99 per one gallon. Although recommended as a coastal plant, we decided to give it a try anyway. We liked the idea of its attracting butterflies. To keep the daisies healthy, Las Pilitas suggested watering and washing them "every couple of weeks." Jay was very pleased to hear that.
Next, we spent some time researching the Verbana lilacina. It is a drought tolerant plant -- good for Jay -- and requires little water. A perennial, its peak bloomtime is in the spring and summer. This would be a good plant for the shade -- which is exactly where we planned to keep it. Native to Cedros Island, off the coast of Baja, this plant should have no problem in the garden. The only problem now is finding it!
Meanwhile, I tried looking for "Creeping Thyme." There were many varieties of creeping thyme available from different outlets, and it was certainly considered a water conserving plant with a small height that would contrast well with the Verbana lilacina and the daisies. A 3-inch pot was available from Mountain Valley Growers for $4.50, which described it as a full sun plant. That would work well for Jay's garden, and I passed the news on to him.
Then we set to work looking for information on the Bush Monkeyflower. This perennial would have its peak blooming period around the same time as the Verbana lilacina, which would make the garden look just right at just the right time. Native to rocky coastal regions, it does not require much water -- plus, it would likely attract hummingbirds -- another point that Jay was pleased to hear. The Bush Monkeflower would also come in at a good height for Jay's garden -- at around 3 ft -- and would off-set the "Creeping Thyme" and the Verbana lilacina. The Fleabane that we planned on planting behind it and across the walkway would give unity to the color scheme. Plus, the Bush Monkeyflower was, like everything we found, easily affordable. We were having no problem discovering what we needed for our project.
Jay was doing calculations in his head: depending on whether we wanted seeds or plants, we could have a garden ready to go in no time and at an affordable budget. I asked Jay how his soil was. We went out to look at it and discovered that it drained rather well. This would be good for the Verbana lilacina: that plant requires soil that drains well. We were looking good!
San Marcos Growers had the Fleabane we wanted. At a height of 1-2 feet, this would be an excellent accompaniment to the garden. It could cope well with both sun and shade and could stand both water and drought. Plus, it does well with cool weather and so could be expected to bloom again in the fall. This way, there would always be flowers in the garden.
So far, Jay's garden was proving to be extremely cost effective -- and it was promising to be aesthetically pleasing as well. We were now both looking forward to the fruits of our research -- and Jay was especially excited about continuing the project.
After crunching some numbers, we estimated that we could have a xeriscaped lawn and garden with native flora for half the cost of maintaining Jay's lawn as it is now. Plus, Jay would have the extra bonus of being able to show off a garden that was exceptional.
In conclusion, Jay decided to go ahead with a xeriscaped garden. We liked the way we had designed it, and the plants we had chosen would be cost effectively and easy to maintain. The daisies appeared to need the most water, but these all being together would not be a problem and would line up with the Principles as devised by the Denver Water Department. The xeriscaped garden would be cost effective and a great attraction in the neighborhood -- and Jay was keen on having bragging rights. Before the end of the day, he was online in the social networking community disseminating his findings and asking others for advice. He made some new friends who were likewise interested in developing landscapes for native flora. He got lots of encouragement to continue with his endeavor, and when…