photo credit

Waterwise Ways to a Better Garden

Waterwise Ways to a Better Garden

The sun has returned to the front range, and Westminster residents to their gardens. As you plan your upcoming garden projects, remember there’s much more to consider than plant selection. Due to an increased need to conserve our most precious resource, the City of Westminster is promoting waterwise garden programs through a partnership with local conservation-focused company Resource Central.

Shelly Woodcock, a Westminster resident and beekeeper, transformed her lawn into an oasis when she participated in Resource Central’s Garden in a Box program in 2022. “We were tired of spending a small fortune watering our lawn which would ultimately die in the heat of July and August.”

Garden in a Box is a DIY solution that offers customers a hand-selected collection of low-water plants that replaces 100 square feet of lawn per box. More than 40,000 of these kits have been sold to date along the Front Range, saving an estimated 228 million gallons of water. Woodcock says all the work to replace her lawn was worth it, and she felt the savings immediately. “Our water bill went from $250 per month in the summer to a high of $65,” she said.

The Garden in a Box program offers several different styles of gardens, which provides a great opportunity to sprinkle your personality throughout your lawn. Alan Hromatko, a Westminster resident who already had a xeric landscape at his home, chose the vegetable Garden in a Box in 2022. “Many of the vegetables would be twice as much at a local box store or garden center to buy and plant. It saved us time having to design our own garden and pick out dozens of plants. The ease of picking it up all at once was a time saver.” Hromatko was also impressed with the yields from his new garden. “It could provide a family with all the vegetables they need for 3-4 months, with more for freezer storage.”

Westminster Senior Water Resources Analyst Drew Beckwith has been tracking the success of these programs. “We have a long-standing partnership with Resource Central who provides many water-saving programs for our single-family customers including Garden in a Box, Slow the Flow sprinkler consults, and the Lawn Replacement Program.”

These programs aren’t the first to be introduced in an effort to conserve water in Westminster. Beckwith recalls, “The programs have changed over time, focusing first on indoor water uses like toilets, but are now almost entirely focused on outdoor water use. We also have a large-landscape irrigation audit program for HOAs and commercial properties who are interested in making sure their sprinkler systems are working at top efficiency.”

Beckwith said that there is no downside to replacing lawn with water-wise gardens, but notes that it can take some time for the gardens to become lush and fill in the space. “Waterwise plants start small and your garden may look a little sparse at planting, but resist the urge to put in more! Over the next few years, these plants will more than triple in size, providing your yard with amazing new colors and textures all with lower water use.”

With spring just beginning, it's the perfect time for Westminster residents interested in participating in Garden in a Box 2023 to get started.

Step One: Measure the space to replace and choose a kit appropriate for the amount of sunlight that space receives. You can find tips on Resource Central’s webpage. Agents are also available for questions over the phone.

Step Two: Remove the area of grass the new garden will replace. Customers will be able to pick up their Garden in a Box between May and early June at designated locations.

Step Three: Plant the garden, witness it beautify with time, and enjoy lower utility bills for years to come!

For more information on waterwise gardens and other conservancy programs visit:

Back to The Westy Word