Meet With an Expert on Xeriscaping

Every month our City Council representatives conduct informal public meetings with residents, to discuss, listen, and inform. For April: guest speaker Kathryn Martin on Xeriscaping. This Saturday, 9:00 AM. Details below. 

Last year I had to dig up and replace some of the sprinkler lines in my lawn, and add some new ones to areas that have been in need for years. To dig the new trenches I thought, “No problem, I’ll go over to the Home Depot and see about renting a trench digger.” Put it in the trunk, take it home and rip out a few easy straight lines, get it back with an hour’s rental time. Uhh, no. Those things are huge! They had to be rented with their own trailer. I bought a narrow little shovel instead. It was a hard job, several hot sweaty hours every day for a week. Maintaining my grass turns out to be a pain in the back. Who knew? I grew up with grass all around, green lawns just grew and were always the “default” choice. Now I think not only of the “pain in the back” but the continuing expense of taking care of the pretty green lawn.

Sometimes I feel a twinge of guilt when I think of the chronic long-term drought we’re in, and how much water goes into keeping my green grass green. And more twinges too, when the water bill comes every month. It seems wasteful, and being wasteful is not generally in my nature. Some of our neighbors here in Southern Gables have done something about it.


Saves water, looks great, and the bees and butterflies love it.

Removing thirsty plants and replacing them with landscaping such as plants that don’t need much water, if any at all. Xeriscape. Funny word, that one. Sounds like “zeriscape.” It came from two Greek words and just means dry landscape. The word was made up in 1981 by our big-city neighbors at Denver Water. Instead of using grass lawns and plants that need lots of water to thrive, xeriscapes conserve water by using drought-tolerant plants.

Switching from turf grass to xeriscaping can be beneficial in our dry climate for several reasons:

Water conservation

Colorado is a semi-arid state, and water is a scarce resource. Xeriscaping can significantly reduce outdoor water use because it requires less watering than traditional lawns. According to the Colorado Water Conservation Board, xeriscaping can reduce water use by 60% or more.

Drought tolerance

Xeriscaping is designed to use plants that are adapted to Colorado’s dry climate. These plants are more drought-tolerant than turf grass, which means they can survive and thrive with less water.

Cost savings

Xeriscaping can reduce the cost of maintaining a lawn because it requires less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Additionally, many xeriscape plants are perennials, which means they don’t need to be replanted every year.

Environmental benefits

Xeriscaping can benefit the environment by reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides, which can pollute waterways. Xeriscape plants can also provide habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.

Overall, xeriscaping can be a smart choice for homeowners in Colorado who want to conserve water, save money, and promote environmental sustainability.

Learn About Xeriscaping: This Weekend, Free

The April Ward 5 meeting will cover this important topic. The meeting is free as always, and will feature Kathryn Martin, an expert on the subject. When and where? 

Saturday, April 1 (No foolin’), 9:00 – 10:30 AM — Ward 5 Meeting at Westwoods Community Church, 7700 West Woodard Drive. Visit with Ward 5 City Council members Wendi Strom and Mary Janssen in an informal setting, share ideas and learn more about your community. The April meeting will feature a discussion of xeriscaping and an optional visit to the Kendrick Lake Park xeriscape garden with a member of the city’s greenhouse staff.


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