Landscape Advice

Landscaping a Historic Home

NOTE: New Landscaping guide is now available in the Landscaping section of the Old North End Neighborhood Interpretive Guide as of February 12, 2016.

Water Saving Landscape

With 2013’s water restrictions and drought fresh on our minds, we have seen an increase in neighborhood properties choosing to abandon blue grass for alternatives such as mulch, rock and drought tolerant grasses (buffalo grass, blue grama, fescues). If you know of an ONEN home that has drought tolerant alternative grass let us know so interested neighbors can see what it looks like. Email us at

Choosing Rock

Before choosing rock, consider the following: An all rock yard can increase ambient temperatures 5 to 8 degrees and trees and shrubs in the area will require even more water. A better alternative, especially around trees is organic mulch. Organic mulch improves soil and soil structure, balances soil temperature, holds moisture and protects plants from drought stress. Mulch may be used as a temporary ground covering to protect soil and trees during times of drought. Weeds struggle to grow in mulch. Apply mulch by placing organic material directly onto soil at a depth of 2-5” depending mulch type. Replenish mulch regularly and water deeply to penetrate to plant root zone. Free mulch is available from City Forestry or the Black Forest Slash-Mulch Program. Mulch can also be purchased from many local businesses such as Rocky Top, C&C and Pioneer.


We have a great many native or well adapted plants which are quite beautiful as well as drought tolerant. One can see many of these in the Mesa Xeriscape Garden, 2855 Mesa Road, OR by visiting the Plant Select website. Plant Select is a joint project of the Denver Botanic Gardens and CSU to identify plants from similar climates and topography around the world, test them in plots at CSU, and once identified as well adapted for Colorado, sold in local nurseries. Colorado Springs nurseries which carry Plant Select plants include: Good Earth, Ricks, Summerland Gardens, Hardings, Phelan Gardens and Spencers

Watering Trees

Small trees should be watered weekly and large trees need water twice a month. During the growing season, trees require 10 gallons of water per inch of tree trunk diameter each time they are watered. A 24” diameter maple or ash will need 240 gallons of water to be distributed to its root zone*. These large legacy trees cool our streets, their roots hold our soil in place and they add value to our homes. Trees define our neighborhood and it is our responsibility to care for them.

*If you or your neighbors have made the choice to rock areas with trees, especially the parkway, please remember the trees will need more water due to the increased ground temperature.

Additional Resources:

Old North End Neighborhood Interpretive Guide – Landscape Section
Tree Care During Drought
More information on Mulch
Colorado Springs Utilities
Xericape Resources Page
Colorado State University Extension- El Paso County:
Online or offices at 305 S Union Blvd
Lawn Care Tips

1 thought on “Landscape Advice”

  1. I have to repair old rock walls and am wondering if you know of anywhere to get pink or manitou rock from—I think that’s what it’s called. Thanks, Randy Knox 808-388-0061

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