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Wind Crest Garden Club conserving and preserving

Created date

September 21st, 2010

The Wind Crest Garden Club has experienced its first season, and though there have been some growing pains, both residents and staff are hopeful for a fruitful and flourishing future. Located in Highlands Springs, Wind Crest s soil has its share of challenges, and just the right plants need to be rooted in the ground in just the right design for the plants to flourish. That is exactly what the Garden Club is learning how to do. [caption id="attachment_14345" align="alignright" width="280" caption="In addition to the community flowerbeds, there are individual garden areas residents can tend to themselves. Residents choose what they want to grow, from fruits and vegetables to flowers. (Photos by Brian Remmick)"][/caption] In just one season, the Garden Club has developed multiple projects. One is the residents individual gardens, and the other is the campus flowerbeds. Though the majority of the individual gardens are thriving with different kinds of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, there s been more of a challenge getting Wind Crest s community flowerbeds up and thriving.

Flowering teamwork

The flowerbeds project has been a combination of residents and staff working together to further beautify the already-breathtaking grounds. There are three areas with ten total beds around campus, mostly at the front entrance and around the clubhouse. Perennials have already been planted in some of the beds, so the campus will be rich in color next spring with blanket flowers, black-eyed susans, irises, snapdragons, and native grasses. [caption id="attachment_14346" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Both annuals and perennials are planted in Wind Crest s flowerbeds."][/caption] To help preserve the land and save on water, the club is using xeriscape (pronounced zero-scape ) plants within the beds; these plants are more drought resistant. First employed by the Denver Colorado Water Department in 1981 (and created by the Front Range Xeriscape Task Force of Denver Department in 1978), xeriscaping is all about creating a landscape that is beautiful, hearty, and conservative xeriscape plants are able to withstand and even thrive in drought-like conditions. Part of this method means grouping plants together that have similar watering needs, thus minimizing water use. Wind Crestis also working with an outside contractor to redesign the beds to create a better flow, both aesthetically and practically. We re using the stepping principal, says Brian Remmick,Wind Crest sfacilities manager, so that the plants are arranged in a way that takes advantage of rainfall retention. This year s weather has also been a challenge for the garden club. The spring s ping-pong-like cold and hot temperatures caused the initial planting to be delayed, and now the future of the beds lies in the design. There s definitely room for improvement, Remmick says, but we re working hard to make these beds thrive, and we re hopeful.

Future plans for growth

But the Garden Club isn t stopping there. In the works is a project to establish a community-wide initiative to donate a plant or a tree to be planted around campus to help preserve and add to the beauty of the land. For this the club is currently determining which plants and trees would be the best to offer; they re hoping to compile a list of ten different plants that thrive in Colorado s dry environment. TheWind CrestGarden Club has 12 15 members at the monthly meetings, but they re just getting started. Gardening is something that manyWind Crestcommunity members enjoy, and they re committed to doing it in a responsible way that not only beautifies the land but helps preserve it as well.