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Skill Set


Project Size

1,000+ sq ft

Project Location


Sun Exposure

Full sun

Year Completed


Time Commitment

More than 40 hours of labor

Project Cost

less than $500

Other Project Elements

Native or drought-tolerant plants, Drip irrigation system, Raised/tiered beds, Veggie gardens, Patio/sitting areas, Shrubs

Resource Central Programs

Garden In A Box, Smart Controller Upgrade

Advice from the Owner

By far the most labor-intensive step was grass removal. Hire that out if possible. It can also be done with a shovel like I did it. Decide what hardscape features you want. We opted for a pergola, a bocce court and some gravel walkways along with flagstone. The only contractors I used were to install the concrete pergola base and the electrical to the pergola itself. We have kept some grass in the center of the yard and have new rotary sprinklers for that. I may eventually replace that with Buffalo Grass. All the xeriscaping has drip irrigation. Familiarize yourself with how that works, it's quite simple and can be done on an ongoing basis. We got our trees and shrubs from the Tree Farm, smaller plants from Nick's in Aurora, or online ordering from High Country Gardens. High Country also has preplanned gardens you can buy to take the guesswork out of it. We've had good success with all these. We currently have over 60 different varieties of xeric plants and counting. Our outdoor water use reports show that we are consistently using 5,000 to 10,000 gallons per month under the Denver Water goals for efficient watering in the summer. We have cut our outdoor water use by 40%.

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Design Ideas

Struggling with coming up with yard design concepts? Check out what other Waterwise participants  have done.

Join your neighbors and have your very own Waterwise Yard!

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