based on their need for sunlight and water. For instance, plants in need of more moisture should be plotted in slopes or in the shade, while dry-climate plants can be placed in the sun. If plants are grouped together in your yard based on their water needs, then you can set up a more effective sprinkler or hosing system.
When arranging your plants and turf, another resourceful technique to consider is hardscaping, a landscaping method that aims to conserve water and break up the monotony of a grass lawn using materials such as wood and stone. Paving a rocky path or cement steps in your front or backyard can add some elemental diversity to your home, while also helping you save water. Hardscape elements like cement patios and retaining walls are also advantageous as they are less vulnerable to flood damage than soil or clay-heavy lawns.
There are many eye-catching and innovative examples of lo-fi yards and gardens throughout the Boulder-Denver region. The Denver-based Three Sixty Design landscape architecture firm crafted a stunning hardscape residential lawn by mixing steel and river rock with organic materials like vibrant green sedums.
Here in Boulder, homeowners can work with local landscape artists to design a stylish and eco-friendly yard or garden. Whether you are interested in remodeling your lawn or planting a new flowerbed, Xeriscaping and hardscaping techniques can help you make smart and resourceful design decisions.