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Christopher Smith

Exhibit A

"Xeriscape" may be a weird word, but it may become increasingly familiar. To conserve water and keep Denver from looking like a giant dust bowl this summer, the concept of using indigenous and drought-tolerant plants in landscaping is something that we're all going to have to get used to.

To help out, the Denver Botanic Gardens is sponsoring its first Water-Smart Gardening Exposition this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. "Even in a drought, you can still plant and have spectacular gardens," says Panayoti Kelaidis, curator of plant collections at the Gardens. "Rather than panicking, we're inviting people to learn how to be green."

The Exposition will include lectures by gardening experts and water-conservation information and demonstrations. "Nobody wants a boring garden," declares Kelaidis, who will be giving a lecture titled "Soon-to-Be-Famous Water-Smart Species From Around the World." "Plants that perform well without much water, like native grasses, can produce really stunning results. We want to demonstrate that there are a wide variety of options for Colorado gardeners."

So with a little extra effort, even those of us with not-so-green thumbs can have lavish gardens this year. "A little drought is not the end of the world," Kelaidis says. "Do a little homework -- you don't have to have a ton of water to have a gorgeous green landscape."

Attending the four lectures costs $19 for members and $25 for non-members; admission to the Exposition Hall only is $5 for the general public, and members can view the demonstrations for free. The Denver Botanic Gardens is at 1005 York Street; call 720-865-3500 or log on to for further information.


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