Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
The Heritage at Westmoor Xeriscape demonstration gardens are great places for you to get ideas for your own gardens. You can see what native, drought tolerant plants look like and discover how to grow these low-water plants in your own gardens. The gardens are open to the public, are free and are easily accessible.
The demonstration garden began in 2000, with a small 480 square foot strip on the south side of the clubhouse. This area has a hot, sunny exposure and was in need of heat and drought tolerant plants.
Staff removed the weed barrier and cobblestone and mixed compost, sand and pea gravel into the existing heavy clay soil. Large boulders were added to create microclimates and winter interest. The garden was planted with Plant Select® plants. Plant Select is a nonprofit organization that promotes plants that thrive in our unique climate.
One of the most successful plants in the garden is Table Mountain® Ice Plant (Delosperma ‘John Proffitt’), which produces magenta flowers throughout the summer.
Each year the garden expands, with more weed barrier, cobblestone and even turf being removed and transformed into Xeriscaped gardens. The gardens surrounding the clubhouse have expanded to more than 4,400 square feet. These gardens contain more than 200 varieties of plants including many Xeric, low water, native, drought tolerant plants.
In these gardens, you can see everything from Agaves (Agave parryii) to Claret Cup Cactus (Echinocereus) (pictured above) and many species of yuccas. The garden can boast eight months of blooming, complete with Snowdrops (Galanthus) and Iris reticulata in March to Orange Carpet® Hummingbird Trumpet (Zauschneria garrettii) in the fall.
The garden became an official Plant Select demonstration garden and was featured in a Denver Water Xeriscape brochure in 2005. Visit the Plant Select website to get a downloadable design to plant your own Xeric rock garden. You can also download a copy of the plan used at the Heritage at Westmoor.
For more great resources, visit Plant Talk Colorado or the Denver Museum of Nature and Science websites.