The Pueblo Chieftan

That’s xeriscape

“The award is a certificate and is called the Plant Select Showcase Garden Award,” said Marilynn Chambers, a member of The Gardeners of Pueblo West.

“It is ‘in recognition of exceeding the program’s expectations through the creation and maintenance of an exceptional public demonstration garden,’ and is given annually to one of 78 gardens.”

In order to qualify a garden must promote sustainable horticultural practices and encourage regionally appropriate gardening, Chambers said. It must also have good design and an educational program and be open to the public.

“The garden at Cattail Crossing was designed by local resident, Ron Sterkel, with input from the group,” Chamber said.

“Ron, before his retirement was a Professor of Design at the University of Illinois.

“Our educational program consists of a plant list using proper plant names and available to the public, proper signage in the garden, an annual class on the techniques of xeriscape, participation in the annual Xeriscape Tour, a booth at the Home and Garden Show and a table at the Western Landscape Symposium.

“The Showcase Garden Award places a lot of emphasis on the educational aspect,” she added.

Plant Select® seeks to identify and promote plants suitable to gardening conditions in Colorado and is a cooperative venture between Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens and those members of the green industry who grow the selected plants.

THERE ARE 78, mostly in Colorado, that have qualified as Plant Select Gardens, and the Pueblo West Xeriscape Garden was accepted in 2009.

The qualifications are, in addition to introducing Plant Select plants by displaying them in the garden, to promote sustainable horticultural practices and encourage regionally appropriate gardening.

A qualifying garden must have good design and an educational program.

The educational program for the garden at Cattail Crossing includes signage, an available plant list that includes proper plant names, annual classes in the techniques of xeriscape, participation in the Xeriscape Tour, a booth at the Home and Garden show, and a table at Western Landscape Symposium.

“The Gardeners at Cattail Crossing are an all volunteer group who love gardening and want to provide knowledge of how to have a beautiful as well as a water wise landscape under the difficult growing conditions of Pueblo West,” Chambers said.

“They can be found working in the garden every Friday morning during the growing season and welcome questions.

“They also invite anyone looking for an opportunity to learn more to join them.”

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