Going Native in CO's Warm, Dry Spring
Thursday, May 10, 2012
BOULDER, Colo. - Colorado's snowpack is less than a fourth of average for this time of year - which could mean a hot, dry summer following our warm, dry spring.
Water experts say the state is on track to match the drought of 2002 - which may have some people considering water-stingy alternatives to lawns and other landscaping in yards.
Megan Bowes, an ecologist for the Colorado Native Plant Society and Boulder Open Space and Parks, says native plants can be a smart option.
"There are a lot that have been popularized, or further developed through a cultivar situation that are quite water-thrifty."
Those plants include wildflowers, shrubs, grasses and forbs such as yarrow from the plains and Front Range.
Just because a yard is less thirsty than its traditional counterparts doesn't mean it's also less lush, Bowes says.
"It can look like anything you want it to. There's actually a formal garden in Denver where they have used a number of native shrubs, primarily, but some forbs as well, and it looks like a French formal garden."
Another benefit from native plants? They provide food for animals and insects which call Colorado home.
The National Wildlife Federation will host its annual native plant sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the corner of 30th Street and Baseline Road in Boulder.
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