U.S. Water News Online
DENVER -- May showers are not going to bring more flowers.
The city will plant half the normal number of flowers this spring and
will Xeriscape the downtown pedestrian mall to conserve water.
Watering restrictions are in place in Denver and other Front Range
cities in hopes of filling reservoirs sapped by one of the state's
worst-ever droughts. In Denver, officials will only plant 150,000
flowers, instead of the normal 300,000.
Parks crews still plan large floral displays at such parks as
Cheesman, City, Civic Center, Ruby Hill, Washington, Viking and
Village Place, but they hope to cut water use in half. They'll save
water by not planting in peripheral areas and using plants that
require less water, including columbines, lavenders, penstemons and
``We've always done strictly annuals,'' said Gary Douglas,
greenhouse superintendent. ``We've never had a need to worry about
having enough water until now.''
The landscaping on the 16th Street pedestrian mall will be
different, too. Landscape contractor TruGreen LandCare will switch
out the pansies and junipers with Xeriscape vegetation in the 270
planters along the 16 blocks. The plants are expected to help cut the
mall's water use by 30 percent.
TruGreen manager Jeff Miller said the switch to Xeriscaping is a
long-term obligation to adjust to Colorado's climate.
``We have to remember that this is a semiarid climate, a desert,''
Miller said. ``We created this little oasis called Denver. The data
shows us droughts are part of the natural cycle, so it is our
obligation to adjust to that, not the other way around.''
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