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Owner

Christy

City

WESTMINSTER

Skill Set

Intermediate

Project Size

750 - 1,000 sq ft

Project Location

Front yard

Sun Exposure

Full sun

Year Completed

2014

Time Commitment

31 - 40 hours of labor

Project Cost

Less than $500

Other Project Elements

Native or drought-tolerant plants, Pathways, Low water/xeric plants, Shrubs

Resource Central Programs

None

Advice from the Owner

I smothered my front lawn (cardboard/lasagna method) in fall 2014. I planted the space the following spring with a lot of small plants ordered from High Country Gardens and a few small shrubs from local nurseries. My focus was on creating a xeriscape yard, and it is now extremely waterwise. Without an irrigation system, I hand-water a few times per year, during driest periods, including winter occasionally. I will say that weeding was a huge chore for the first few years while it filled in. If I had to do it again, I would probably scatter seeds instead of planting seedlings, and focus more on natives. These are both things I'm planning to do in my backyard, which is next!

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Owner

Lori

City

Westminster

Skill Set

Intermediate

Project Size

250 - 500 sq ft

Project Location

Back yard

Sun Exposure

Full sun

Year Completed

2018

Time Commitment

11 - 20 hours of labor

Project Cost

Less than $500

Other Project Elements

Bird/Bee houses, Low water/xeric plants

Resource Central Programs

Garden In A Box

Advice from the Owner

It was really fun to do this project. More than anything, I love looking out the kitchen window all summer long and see the changes in color and shape within the garden. I also love to see the butterflies and bees ambling throughout the day drinking nectar and enjoying the new garden. I have lost a few plants along the way, but have just learned more about my garden. Specifically, I have learned about bugs and ailments to a garden that need to be addressed to keep it happy and healthy. It has been and will be a learning process to make it the best garden it can be. Eventually, I hope to completely transform our backyard into a low-water landscape that can be enjoyed for years to come with little maintenance. I have learned that gardening never has an end; it is a continual process that is very rewarding. Additionally, I have learned that deadheading plants is the best way to keep the color alive all summer. I have also realized that weeding can be such a form of mindfulness. It's nice to just shut off my brains and be at one with the outside world.

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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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