Xeriscaping Commerce City, Colorado
Weather being such as it is we feel like today is the perfect day for a deeply detailed but still palatable easy read about our recent xeriscape project.
We astonishingly pulled this entire job off in just under 3 weeks. Can anyone say DREAM TEAM? We recently finished this wonderful Xeriscape for a Condominium here in Colorado.
Our goal is to provide the best and most efficient services to our community as well as becoming pioneers in landscaping water conservation projects all around Colorado!
So lets talk about Xeriscape. What does that even mean? Well its also referred to as water conserving landscapes, drought-tolerant landscaping, and smart scaping. Meaning this is low maintenance low or no water and efficient simple Landscaping. Its also now part of Colorado law march 17th 2019, Colorado House Bill 19-1050, which encourages the use of xeriscape in common interest communities was signed and enacted into law by the Colorado Legislature.
The main idea is to limit your planting or eliminate grass/sodded areas, but we recommend search for some drought hardy plants such as these.
Yarrow – These native perennials are extremely drought resistant and require almost no watering, once they have taken hold in your landscaping. Yarrow plants comes in a variety of colors, and they produce flowers on tall stalks throughout the summer, providing color to your xeriscape landscaping.
Apache Plume – These large native deciduous shrubs are extremely hardy and disease and drought resistant. Their whitish stems and branches are accented by the single white flowers that are produced in mid-summer, followed by rose and pink colored plumes. The shrub keeps some of its leaves in the winter, making the tree even more versatile.
Mojave Sage – These large perennial shrubs produce purplish-blue flowers throughout the summer, which along with their silver-green foliage, makes them a popular choice for xeriscapes in Colorado. They also remain semi-evergreen throughout the winter, are drought and disease resistant, and can withstand high temperatures while still flourishing.
Prairie Winecups – This native perennial produces a large number of cup shaped wine-red colored flowers from spring through summer. The plant grows in a low mound of trailing stems that are covered with large round dark green leaves. Prairie Winecups require little care and are extremely drought resistant.
Coral Bells – These extremely hearty plants produce leaves that come in a variety of colors and hues, ranging from light green to burgundy to blue and silvery green. Coral Bells produce flowers of many colors as well, ranging from white to red. These plants grow well in shade and partial sun, making them a great xeriscape plant for more shaded areas.
For our project we used some more showy but resilient plants in subtle planting beds, around them we used smaller 1″ 1/2″ gold river rock. Bordering the sidewalks as a visual break, we used a larger 4-8″ multi color cobble stone. We also installed 3 large grey granite 3/4-one ton boulders into each of the planter beds for that wow effect. Kinda like a deconstructed rock garden if you will, eliminating all the turf in favor of the rocks means less water consumption and still a wonderful way to view a brand new relaxing landscape.
The plantings we ended up using for this project:
marcus salvia Salvia aka “Sage” represent a huge family of ornamental plants that attract a variety of pollinators to their nectar rich flowers. They are resistant to deer and rabbits.
yellow yarrow, commonly called golden yarrow or yellow yarrow, is a North American species of plants in the sunflower family, native to California and Baja, California. It has wooly leaves when young, and yellow flower heads. “Eriophyllum” means “wooly leaved.”
Jupiter beard, also referred to as; red Valerian, spur Valerian, kiss-me-quick,ox’s brush, Devil’s Beard this popular garden perennial grown for its ornamental flowers. This plant is characterized usually as a sub shrub or sometimes a herb depending on growing conditions. the plants are usually woody at the base Flowering happens early summer performing best in cool summers, The blooms have a strong and somewhat rank scent. They are pollinated by both bees and butterflies and the plant is noted for attracting insects.
Catmint, an aromatic herb lavender-blue flowers lushly lavish in mounds of gray-green foliage. This easily grown plant has cool ancient history regarding its various uses in the landscape. the herb is thought to have been first cultivated in the Roman town of Nepeti, where it was used as herbal tea and insect repellent. This is also believed to be the origin of its genus name, Nepeta. Catmint can be grown in sun or partial shade with average, well-draining soil. They are even heat and drought tolerant, good in clay based soils too.
red stick dogwood, admittedly this is not considered a drought tolerant plant so I will spare details of this plant. It does prefer moist soil and is a good candidate however for erosion control and enjoys being in a community of its own species great addition near a water feature pond or stream. And provides lots of colorful interest year round. But if you ask me its deep red branches just make me think of Christmas.
verigted dogwood, performs much the same as the red twig but stunning pop of color in the yellows to contrast the red.
burning bushes, this Deciduous shrub is a thrilling red pop displaying bright pink or orange fruit and lovely fall colors and is native to central and northern China, Japan, and Korea she is only really needy in her first year after planting with deep watering required. However after shes established she will thrive on just rainfall and will survive in zone 4- but will only tolerate the heat up to zone 8
limemound spirea, Spiraea japonica is its scientific name shes also low maintenance with good cold hardiness and sports subtle pink blooms may thru july a nice little mounding shrub but shes a fun size deciduous shrub, if you lack a green thumb this is one I would pick up personally.
feather reed grass, this baby will survive just about anything and look good doing it. Class low sass grass my friends she is hardy zones 4 to 9. They are very adaptable to wet or dry areas with full to partial sun. and will even tolorate and thrive in clay based soils here in Colorado. This a minimal care required little gal and adds great vertical architecture to compliment the dogwoods.
russian sage, not a member of Salvia meaning shes not actually a sage plant at all shes a sub shrub with a nack for imitation. This is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant that is one of our smaller selections for the xeriscape but lets be honest shes all about them blooms flowering from mid-summer to late October, with blue or violet blossoms
Xeriscaping can also take on forms to imitate the local environment here in Colorado we can imitate Arizona and New Mexico with wonderful cacti like prickly pear and hardy succulents as well. The most important thing about xeriscaping is its water saving ability and its anti green thumb friendly. In a way this option means your can have a beautiful garden and eat your cake too without spending money on water. Yippy!
Well time to get back to the grind and we hope to hear from you. This week we are giving a fence overhaul so stay tuned for the before and after photos on our new Job.