Boulder Yard Transformed Into A Habitat Hero Wildscape

Native plants and drought resistant plants.

After: The home is surrounded by native and drought resistant plants.
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Before: 30 years ago, this Boulder, CO home's main landscaping feature was a flat, brown yard.

Habitat Hero Linda B. Explains How She Created Her "Botanical Zoo"

Habitat Hero, a project of the Audubon Rockies, Plant Select and High Country Gardens, continues to expand, with 63 new honorees named in 2015, totaling 200 acres in transformed habitat. Supporting wildlife and conserving water, these wildscapes include residential and community gardens, school yards, city open spaces and public demonstration gardens.

Boley front yard

This wildscape in Boulder, CO replaced a barren, brown front yard.

A closer look at some of the drought resistant and native plants.

One of those honored for her wildscape garden in Fall of 2015 was Linda B. of Boulder, CO. She purchased the tract home some 30 years ago, with the goal of turning the existing flat, brown yard into a flowering rock garden and a sanctuary for humans and wildlife.


The homeowner's goal was to create a botanical zoo in her Boulder, CO yard.
Hummingbird and Swallowtail Butterfly by Linda Boley

Hummingbirds and butterflies frequent the yard.

A graphic designer with a degree in zoology/botany, Linda has passion for plants and an interest in low-water gardening. “I have a real love for all things wild, an interest in low-water usage and a passion for numerous ‘fun’ plants. I garden because I enjoy good physical exercise and have an enthusiasm to learn.” Over the years, Linda has hauled tons of rock, amended the soil, and experimented with plant materials and design. Linda explained, “It is a rewarding feeling to enjoy the result and know I physically did it all myself."

Deer by Linda-Boley

The yard is attractive to wildlife, including this curious deer.
Front lawn, Boulder, Colorado home by Linda Boley

Native plants comprise this alternative lawn in this Boulder, Colorado wildscape.

"I think of my yard as a botanical zoo. I love the fact that the neighbors, the birds, the insects and even some four-legged wildlife all enjoy it too. I’m a creative gardening addict and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” said Linda.

Shade Garden by Linda Boley

Boulder, Colorado shade garden.
honey bee and penstemon by Linda Boley

Honey bee on Penstemon.
Coopers hawk enjoying a bird bath by Linda Boley

A Coopers hawk enjoys a bath.
Juvenile House Wrens Linda Boley

Juvenile house wrens
Swallowtail Caterpillar by Linda Boley

Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar

Plant List: Delosperma copperi, Dwarf Bristlecone Pine - Pinus aristata, Agastache Coronado, various sempervivums (Hen and Chicks), Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition' (Blonde Ambition Grass), Coreopsis verticillata 'Zagreb' (Zagreb Tickseed), Amorpha nana (shrub), Iris missouriensis, Heterotheca jonesii (Creeping Goldenaster), Dwarf yellow Iris, Oenothera fremontii (Evening Primrose), Shasta daisy, Iris pallida Variegata (variegated white/green Iris), Eremurus (Foxtail Lily ), Amelanchier Serviceberry Autumn Brillance, Yucca baccata, Yucca compactum and Yucca filamentosa, Englemannia peristenia (Engleman Daisy), Dwarf Red barberry (shrub; Berberis fendleri is a good native choice.), Amzonia jonesii (shrub), Oreogunum 'Kents Beauty', Zauschneria arizonica, Sedum spectabulum, Lavandula 'Hidcote', Tanacetum densum amani (Partridge Feather), Penstemon pinifolius, Asclepius tuberosa, Salvia pachyphylla, Liatris punctata, Eriogunum umbellatum 'Kannah Creek', Hesperaloe parviflora, Sedum middendorfianum, Penstemon stricta, Penstemon mexicali, Muhlenbergia reverchonii, Helianthus, Festuca glauca 'Elija'.

This customer story is shared with High Country Gardens courtesy of Habitat Hero Program of the Audubon Rockies. Republishing an entire High Country Gardens blog post or article is prohibited without written permission. Please feel free to share a short excerpt with a link back to the article on social media websites, such as Facebook and Pinterest.

Browse Native Plants

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    Sale: $10.19

    Per Plant - 5" deep pot

  • Los Lunas Form of Giant Sacaton Grass Sporobolus wrightii Windbreaker

    Starting at $10.99

    Sale: $9.34

    Per Plant - 3.25" deep pot

  • Zagreb Whorled Tickseed Coreopsis verticillata Zagreb

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6 thoughts on “Boulder Yard Transformed Into A Habitat Hero Wildscape”

  • Linda

    Beautiful! I live in Colorado, can you give me an idea of the specific things that were planted?

  • JoEllen Phillips
    JoEllen Phillips 03/23/16 at 8:41 am

    What about something like this for the Southeast US, namely Florida? The pre=planned garden looks like a wonderful solution.

  • Linda Boley
    Linda Boley 03/23/16 at 9:18 am

    Wow. What a right-up. Thanks. I think I just got my 15 minutes of fame.
    Emails are coming in from around CO.
    In middle of snow storm right now and your photo-right-up warmed my heart.
    Thank you, well done.
    Linda Boley

  • Wren

    Wonderful job! Many others are certain to be inspired to create their own environmentally responsible, beautiful paradise. Simply gorgeous! This lovely gardener shows a way that all can follow in spreading beauty.

  • Jenny

    I was looking through the HCG catalogue and came upon the story of your garden, which prompted me to go to read the whole story. The work you have done is inspiring, the planting and design gorgeous. I don't share the same climate as yours but do have a gravel garden. I just wish our nights were cooler during the summer. Well done.

  • john boley
    john boley 11/30/16 at 2:03 pm

    I admire your work. You are an inspiration.
    Thank you for sharing. We share grandparents.
    Ira and Olive. From John; your cousin in Maine

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