Think you need lots of water for a diverse, vibrant, and beautiful garden? Think again!
On the Front Range, water is always a concern. It rarely falls from the sky and it’s hard to justify soaking flower beds and gardens at home when your water bill ticks higher every year. While you may think that you’d have to convert your yard to a cactus grove to create a garden that doesn’t need a lot to drink, the truth is that you can still have a wide variety of drought-tolerant flowers, grasses, succulents, and trees to choose from.
Whether you have a single container on a balcony or acres of property to landscape, you can find a variety of low-water plants to fit your style, budget and space. For a little inspiration, visit Denver Botanic Gardens and take a look at these specific gardens:
Plant Select® is the country’s leading brand of plants designed to thrive in high plains and intermountain regions, offering plants that provide more beauty with less work so gardeners of all levels can achieve smart, stunning and successful gardens using fewer resources and with a more positive environmental impact.
The Rock Alpine Garden is proof that dry, rocky soils can sustain a vibrant and colorful array of plants. Home to more than 2,300 species of plants, this internationally acclaimed garden exemplifies the art of rock gardening. It simulates more than 20 habitats of varying slopes, soil types, moisture needs, and exposures.
Water-smart plants are not just drought-tolerant; they thrive in dry soils and, in many cases, only need to be watered 6-12 times per year. Don’t assume that less water yields duller gardens; water-smart plants offer a huge variety of bright, colorful plants that also happen to keep your water bill low.
In the Steppe Garden, learn about the fragile steppe biome and about steppe landscapes across the world with climates and plant communities similar to our semi-arid region. Featured are Central Asian, South African, Patagonian, and North American steppes.
South African Plaza
This exotic garden not only showcases South Africa’s rich plant diversity, but also highlights the complexity and fragility of the country’s steppe region. South Africa has a strong influence on Colorado gardens, displaying hardy Delosperma and the fanciful annual, lion’s ear.
If you want to learn more—or maybe you’re even ready to get your hands dirty—the Gardens offers classes on low-water gardening, landscaping, ornamental grasses, and more. Don’t forget, twice a year you have the chance to shop for plants at the Gardens, during the Spring Plant Sale (Friday and Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend) and Fall Plant & Bulb Sale (late September). Horticulturists are always onsite to give expert advice.
Visit www.botanicgardens.org for classes, events, tips and more. Or visit at 1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206. You’ll leave inspired.