Category Archives: Xeriscape

Bearded Irises

If you’re looking for an indestructible perennial to grow along Colorado’s Front Range, you can’t beat bearded irises. They’re tough, hardy to zone 3. They’re drought tolerant. They aren’t fussy about soil. Deer and rabbits leave them alone (for the … Continue reading

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A Flower of the Gods

Just as each month is associated with a particular birthstone (January’s being a garnet), so is each month paired with a particular flower. According to folklore, each of these flowers symbolized specific characteristics, which were in turn assigned to those … Continue reading

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Watering Trees

The tree had clearly expired. What leaves remained had turned a sickly yellow-brown, and hung limply on the branches—in mid-August! Yet, when our neighbors planted it last year it had been perfectly healthy. Something was obviously wrong, and I had … Continue reading

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Applauding Leadplant

Sometimes I think of leadplant (Amorpha canescens) as the ugly duckling of xeric shrubs. It’s just not appreciated. Consider this quote from the Missouri Botanic Gardens (MBG) webpage: A somewhat ordinary looking, small shrub with an attractive bloom but otherwise … Continue reading

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Fabulous Four O’clocks

In a field crowded with contenders, I have a new favorite wildflower. This plant is incredible—large, flashy, tough, gorgeous. What more could you want? Best of all, it’s thriving in my yard. I’m in love. Most four o’clocks are sedate, … Continue reading

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Saving Rainwater

The storm pounded our garden, flattening flowers and washing away gravel. Even with the damage, I was grateful for the water—we spent over $100 last month just irrigating our xeric landscaping. Water is expensive, but rain is free. If only … Continue reading

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Getting Established

You’ve read the instructions; I’ve used them frequently here in my posts. “Drought resistant once established.” Sounds good—we’re always trying to save water—but how should you water these plants to start with? And what does “established” mean? There are a … Continue reading

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