Changing seasons, changing landscapes: How one Denver resident turned her yard into a water-efficient urban oasis.
By Jay Adams
The unseasonably warm weather this fall is great for hiking, playing in the park and puttering around the yard. As you’re raking your leaves or putting your garden to bed, take a moment to reflect on how your landscape looked this past summer.
Were there brown spots of grass? Could your kids have used more shade? Did you need more patio space?
“Fall is a great time to rethink your landscape,” said Mark Cassalia, Denver Water conservation specialist. “Walk your property, think about what you’d really like, and start planning for spring.”
“We had two kids grow up here, and we found the grass was rarely used,” Wright said. “So we started planning and changed our yard into a landscape full of color, shade and natural beauty.”
Wright’s yard features butterflies, ornamental grasses, bushes, flowers, trees and a cactus area.
“We found that by changing our landscape, we opened up our yard for all kinds of fun and creative things,” she said. “Most people find it hard to believe we hardly use any water on the landscape.”
Amy’s landscape uses about 90 percent less water compared to a yard of the same size that’s mostly grass.
“Amy’s garden landscape may not work for everyone, but it demonstrates how homeowners can redesign their yards to custom-fit their family’s needs and save water at the same time,” Cassalia said.
“The increase in variety of plants available has allowed homeowners to create beautiful landscapes that work in our semi-arid climate,” Cassalia said. “The turf industry has also developed more low-water alternatives that look like bluegrass, but are much more water-efficient.”
Wright encourages anyone considering changing their landscape to read books and attend classes to get ideas for creating a water-saving yard they will enjoy.
“We get to enjoy nature all year long,” Wright said. “It feels great knowing we’re saving water, and we still have a great place to live.”