If you picture cacti, sparse shrubbery, and rocks when you think of xeriscaping, please don’t! Even though xeriscaping might have quite a “dry” reputation, it can actually manifest into vivid, dynamic garden landscapes. According to Colorado State University, the recent ingenuity and experimentation of modern gardeners has resulted in a new positive outlook on water-wise gardens — one that is supported by the recent widespread availability of water-wise plants from dry climates around the globe.
Just because water-wise plants survive on less water than other more traditional varieties doesn’t mean they aren’t also beautiful. In reality, they have the potential to be not only useful but also vibrant and provocative. In a modern Colorado garden, you’ll often find grasses, perennials, and wildflowers that are native to the Rocky Mountain area. Another popular option is introducing plants originally hailing from the Himalayas, Andes, Middle East, and South Africa.
Perennials are well-suited for Colorado xeriscapes for several reasons. They survive for more than two years, require plenty of sun to flower, and rejuvenate the landscape. Of course, native plants are also loved for their drought tolerance and infrequent need for watering. We absolutely love the idea of mixing them with shrub borders and especially using them to create a unique, visual display of color.
Popular water-wise perennials native to Western North America are pentsemons which create stunning red, orange, white, blue, and lavender flowers, red-orange blanket flower, and crimson-flowered beebalm.
Other prized North America flowers include yellow black-eyed Susan, purple coneflower, poppy mallow, New England aster, gayfeather, and perennial flax.
Add a bit more flavor to your garden with perennials from the Mediterranean region. Three that typically thrive in Colorado are lavender, red valerian, and iris.
For the lucky homeowners with numerous trees, a select few water-wise perennials will actually do quite well in shady conditions. These plants include golden banner, cardinal flower, candy tuft, harebell, gasplant, pansy, and columbine.
With drought being a big concern for most of Colorado, you can’t argue that planting water-wise perennials are a smart decision. For help selecting the perfect perennials for your Colorado xeriscape, contact Lifescape.