Yes, it is called “Xeriscape”, which comes from the Greek word “zeros” meaning “dry”, not “Zeroscape or Zeriscape” and it is a stunningly beautiful way to landscape your yard that goes far beyond desert plants like cactus and succulents or mulch and rocks. Colorado’s climate is characterized as “semi-arid” or partial desert and supports many spectacularly attractive flowering plants in all colors of the rainbow, blooming ground covers, bushes and even trees that do very well with little or no supplemented water. More than half of the residential water in the western United States is used for landscaping. Xeriscaping means choosing native vegetation and plants that are well adapted to the local dry conditions. Whether you have water restrictions or want to lower your footprint on the earth and conserve water and resources, the choices available are practically endless. Ditching your water guzzling lawn can save you as much as 50-80% of water use and a well done xeriscaped yard can increase your property value by as much as 15%. It also comes with the added benefits of saving you time and money and being a very low maintenance landscape. Once established, you will likely only pull the occasional weed, run the drip system or soaker hose a few times a year and maybe trim a little.
Xeriscaping is a great way to enjoy many of the wonderful flowers, bushes and trees you relish on your hikes in the Colorado mountains and to bring this feeling of deep connection with nature into your own backyard. Examples of drought tolerant trees are red Maples, American Elm, Hawthorns, Sunburst Honey Locusts, Mugo Pine and the Leyland Cypress to name a few. Great choices for xeric shrubs are Virginia Sweetspire, Bayberry, Cotoneaster with it’s beautiful red berries, the Blue Star Juniper, Russian Sage and Butterfly Bush. Angelina Sedum or ‘Stonecrop’ is a lovely flowering ground cover or choose the white blooming Candytuft, the purple ice plant, the cobalt blue flowering Bugleweed ‘Ajuga’ or the brilliant red Chinese Lantern. Other great xeric plants are Zebra Grass, Red Bird of Paradise, Sunburst Honey Locust, and Lewisia.
In addition to plant selection you can also maximize water savings by grading and contouring your soil to take advantage of any available water, be it precipitation or supplemental, like working with gravity and grading at only a very small angle to have water gently flow towards plants and minimize runoff. If local regulations allow it, you may want to consider investing in a rain water collection system.
We begin the process by coming out to your property for an initial free consultation and with carefully planning for your new Xeriscape garden. We investigate the different areas of full sun, partial sun and shade. We study your topography, soil conditions and micro climate to ensure proper plant selection, and we plan irrigation zones so we can group plants with similar needs. We examine the soil to see if organic matter needs to be added to make the clay rich Colorado soil more oxygen rich and water absorbent. We cover any exposed soil with mulch to reduce evaporation and deal with weeds and erosion. If you have your heart set on a lawn, you do not have to give that up with Xeriscape, Tall Fescue or Buffalo Grass are very drought tolerant grasses and do well in the dry Colorado climate. There is some watering involved, but very little compared to a lawn. Sherpa Landscaping’s hard working and tough Nepalese Sherpas have comprehensive expertise and experience working in the harsh conditions of the Himalayan mountains and are the only company that will not hesitate to come out in any weather, even in the middle of a Colorado winter. We are skilled professionals and bring attention to detail, grit, perseverance, unparalleled workmanship and integrity to your Xeriscape endeavors. Call us today to schedule your free consultation. We are bonded and insured and we guarantee our work.
Click here to check out Colorado Water Wise’ stunning demonstration gardens.