Sustainable Backyard

Located next to the Outdoor Timberframe classroom at The Gardens, the Sustainable Backyard brings eco-conscious ideas to homeowners while demonstrating the use of many sustainable landscape materials.

Native and adapted plants, drip irrigation, rock, lumber and wood chips from local sources, and permeable pavers are installed and on display, as are a windscreen, bird thicket, and dry creek. The Sustainable Backyard also includes an educational turf demonstration area that displays various turf alternatives that homeowners may choose. These turfs differ by type, level of maintenance needed, amount of water required, and ability to withstand high traffic.

The Sustainable Backyard also features our yellow “Scratch N’ Sniff” wall that showcases several varieties of mint plants, including strawberry, pineapple, chocolate, orange, peppermint, spearmint, and more! The Scratch N’ Sniff wall acts as an educational piece in which visitors may “bruise” the plants in order to smell them and try to guess the variety! You’ll also find a leaf-cutter bee house here, which provides nesting sites for the bees that help pollinate our gardens. This house consists of a wood block suspended on the fence, and drilled with numerous scattered holes that serve as “homes” for the bees. Note that holes lined with leaves indicate that a bee has made its home!

The Gardens, in partnership with the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC), installed its Sustainable Backyard (in just one day), on Monday, April 29, 2013 as part of the Planet National Day of Service. ALCC chose The Gardens’ Sustainable Backyard project as their Northern Chapter Day of Service and provided the volunteer labor and donation of many of the materials to complete the garden.

“The Sustainable Backyard will be a living example of how to save water, energy, and money in a residential backyard – all the while nurturing native plants and beneficial wildlife habitats,”

-Michelle Provaznik, Director, Gardens on Spring Creek.

In collaboration with The Gardens and ALCC, other contributors to the design and installation include Zak George Landscaping, Sally Guthart of Earthborn Landscape Design, and Anne Clark Design.

Check out our 1 minute video documenting the installation of the Sustainable Backyard on April 29, 2013.

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2145 Centre Ave.
Fort Collins, CO 80526

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Our Hours:

May 1–Sept. 30
9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri.
9 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat.
noon–5 p.m. Sun.

Oct. 1–Apr. 30
9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon. - Fri.
9 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat.
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Wednesday, April 25
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