Garden in a BoxBOULDER – Having taken her first xeriscape class during the 1990s before installing a xeriscape garden in part of her yard, Dianne S. is a long-time advocate of xeriscape gardening.

When she moved to the Denver area in 1998, she worked in a nursery for four years, gaining more information and learning which plants she likes. In 2001, she became a Douglas County Master Gardener.

In 2013, Dianne and her husband moved to their present home which had a landscape made up of nothing but lawn. Dianne dislikes mowing, especially on the slopes, so they covered a good portion of the front lawn with weighted cardboard and black plastic, and killed the grass. In 2014, she incorporated about twenty-five plants from her former house with two Garden In A Box kits. That year, it was back to the weighted cardboard in the shady back yard to create another space for some low-water perennials. The following year, in 2015, she planted a garden in this space. In the front yard, she added plants from the Greatest Hits of Xeriscape Garden In A Box kit.

“Garden In A Box kits contain plants I know and like as well as some new ones. It is an easy way to get started, and it’s quick. I didn’t need to walk around looking at lots of plants and filling carts and carts with them. I just got the gardens and supplemented them with other plants I like – and went from there,” Dianne says. “The butterfly bush did not survive the November cold of 2014, but all of the others are thriving and they are beautiful.” She adds, “There is something blooming all the time, good planning.”

Garden in a BoxDianne states, “Maintenance in the front was easy. I watered about once a week and cleared weeds about monthly. And the drip system is on one zone of the sprinkler system.” She left the current sprinkler system in place the first year – “until the plants were established well and need less water.” She used that same notion in the back, planning to switch to drip watering this summer. “I’m looking forward to even lower maintenance in the future.”

Beautiful Landscapes Made Easy – Garden In A Box, a selection of professionally designed, perennial gardens that use Xeric (low water) plants, offers residents a simple approach to an eye-catching yard. These affordable, do-it-yourself garden kits come with starter plants, a Plant and Care Guide and plant by number maps. To learn more or to order yours, visit or call 303.999.3820 x222.

By Jean Lovell, Center for ReSource Conservation