Years ago (around 2001) I entered into a xeriscape garden contest in San Antonio. Winners would receive a gift certificate to your favorite nursery and hold a sponsored garden tour. I won one of the prizes and prepared for the tour. The extension agent came out with the xeriscape garden tour sign along with aluminum plant tags. We had a good time talking plants, adding labels and pumping up my ego. I was even going to wear a tie to the awards ceremony. My hat size had increased by 1/2 size.
Before the tour began a neighbor who recently moved from Denver came to visit the garden. She began shaking her head. What did this mean asking myself. Had I mislabeled or grown a non xeriscape plant? hmm? Finally she stepped forward and replied that these plants should not be in the same zone. A mistake? What?! What you talking about willis? She informed me that one of the xeriscape principles was to grow like plants in the same growing zones, meaning plants with the same light/irrigation requirements. Say what? What do you know I said to myself. Then she told me about the Denver Botanical Gardens demonstration xeriscape garden and the seven principles. It made a lot of sense. Two years later I moved to Colorado Springs and further investigated the gardens. Definetly changed the way I looked at landscaping and design.
Delosperma keladis 'Measa Verde' Ice Plant with Gazania I believe
Just as my neighbor informed me about growing zones, the Xeriscape Demonstration Gardens in Colorado Springs is set up into different zones. Primarily this garden is broken into three water zones, none, low, and moderate . Click on this link for plant information CSU Xeriscape Garden , for Zonal Information and choices for your own gardens.
Picea pungens 'Globosa' Globe Blue Spruce, Picea abies 'Nidiformis' bird's nest spruce, Penstemon spp. (not labeled), and Cerocarpus montanus 'Mountain Mahogany'. This bed would be in the low water zone.
Penstemon pinipholius (Pineleaf Penstemon), Teucrium aroanium (Creeping Germander) low water garden
Daphne burwoodi 'Carol Mackie Daphne' with native stone.
The stone available for landscaping in the springs is unbelievable, flagstone, field stone, cobblestone, large river rock, decomposed granite in different colors, and that's just a start.
Picea punguns 'Colorado Blue Spuce', Sambucus canadensis 'Aurea' probably in the moderate water zone. For some reason these plants aren't on the plant list online.
This would be a low water zone. The plant in the background is a Apache Plume. The Apache Plume Photo on the last post came from this shrub. As you can see it is quite large in captivity. I believe the foreground plant to be Buffaloberry-Shepherdia canadensis.
Moderate water zone, Peonie and Blue Spruce.
Part three will conclude with alternative lawn measures, no water gardens and various other goodies.