Let’s talk about water-wise landscaping and phasing out the traditional lawn.
There are lots of resources to help you plan and design a water-wise yard. The folks at Plant Select have an abundance of designs ranging from front yards with right of ways to shady gardens. You can follow these plans or let your own creativity take over. Remember to think about where the sun hits your house when planning. Taking it a step further, research the plants you are selecting and make a note of the bloom times. This will help make your new landscaped area attractive throughout the growing season.
Landscaping can be expensive. There are some ways to cut back on costs! Growing your plants from seeds is definitely the way to reduce the amount of money spent on ‘unlawning’ your yard. Potted, somewhat mature plants can be a couple of dollars to upwards of $20 each. Seeds are cheap (sometimes free!) and the feeling of bringing life to a plant is so gratifying. For free sources, check out the Pueblo City County Library’s Seed Library, available at the Rawlings branch. If you are successful in your efforts to grow flowers from seeds, you can return the seeds your plants created for others to use. There are also Little Seed Libraries around Pueblo County that you can learn more about here.
If you are intimidated by growing plants from seeds and just want to buy native plants from stores, it is unlikely you will find many at big box stores. These are wonderfully convenient places to buy lots of things at once, but rarely do they keep an inventory of native plants for sale. Check out smaller, locally-owned stores! Buying from these stores helps our Pueblo entrepreneurs and in turn, benefits us all.
There are a number of places on the web that can give you lists of plants that are appropriate for our unique climate, tough soil, and most importantly, the animals that pollinate the plants. An extensive list, that includes trees and bushes, can be found here on the City of Pueblo’s website. When searching for lists on the web, be specific by using terms like ‘southern' or 'SE Colorado’. Often lists are geared toward those gardeners in Denver and at higher elevations. Those plants may not do well in Southern Colorado. So set yourself up for success by planting what are more likely to flourish here.
Gardening and landscaping your yard or patio get you outside! Being outside is a huge benefit to your health and well-being. Maybe you’ll finally introduce yourself to your neighbors. Maybe you’ll naturally create vitamin D by spending some time in the sun. Maybe you’ll get a little workout from landscaping. Maybe you’ll just find some peace in the practice of gardening native plant species.
Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your suggestions and resources regarding water-wise landscaping. Happy responsible gardening!