Ask a Question forum: High altitude gardening - 8,300 ft zone 2

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May 19, 2016 8:20 PM CST
I recently purchased property in the mountains of Colorado. The front yard is just dirt and rather than attempt grass I am considering putting down stone pavers with good either Thyme or Wooly Veronica between them. How do these plants do with winter, snow, and foot traffic?

Any other tips for high-altitude landscaping and xeriscaping?
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
May 19, 2016 8:33 PM CST
We lived in Utah for 20 years, but not that high up. But there were some beautiful gardens in Park City, and some of the other towns at higher altitude there.

I'd advise before you plant anything, take a walk around your neighborhood and see what other people are having success with. There are other considerations besides just the cold, snow and foot traffic. You want plants that won't be devoured by animals like deer and moose, and can take the freeze/thaw cycles that happen in fall and spring as well.

Sometimes you can transplant or collect seeds from local wildflowers and low growing plants to use as groundcover.

Pavers might be very slippery and difficult to shovel or keep cleared in winter. Again look at what the local people, and also businesses close by have used.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
May 20, 2016 10:33 AM CST
Great advice Elaine! Ease of snow shoveling and ice buildup are always on my mind. The neighbors have figured it out and the nursery, if it wants to stay in business, is selling plants for your area.

There are some on-line nurseries that deal in cold hardy plants if you want something a little more exotic. This is my favorite:

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost


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