Cool Gardens

Check out Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City. They have designed a beautiful space and they have great summer outdoor concerts there, too.

Xeriscape Gardening

It is pretty dry out here in Utah. I had a large patch of gravel in my yard that I needed to transform. So I have been delving into the world of water-wise gardening, also known as xeriscape gardening. Using drought-tolerant plants, mulch, and stone, I am creating a whimsical garden space, about 50 feet by 80 feet or so. There are a couple of gravel paths that wind their way through it, a fire pit on one end, and a free-standing log swing. It’s not all cactus, prickly things and barren landscape, like you might be imagining. There are blooming flowers that make it beautiful and help conserve water, too.

So far, my favorite water-wise discoveries are Penstamon (flowers are mostly pink and purple – but here are about 275 varieties, some native to Utah), Russian Sage (lavendar flowers), Guara (small pink flowers that sway on long stems), a mountain mahogany tree that I have been babying, and a little pinyon pine tree (a New Mexico native) that a friend donated to the cause.

The Eartheasy website has some good basic information about xeriscaping. And so does the Landscaping Network.

Here is a web page devoted to the interesting Penstemon, sometimes called Beard Tongue. The American Penstemon Society website might be of interest, too.

Backyard Ponds