Looking for something fun and informative to do this fall and winter? Take the whole family out to the Northern Water Conservation Gardens at the offices of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, 220 Water Street in Berthoud, CO. Okay, I admit it, maybe the kids won’t be as entranced as I was, but it’s still an amazing place to go during any season.
The gardens are divided into 11 areas, including turf grass and native grass reviews, soil preparation and revitalization studies, irrigation demonstrations and sprinkler test pads, and more. But for “off season” I’d recommend a visit for other reasons…
Ornamental grasses are at their peak here, and everything is labeled clearly and correctly. Above is a Giant Sacaton (Sporobolus wrightii) used in a perfect setting – mixed with other perennials surrounded with large rocks and boulders, but given enough space to show off it’s true beauty.
Seed pods, rose hips, winter structure – let’s face it, fall and winter last nearly half the year here, and there are lots of beautiful landscape plants that thrive in our high and dry climate. Red-leaved rose above (Rosa glauca) above is a Plant Select® recommendation for 2010.
And the most fun of all, especially during the “off season,” is the Colorado-Big Thompson Project Interpretive Area… In just a few minutes, you can walk through the entire water supply system, including representations of Lake Granby, Adams Tunnel, the Continental Divide, Lake Estes, Boulder Reservoir and Horsetooth Reservoir. The interpretive brochure describes the entire system, complete with history, statistics and importance of this incredible project.
The Conservation Gardens at Northern Water are free and open to the public every day, year ’round and dozens of Plant Select® plants are used throughout. It’s a beautiful drive, and a great place to learn more about landscaping and water conservation for our region. Find out more about them at http://www.ncwcd.org/.