Xeriscape Resources

Administration Building

Denver Water opened the first Xeriscape demonstration garden, which surrounds its administration building, in 1982.In 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 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. It is located at Denver Water's Administration Building, 1600 West 12th Ave., Denver, 80254.

There are many public Xeriscape gardens in the Denver metro area. Most are free to the public.

Location Admission Wheelchair
and Guided
Arvada Demonstration Garden 7030 Garrison St. Free Yes Yes Year-round classes Check website
Aurora Xeriscape Demonstration Garden Northwest corner of Alameda Parkway and Chambers Road Free Yes Yes Year-round classes Sunrise to sunset, seven days a week
Carson Nature Center 3000 W. Carson Drive (north of Mineral, west of Santa Fe) Free Yes Yes Year-round classes Park open sunrise to sunset, seven days a week for self-guided tours; check website for nature center hours
Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street 1007 York St. Free if member; non-member adults $15 — see website for more info Yes Yes Year-round classes; contact directly for guided tours Check website
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road Free if member; non-members $5 per passenger vehicle Yes Yes May – Sept classes 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., seven days a week
Gallop Gardens 6015 S. Gallop St. Free Yes Yes None Sunrise to sunset, seven days a week
Gove Community Garden 13th Street and Colorado Boulevard Free Yes No April – October free compost classes Open during compost classes
Harper Humanities Garden and Chester M. Alter Arboretum Near South University Boulevard and Evans Avenue Free Yes Yes Guided tours May- Sept at arboretum. Check website for specifics. 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., seven days a week
Harvard Gulch Park/Colorado State University Extension 888 E. Iliff Ave. Free Yes Yes Yes, check website for contact info Accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Hudson Gardens 6115 S. Santa Fe Drive Free Yes Yes Year-round classes; call 303-797-8565 for guided tours 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., seven days a week
Kendrick Park Gardens 9351 W. Jewell Ave. Free X X No classes or guided tours 5 a.m. – 10 p.m., seven days a week
Mount Goliath Mount Evans Scenic Byway Amenity fee to access Mount Evans No No June – August for guided tours 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Tue, Thu, and sometimes Sat
Tagawa Gardens 7711 S. Parker Road Free Yes No Year-round topics Check website for hours
The GrowHaus 4751 York St. Free Yes No Year-round classes Public tours Sat and Sun, check website
Urban Roots 1000 Acoma St. Free Yes No In-store expertise Check website for hours
War Memorial Rose Garden 5804 S. Bemis St. Free Yes No No Accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Last updated Nov. 13, 2014

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