Backed by heavenly views of the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, the 3 1/2-acre Colorado Springs Utilities Xeriscape Demonstration Garden occupies an exposed site that puts plants to the test.
One bed shows how shrubs like burgundy-leafed barberry and small trees like deep green bristlecone pine can be used to reduce turf area.
In the foothills zone planting at right, a dry-stacked stone wall creates a warmer microclimate preferred by Verbascum bombyciferum 'Arctic Summer', whose powdery white stems carry yellow flowers.
At the base of the wall, 'Red Rocks' penstemon blooms near the curled, silvery green leaves of Marrubium rotundifolia. This area is watered just twice a month.
Garden open daily, office open 9-5 Mon-Fri. 2855 Mesa Rd., Colorado Springs; www.csu.org or (719) 448-4800.