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Show #16/2403
Denver Urban Oasis

Don't Make Your Garden Too Neat

They next look at the other side of the Water Wise Garden. It is thematically a little different. One of the themes of this garden revolves around the fact that Denver is obsessed with clean and green. In this garden they are trying to show people that things like herbs, for example, should not be isolated or just segregated into an herb garden, for example. If you will integrate native plants and plants from similar climates one can see all the wonderful textures at the end of the growing season. People always want to trim everything down. Here one sees the Verbascum are dead, they're going to seed. They have left them up because not only do the birds like to eat the seeds but they provide interest in this garden. PK thinks we tend to get too neat in our gardens. When they have something to look at during the long winter months in Colorado, when it snows weeks on end and then when the snow melts and these plants are evergreen, it really looks beautiful. Eric likes the way they've used ground cover. Ground covers are a wonderful way of conserving water. He likes ground covers more than mulch. They have used Dianthus, Nepeta Walkers Low, which is a bloomer and particularly beautiful. The Origanum Kents is beautiful and of course in the fall the Verbascum will have very nice dried bracts providing multi season interest plus they do help retain some water. They call it a living mulch. They choose plants that are compatible and that will grow well this time of year. Eric particularly likes the bright silvers anddark greens and the occasional bold textures. They even have some cacti in this garden. Most are in pots because nobody wants to have a close encounter of the cactus kind. But if you elevate them above the garden they find that is a much better way of managing them.


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By Joan Casanova, Bonnie Plants, Photographs courtesy of Bonnie Plants

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