The xeriscape Gardens at Kendrick Lake Park colorfully demonstrate the diversity of plants that can thrive in Colorado’s arid climate.
The gardens in Lakewood, south of Denver, showcase the plants that are happy in Colorado’s five flora types – Great Plains, steppe or foothills, montane, alpine and Great Basin. The more than 350 plant varieties have been selected from local sources or from more exotic locations that share a climate with high winds, intense sun, sporadic snow cover and aridity. Those regions include Asia, South Africa, Patagonia and the Mediterranean. New species are tried out for beauty and hardiness before being added to the gardens that already contain salvia, rabbitbrush, cypess, sunset hyssop, Mojave sage, yellow Mexican hat, fan columbine, bitter root, rock spirea, poppy mallow and hundreds more.
The hardy collection blooms from early spring to late fall on almost no irrigation.
The city of Lakewood acquired the park at the northwest corner of West Jewell Avenue and South Hoyt Street in 2001. At that time, the area was an unpromising collection of noxious weeds. The park is located on the northwest corner of West Jewell Avenue and South Hoyt Street. Three planned beds added just as Colorado entered a two-year drought thrived, demonstrating the point of the gardens, that an arid climate can successfully support a rich flora.
The gardens, open daily 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., offer barbecue grills and picnic tables, paths for walking and biking, a playground and restrooms.There is no charge for a casual visit; facilities may be rented for private functions.