Putting Colorado Back in Our Landscapes

Imagine stepping outside and feeling like you’re standing on a Colorado hiking trail, surrounded by wildflowers, songbirds and monarch butterflies

Image: Panayoti Kelaidis

We have an opportunity in our landscapes to lean into what makes us uniquely Colorado—to see the beauty in our natural western landscapes and bring it into our constructed ones.

One way to do that is to use plants that are native to where we live. For inspiration, Plant Select has curated a foothills-meets-high plains palette of plants that are native to our state.

These plants offer a low-water alternative to unused turf spaces and long-term benefits for our development communities. As more communities strive to use landscaping to mitigate the effects of climate change, these plants can save water (keeping cash in wallets), attract pollinators, resist extreme weather, restore wildlife habitat and reduce maintenance costs.

Here’s a closer look:

Blazing star liatris is a late-summer showstopper. Every August, it develops tall, purple spikes of flowers—ringing a dinner bell for monarchs and other butterflies. Like many native plants, liatris doesn’t love being grown in a nursery pot. It sulks like a teenager. Don’t let that deter you. It should take off in the ground, often producing flowers its first summer after planting.


Ann Kendall

Ann Kendall, Western garden writer and Certified Colorado Gardener, Plant Select. Plantselect.org.

Ann Kendall has 5 posts and counting. See all posts by Ann Kendall

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