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Why Is Native Landscaping Important to You and the Semiarid West

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Why Is Native Landscaping Important to You and the Semiarid West

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Why Is Native Landscaping Important to You and the Semiarid West

  1. 1. 1 Why is Native Landscaping Important to You and the Semiarid West?Are you interestedin creating an attractiveenvironmentally friendlylandscape while reducingyour water andmaintenance requirements?Do you want a beautifulyard, garden, school,park, or parking area?Try a Xeriscape™ withnative plants! In this photo: Urban Xeriscape with native plants in summer foliage: staghorn sumac, horizontal and common juniper, western mountain ash, aspen, skunkbush sumac, rose, shrubby cinquefoil, ponderosa pine. Whether you’re a newcomer to the northern Great Plains and Rocky Table of Contents Mountains or you just want fresh, new landscaping ideas, this booklet will Why is Native Landscaping Important to You and the Semiarid West? .. 1 help you select and grow native plants that are naturally adapted and will Planning ............................................................................ 2 thrive for years under our extreme environmental conditions. The goal of Design .............................................................................. 3 this booklet is to provide an overview of native landscaping principles and Site Preparation .................................................................. 4 practices. It integrates the principles of several conservation initiatives Choosing the Right Grasses and Wildflowers ................................ 5 such as reduced water, energy, and chemical usage; wildlife habitat Choosing the Right Trees and Shrubs ......................................... 6 enhancement; and invasive weed management. Native plant, in the Grasses ............................................................................. 7 context of this booklet, means native to the United States. Wildflowers ....................................................................... 9 Trees and Shrubs ................................................................ 10 Water Conservation ............................................................. 12 What is Xeriscape™? Maintenance ..................................................................... 13 Xeriscape (pronounced zeer-i-scape) is derived from the Greek word, Plant Protection ................................................................. 14 xeros, meaning “dry.” It’s the wise use of water through water-efficient “To Do” List ...................................................................... 15 landscaping. The word Xeriscape conjures up visions of a dry, About this Publication ............................................... Back Cover desert-like landscape when, in fact, its focus is how to land- scape appropriately in areas with seasonal water supply shortages. In many parts of the West, Denver Water holds the trademark where rainfall is scarce, on the term and has developed landscaping accounts for half 7 Xeriscape Principles. of all residential water 7 Principles of Xeriscape consumption. Outdoor 1. Plan and Design Comprehensively landscaping offers the single 2. Improve Soil with Amendments biggest opportunity for water 3. Reduce Lawn Areas savings to a typical American 4. Use Appropriate Plants and family. Thats because most Group According to Water/ Environmental Needs people pour a lot more water 5. Irrigate Efficiently on their greenery than it 6. Use Mulches Narrow grass strips (left) too often result in watering pavement as well really needs. In fact, it is 7. Maintain Your Landscape as grass. A water-efficient, low maintenance alternative treatment estimated that 85 percent of (right) features juniper and western mountain ash. all landscape problems are Comparisons of traditional caused by over watering landscapes and Xeriscapes Xeriscape and Native Plant Benefits (A Consumers Guide to Water have shown that up to 50 Economic Conservation©, 1993 American percent savings can be Water Works Association). • Lower Water and Maintenance Costs achieved in water usage • Enhanced Real Estate Values alone. Other studies indicate • Increased Survivability of Plantings potential savings of nearly • Edible and/or Decorative Products 30 percent in maintenance and labor, 61 percent in Golden currant: berries used for jelly making. fertilizers, 44 percent in fuel Environmental and 22 percent in herbicides • Improved Water and Soil Conservation and pesticides (At Home with • Reduced Use of Petroleum Products Xeriscape ©, Xeriscape • Improved Air Quality/Carbon Colorado, Inc). Sequestration • Enhanced Urban Wildlife Habitat Lupine. • Reduced Water Contamination Cottontail rabbit. Aesthetic • Increased Year-Round Visual Interest • Increased Urban Wildlife Viewing • Encouraged Link with Nature • Enhanced Quality of Life Yucca: this evergreen plant brings a bold, dramatic touch to a dry landscape. American Indians used the leaves to make baskets and the Big bluestem: fall color. roots to produce soap. Creating Native Landscapes in the Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountains Why is Native Landscaping Important to You and the Semiarid West? 1

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