Urban Garden Denver Blog

Watering on Earth Day

I gave the yard a thorough watering today, and was reminded how precious water is in our dry climate. I work diligently to minimize water use and water waste, but the ground that didn’t get any snow moisture in March is dry and thirsty. Our rain last weekend helped, but a hot dry week is in the forecast, so I did some deep watering this morning.

Earth Day is a great day to plant a tree or shrubs. If you don’t have lilacs in your yard, they are great hardy shrubs that brings joy every spring with fragrant blossoms. Common lilacs are quite hardy, that’s why you see them along the alleys in older neighborhoods. Last week I noticed an old lilac bush along the highway where the old 6th Avenue cloverleaf used to join I-25. It has survived neglect and drought and is blooming. Of course, you will need to water lilacs for the first few years to get them established, and periodically as they grow, but I have an old lilac bush on the north side of my house, outside the den window, that is rarely watered and does well. Considering that you could remove a 3 foot swath of lawn all along a fence line and plant a row a lilacs, the lilacs will require much less water than the lawn (assuming you adjust your sprinklers and don’t over-water the lilacs). There are many varieties of lilacs, but I am partial to the common lilac as a hardy, reliable friend every spring. If you don’t have lilacs in your yard, take a walk down the alley of an older neighborhood and breath in the lovely scent. But hurry, they bloomed early this year and will be fading soon.


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