CO-Horts

CO-Horts

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pueblo's Annual Xeriscape Tour

Posted by Linda McMulkin, CSU Extension-Pueblo County

A fun and educational event happened recently in Pueblo and Pueblo West.  Ten gardens were open to the public, with name tags on plants and information about design and maintenance in the garden biographies and plant lists, and homeowners and experienced gardeners onhand to answer questions.  Why, I can hear you thinking, did you miss the Xeriscape Garden Tours of Pueblo and Pueblo West? 
This garden is surrounded by lawns, making this unique front yard
a reason to slow down for a look on a busy Pueblo street.

The xeritour is a collaborative event, planned and supported by CSU Extension-Pueblo County, the Southeast Colorado Water Conservancy District (SECWCD), and the Pueblo West Community Xeriscape Gardeners. Gardens are chosen based on beauty, but must conform to water-wise gardening principles. The goal is to provide inspiration and to demonstrate that even in the harsh conditions of Pueblo and Pueblo West, homeowners can have sustainable, colorful landscapes that are long on beauty but short on water bills and maintenance. 
After fighting to keep a lawn healthy on a steep slope,
the homeowner  terraced  the front yard and created a
show stopping water-wise landscape.


This large garden is designed to feed the bees! 















This was the 9th year for the tour, which is held the first weekend of June and attracts about 200 people to each garden.  Gardens in Pueblo are open on Saturday and the event is organized by SECWCD staff and Colorado Master Gardener volunteers.  The 2014 event featured the public gardens at the Sangre de Cristo Art Center and 4 private gardens in older neighborhoods that had been remodeled from turf  to colorful, waterwise landscapes surrounded by mature trees.  

 
Sometimes it's not about the plants,
but about  the fun.  The homeowner saw
 this idea online and decided to give
the courtyard vegetable
garden some extra color.
On Sunday, the tour featured gardens in Pueblo West, showcasing young landscapes that support native arthropods, provide water for birds, and include edibles for the homeowners.  The public garden at Cattail Crossing looked the best it has in years, showing that when nature provides some spring rainfall, a low-water garden can truly shine.  This garden was awarded the Plant Select Showcase Garden Award last June and is managed by the all-volunteer Pueblo West Community Xeriscape Gardeners.
 
Why not add a putting green in your patch of turf?
Especially if you can make it look this good.
The foreground shows the bare soil that
most Pueblo West gardeners start with.  The
homeowner is a Colorado Master Gardener
and a member of the Pueblo West Community
Xeriscape Gardeners.


 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
At Cattail Crossing, a large turtle was spotted  laying eggs among
the perennials.  Pea gravel must make a nice nesting site.
On the left, the same garden from the human view. 
The garden is open year round, near the intersection
of McCulloch and Joe Martinez in Pueblo West.
 
 
All photos by CSU Extension-
Pueblo County staff. 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Mark your calendars for the 2015 Xeriscape Garden Tour in Pueblo on June 6 and Pueblo West on June 7.  The tour is free and maps will be available on the CSU Extension website in May next year. 

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