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Xeriscape Resources


Xeriscape Demonstration GardenIn 1981, Denver Water joined the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and other green industry organizations to develop the nation's first Xeriscape demonstration garden.

Since the garden first opened to the public in 1982, it has nearly tripled in size to surround Denver Water’s administration building. Today there are more than 200 species of water wise plants on display, including trees, shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses and test plots of alternative turf grasses.

The garden is open to the public 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. It is located at Denver Water's Administration Building, 1600 West 12th Ave., Denver, 80254.

Many local cities and organizations have public Xeriscape gardens to help people learn about low-water-use landscaping. Nurseries, books and Web sites also have a wealth of information about successful Xeriscapes. The following resources can help get you started.

Aurora – Aurora Municipal Center Xeriscape Garden, northwest corner of Alameda Parkway and Chambers Road; and the Kuiper High Plains Garden, 14201 E. Hampden Ave.

Colorado Springs – Mesa Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, 2855 Mesa Road; and the Cottonwood Creek Park Xeriscape Garden, 3920 Dublin Blvd.

Fort Collins – Fort Collins Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, 300 LaPorte Ave. The garden has more than 100 plant species.

Longmont – The Quail Campus Xeriscape Garden, 310 Quail Road, Longmont. The 5,000-square-foot garden has four different low-water use grasses and 42 varieties of trees, shrubs and plants.

Recommended Reading List

Colorado State University Extension, Service In Action Bulletins:

  • Feucht, James R., Xeriscaping: Water Conservation Through Creative Landscaping, No. 7.228
  • Feucht, James R., Xeriscaping: Trees And Shrubs For Low-water Landscapes, No. 7.229
  • Feucht, James R., Xeriscaping: Ground Cover Plants For Low-water Landscapes, No. 7.230
  • Feucht, James R., Xeriscaping: Garden Flowers For Low-water Landscapes, No. 7.231
  • Feucht, James R., Xeriscaping: Turf and Ornamental Grasses For Low-water Landscapes, No. 7.232
  • Feucht, James R., Wildflowers for Colorado Landscapes, No. 7.233
  • Flowering Herbaceous Perennials for the High Plains. Technical Bulletin LTB 89-5, 1989
  • Klett, J.E. and R. A. Cox, Ground Cover Plants, No. 7.401
  • Klett, J.E. and R. A. Cox, Rock Garden Plants, No. 7.400
  • Creasy, Rosalind
    The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping
  • Ellefson, Connie, Tom Stephens and Doug Welsh
    Xeriscape Gardening: Water Conservation for the American Landscape
  • Ellefson, Connie
    Xeriscape Colorado: The Complete Guide
  • Erickson, Jonathan
    Saving Water in the Home & Garden
  • Ferguson, Nicola
    Right Plant, Right Place
  • Feucht, James R. and Jack D. Butler
    Landscape Management
  • Hakala, Sue
    Drought Gardening
  • Huddleson, S. and M. Hussey
    Grow Native: Landscaping With Native and Apt Plants of the Rocky Mountains
  • Johnson, Eric & Millard, Scott
    The Low Water Flower Gardener
  • Knopf, Jim
    The Xeriscape Flower Gardener: A Waterwise Guide for the Rocky Mountain Region
  • Landscaping for Water Conservation: Xeriscape!
    Jointly published by the city of Aurora and Denver Water
  • Nelson, Ruth Ashton
    The Handbook of Rocky Mountain Plants
  • Nehrling, Arno
    Easy Gardening With Drought-Resistant Plants
  • O'Keefe, John M.
    Water-Conserving Gardens and Landscapes
  • Ottesen, Carole
    Ornamental Grasses – The Amber Wave
  • Perry, Bob.
    Landscape Plants for Western Regions: An Illustrated Guide to Plants for Water Conservation
  • Phillips, Judith
    Southwestern Landscaping with Native Plants

    Natural by Design: Beauty and Balance in Southwest Gardens
    Plants for Natural Gardens: Southwestern Native & Adaptive Trees, Shrubs, Wildflowers & Grasses
  • Phillips, Kathryn
    Paradise By Design: Native Plants and the New American Landscape
  • Rumary, Mark
    The Dry Garden
  • Springer, Lauren
    The Undaunted Garden
  • Sunset New Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Waterwise Gardening
  • Taylor, Jane
    Plants For Dry Climates

    Taylor's Guide to Water-Saving Gardening
  • Thomas, Christopher
    Water-Wise Gardening
  • Weinstein, Gayle
    Xeriscape Handbook
  • Wheatly, Margaret
    Successful Gardening with Limited Water
  • Williams, Sara
    Creating the Prairie Xeriscape: Low-Maintenance, Water-Efficient Gardening

Beautiful Gardens With Less Water

32 minutes
Produced by: Sunset Films and Television
Lane Publishing Company
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Sunset Waterwise Gardening – Western Edition

32 minutes
Produced by:
Sunset Video
Lane Publishing Company
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Xeriscape – Appropriate Landscaping to Conserve Water

30 minutes
Produced by:
San Luis Video
P.O. Box 4604
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403

Xeriscape – Landscaping to Save Water, Time and Money

18 minutes
Produced by:
Virginia Jensen and Fred Liljegren
Department of Natural Resources
Division of Water Resources
1636 West North Temple, Suite 310
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116

Your Own Back Yard

1 hour
Produced jointly by:
Denver Water & Linda Rea Productions