Good Afternoon! I hope you've had a nice week with minimal drama. I've been thinking about my garden a lot this week and wanting to get the snow out of the way next week so we can start planting!! The Colorado Legislature just lifted the ban on rain barrels for homeowners, so hopefully you're collecting some water for the summer so you can keep your water bill down. Yay saving money!
Another great way to save a bit of cash is to plant a yard that doesn't use the traditional grass- grass is a water sucker and not indigenous to Colorado. Instead of fussing over this silly plant that we labor over and trim and prim and water, using Colorado native plants will be ultimately less work( they already know how to grow here!) and more sustainable. Most of the Metro area is in Zone 5 so look for plants approved for this area and just remember to follow the directions!!
Here's some of my personal favorite plants for the Denver area:
a perennial with beautiful, showy flowers atop glossy, fern–like foliage. Its flower clusters vary in size from 6 inches to 2 feet and its height varies from 6 inches to 5 feet, depending on the type.
Astilbe may look delicate but they are tough. They are easy to grow and will live a long time in your garden.
If you have a shady area, try astilbes to add color!
The insides are chock full of poppy seeds (just like the ones on your bagel). Let it dry out and shake it around wherever you want to plant so you only have to buy these guys once! Huge, bright scarlet-orange flowers feature black blotches at the base of each petal. Plants bloom profusely in May and June from the year after the seed is sown. Full Sun
3. Roman Chamomile
Ideal if you still want that 'grass' feel, chamomile will bring a big aroma to your yard on top of being a beautiful and useful herb. If it pushes against other plants it can get up to a foot high with bloom. It can also be mowed to the ground to keep it flat. It does repel insects if the flowers are kept on so it may be useful to keep those pesky bugs at bay!! they prefer partial sun but can also thrive in sunny areas.
Discovered in Colorado, Boulder Blue has a much brighter steel-blue foliage color than the more commonly available Elijah Blue. This hardy, perennial grass forms tufts of metallic-blue fine foliage from early spring through late fall & even into winter. Festuca Boulder Blue takes intense heat & drought without losing its blue color and makes the perfect addition to patio/deck container gardens.Cold Hardy, Disease Resistant, Easy Care, Fast Growing and Shade Friendly.
5. Agastashe(Butterfly/hummingbird bush)
I would be lying if i said part of why I love this plant is for it's butterfly, bee, and hummingbird attracting powers. This thing is magical and makes your garden a mecca of beautiful flying creatures. essential to a pollinator friendly garden and one of the categories High Country Gardens has built our reputation upon. The Hummingbird Mints are a showy, fragrant group of perennial herbs. They need low fertility, well-drained soils and prefer gravel mulches and appreciate deep by infrequent watering, once established. They have excellent resistance to browsing deer and rabbits.
For more ideas for your water friendly, animal resistant garden check out : http://www.lot-lines.com/the-20-best-xeriscape-plants-for-colorado
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