Whether you’re a newcomer to the Pikes Peak area, are looking for ways to save water in your garden by xeriscaping, or simply enjoy meandering through the flowers, a number of local public demonstration gardens are available to inspire your landscaping creativity. All of these gardens feature PlantSelect® plants, as well as other plants similarly well suited to our climate and soils. All are located in Colorado Springs.

Carnegie Library Garden, 25 W. Kiowa St., between the restored Carnegie Library building on the east and the former Knights of Columbus Hall on the west. Hours: whenever the library is open. This garden was initially designed by Carla Anderson and built by Colorado Master Gardeners of El Paso County. It features low maintenance plants adapted to a southern exposure. Check out a book, then come outside to soak up some rays on one of the garden benches.

Mesa Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, 2855 Mesa Rd. Owned by Colorado Springs Utilities, always open. Most plants are labeled, so you know what to ask for at the garden center. Photo on right shows the rock garden in late spring. Plants are grouped by watering zone. This is a great place to come get ideas for your own yard.

Cottonwood Creek Park Xeriscape Garden, 3920 Dublin Blvd. Smaller garden also owned by Colorado Springs Utilities. Signs explain xeriscaping principles. Always open. Photo on left shows one of the low-water borders.

Horticultural Art Society Demonstration Garden, Cache la Poudre and Glen Ave., in the park. Always open. With all the mature trees in the area, the garden is a good place to see shade-loving perennials. A small herb garden, veggie plots, and a scented garden are also featured. Most plants are not particularly xeric. Photo on right shows garden from entrance on Cache la Poudre.

Contributed by Leslie Holzmann, Certified Colorado Gardener.

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