There’s one garden tour I’ve attended every year for the past three years—the Enchanted Gardens Tour of Northwest Denver. It’s sponsored by the Conflict Center, a worthy organization that promotes practical skills for peacemaking. Many of the gardens are designed by the homeowners themselves or with small amounts of professional guidance, and all the gardens reflect the love and care that have gone into them.
Last Saturday marked the 14th annual Enchanted Gardens Tour, showcasing 23 gardens. The yards featured everything from art and whimsy to xeriscaping and urban homesteading. Naturally, I can’t cover all the wonderful gardens in this particular post, but I would like to share photos from two gardens that excelled in xeriscaping. Xeriscaping means grouping plants with similar moisture requirements together to conserve water.
As most Denverites know, landscaping a tree lawn (between the curb and sidewalk) is a dicey proposition because the area is often such a hot, dry microclimate. But Tanya and Bert McMurtry have taken on the challenge and produced stunning displays of perennials and groundcovers along the tree lawns of their corner lot.
At the intersection of their two tree lawns sits a diabolically sun-scorched corner with a manhole cover smack-dab in the center of the front edge. What have the McMurtrys done? They’ve transformed that triangle into a showpiece with drought-tolerant prairie winecups (Callirhoe involucrata), woolly speedwell (Veronica pectinata), soapwort (Saponaria ocymoides), penstemons and annual bachelor buttons.
One block away, neighbors Lotte and Rick Dula have skillfully combined groundcovers to create a tropical feel in their front yard while using plants that require just modest amounts of water. Angelina and other sedums mingle with Stella d’oro daylilies, coral bells, plumbago and other low-growing beauties.
The Enchanted Gardens Tour takes place around June 7 every year. I encourage you to attend this well-organized event and meet the friendly gardeners who live in northwest Denver.
To read about the Troy Chavez Memorial Peace Garden, a regular stop on the Enchanted Gardens Tour, visit The Denver Post website.