Landscaping methods change with drought

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Hardscapes and drought tolerant plants have become the way people in metro Denver are dealing with water shortages, restrictions, and ways to design living spaces in yards.

"For the Colorado Landscapers Association these are the ways to cut back on water use," said landscaper, Wendy Booth. "Our goal is to keep water bills down while providing both living space and areas where native plants can thrive."

Many in metro, where each yard has a hillside, are squaring off their front lawns with the use of retaining walls, to reduce the area where grass needs heavy watering. By adding walls, you can also put in plants that use less water than grass would, which will help reduce water bills.

"We went from being in the Denver Water group using the most water to the group that uses the least amount of water," said Master Gardner, Kathleen Howard. "Our wall beds are lined with both lava rock and recycled used rubber tires. The tires are bed for roses, the tires generate just the right amount of heat needed to help them grow."

Professional landscapers will map out what kind of improvements will help homeowners save money, while creating hardscapce, outdoor living spaces with chairs and tables that give an indoor area outside. The group can also show you the right kinds of plants needed to save water and last thru the growing season.

As one homeowner put it, saving water is on us, we know the water companies are never going to lower our rates, so we might as well try to save some on our own... adding, "but even if we do cut back, that might prompt utilities to raise rates to keep up with our cutbacks." Sound like a classic 'catch22' if I ever heard one!

AlertMe