Xeriscape Demonstration Gardens

The Water Department has created or partnered with the development of several Xeriscape Demonstration Gardens around Greeley to give customers ideas for water conserving gardens.

City of Greeley Water Conservation Garden

2503 Reservoir Road

This garden began in 1997. The term Xeriscape, while known, still had perceptions of rock gardens and cactus. The objective of the garden was to dispel the rock idea and show that Xeriscape can be a lush mix of perennials, annuals, ornamental grasses, bulbs, trees and shrubs. Another misconception is that Xeriscape means no turf. This garden has four kinds of turf.

Starting on the east end of the garden, the stamped concrete walkway is flanked by an annual garden. Behind the flowers on the right side are hardy shrub roses, lilacs in white, rose, lavender, and deep purple. Perennials in the next bed include Gailardia, creeping Phlox, Yarrow, Mexican Hat, and clumping Blue Fescue. The next bed on the north side of the walk is a Daylily bed. This bed includes ‘Stella de Ora' in the front and the taller Daylilies in back of traditional orange, pink and red. On the south side of the walkway is a berm with Canadian Choke Cherry and Serviceberry Trees. On the berm are Purple Coneflower and Russian Sage along with Tulips and Daffodils that bloom in the spring. Flanking the berm on either side are varieties of Potentillas ranging in color from the traditional yellow to white and pink.

This site was a challenge because of all of the overhead wires, there were very few places where a large shade tree could be planted. Two ash trees 'Marshall' and 'Summit' shade the seating area on the north side of the walkway. Sumac and a Weeping Cherry wrap around the semi circular seating area.

Smooth Brome is a wide bladed, cool season turf between the fence and the walkway. Buffalograss is a native to the short grass prairie and is along the outside sidewalk near the street.

Oasis by Tim UphamOasis by Tim Upham was the first 1% For Art Project completed. The art is situated on the hill at the garden and was installed in 2000. Oasis is a tribute to Greeley 's founding fathers and insight into assuring a water supply for Greeley. The sculpture fence celebrates our water history through a mesh depiction of the mountains with Greeley water pioneers painted on Lexan (polycarbonate resin thermoplastic). The art is inspired by a 1908 photo of Greeley's water leaders. The fountain in front of the sculpture consists of twelve plates, each representing a month, and varying in depths to represent the average amount of precipitation for that month. Historic photos and explanations also accompany the project.

An assortment of large shrubs and small trees are just west of the art to the west seating area. The berm across from the art is an assortment of Butterfly bush, Yellow Twig Dogwood and Low-Grow Sumac. Next along the outside of the walkway is another area for three large shade trees, they are Burr Oak, Kentucky Coffee Tree, and ‘Patmore” Ash.

Blue Grama ArtAround the rock garden is an assortment of low growing junipers to show what they would look like as a ground cover. In the rock garden, there is another piece of public art, installed in 2010. Blue Gramma is a 12-foot high powder coated steel depiction of a species of native grass. Blue Gramma" was created by Kevin Shaffer of Evergreen as part of Greeley’s Sculpture on Loan Program. It was chosen by the public to be purchased by the City of Greeley and will be a permanent fixture at the Xeriscape Garden.

The west end of the garden makes a loop around the triangular area which is surrounded by Blue gramma grass (another native) inside the triangle are several different types of ornamental grasses. On the north side of the sidewalk is a cool season Fine Fescue Blend another alternative turf grass. The largest tree in the garden is the Western Catalpa at the intersection of the sidewalks. It was chosen for this spot because of its height but it won't spread enough to interfere with the overhead wires.

University of Northern Colorado Xeriscape Garden

17th Avenue and Reservoir Road

UNC XericThe Xeric Demonstration Gardens demonstrates wildlife gardening in addition to exhibiting landscape water conservation. The project design incorporates the basic elements of food, water, and cover needed to attract urban wildlife. The purpose and intent of the community gardens is to encourage individuals, clubs or organizations to conduct field research, testing and display of materials, plants or methods promoting water-wise gardening.

Plants were selected for the garden to dispel the notion that all xeric plantings consist mostly of beds with aggregate and larger rocks and a few plants resistant to drought. Rather, the planting beds in the Xeric Demonstration Gardens display examples of low maintenance plant species that require minimal water, but are colorful and create habitat for wildlife.

Native, non-native and ornamental grasses have been specifically used in the gardens to demonstrate to homeowners examples of alternative selections for commonly used grasses in lawns and flowerbeds. Here the homeowner can observe firsthand the growth habit of these plants and perhaps better visualize how these selections might be used to replace water-consuming grasses and plants in their own lawns and gardens.

In 2007, the garden became the first site for the Community Gardens Project. Greeley residents have an opportunity to rent a garden plot at the UNC Xeric Garden. The opportunity to rent a garden plot is one of the projects coordinated by the Community Garden Advisory Committee as part of Project GROW (Gardeners Reaping Opportunities for Wellness) through the Natural Resource office at the City of Greeley.

Regional Xeric Gardens

Conservation Gardens at Northern Water

220 Water Avenue Berthoud, Colorado

The garden has some interesting features, including a self-guided cell phone tour.

Plant Select® Demonstration Gardens

Nearly 90 public gardens throughout the Rocky Mountains and High Plains area, including CSU Extension, libraries, fire stations, Xeriscape Demonstration gardens, public parks, etc. have acquired Plant Select® plants over the past years to create a Plant Select® Demonstration Garden.

Contact Us

Greeley Water and Sewer

1001 11th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Greeley, CO 80631

Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm

970-350-9811 tel
970-350-9805 fax

Water Conservation

970-336-4168 for Water Budget

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Taste, odor, or appearance



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