Telluride: ‘High and dry’ demonstration garden requires no supplemental water

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From The Telluride Watch (Martinique Davis):

[The] special High and Dry Garden [is] sponsored by Colorado State University Cooperative Extension in Norwood. Located along the east end of Telluride’s River Trail, the garden features plants carefully chosen to demonstrate one seemingly difficult achievement – to have a beautiful garden at high altitude that doesn’t require watering. Started last summer and still developing, Telluride’s demonstration garden is the first High and Dry garden of its kind on the Western Slope (with the exception of a similar demonstration garden outside Norwood’s CSU Extension office). It isn’t chock-full of showy plants with massive, colorful blooms. Rather, the plants selected for this garden a more practical side of high-altitude horticulture, since they are all considered “water-wise,” or “xeric.” In other words, this garden was designed and planted to exist on Telluride’s precipitation alone. Despite having no requirements for supplemental water, the High and Dry Garden is far from austere. Plants like serviceberry, French sage, penstemon, primrose, and geranium dot the raised bed, offering bursts of color and interesting shapes amid the gray gravel mulch – also intentionally chosen because effectiveness over wood chips at reducing water evaporation. A red gravel path cuts through the middle of the garden, providing color contrast to the gray mulch and a raised vantage point to examine the intricacies of water wise gardening.

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