Currant Red Lake
Missouri Evening Primrose
Monarch butterfly on the Butterfly Bush Miss Ruby
penstemon pikes peak purple
Runnerless Strawberry Alexandria
Every bit we do to reduce water consumption (residential lawns drinks up to 40% of Cheyenne’s annual water use) means we avoid the expense of finding and developing new water sources in the future.
That is why the Board partnered with Audubon Rockies’ Habitat Hero program and the Cheyenne-High Plains Audubon Society to “bee” smart, water smart. Learn more about the Habitat Hero program (here).
5 Steps to creating a water smart landscape
- Make a Wish List Before you purchase a single plant, research what type of yard you want to create. Is your primary focus water conservation, low maintenance, wildlife-friendly habitat, outdoor living room or a private area? All of these are important to consider and will influence your design. Think big but act small. You can always add to your design as you want.
- Take Inventory Look at the physical characteristics of your yard. For example: sunny west and south sides are typically best suited for drought-tolerant plants while cooler north and east sides are best for low to moderate water-use plants. Examine your existing irrigation system and see if any heads could be converted for a water smart landscape.
- Make a Plan It’s time to either call upon a professional landscaper for assistance or copy a design you like. For the DIY attitude, look for design ideas online or in a book. Your new irrigation system should be designed into your plan too. Trees, shrubs, flowers and groundcovers can be watered efficiently with low-volume drip emitters, sprayers and bubblers. Choose native and low-water plants whenever possible. Design with mulch versus rock. Rock heat up the soils & don’t retain moisture. 2-3” of single grind mulch is the best for windy Wyoming.
- Install Your Water Smart Landscape Now it’s time to get to work! A good rule of thumb is construction first, irrigation system updates and then plant. Lawn spray-heads may be converted to drip emitters with a built in pressure-reducing valve. Irrigation companies, garden stores or other professionals can provide you with advice.
- Maintain and Enjoy! To ensure your water-smart landscape is successful, you’ll need to prune, weed and keep 2-3” of mulch. Remember that even the best-designed irrigation system must be maintained and checked for issues.