A couple of recent posts in these parts have discussed the huge demand for new water diversion projects that could be facing the Front Range in a few years. But one of the simpler solutions -- xeriscaping -- tends to conjure up images of barren front yards filled with rocks and cacti. Fortunately, just in time for spring gardening fever, residents across the metro area now have access to one of the niftier solutions to the problem.
Over half of residential water use in Denver goes to slaking the thirst of ultra-green lawns. The Center for ReSource Conservation, a Boulder nonprofit, has come up with a way to make basic xeriscaping affordable and even attractive with its Garden-In-A-Box, a ready-to-plant kit of hardy but colorful plants with detailed instructions (and even plant-by-numbers landscaping design templates). The perennials -- including Native Verbena and Lavender Mist -- are selected with the Front Range's tough clay soils in mind, and thrive on less than half the water that bluegrass demands.
The program won a Best of Denver award from Westword last year, despite one basic drawback -- it was available mainly in Boulder County and a few western suburbs. But this year, the program has expanded across the metro area; the CRC is now taking orders for May delivery.
That means there are fewer excuses than ever for sticking with that sickly sod. You don't have to raze the whole lawn; the CRC insists that a little bit of Garden-In-A-Box can make for a significant drop in water costs and spruce things up considerably, while you're thinking about taking a bigger plunge into irrigation kits, control clocks and more.
For details about Garden-in-a-Box and other conservation ideas, check out the CRC website.
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