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Sterling Ranch was founded with the beauty of its surroundings top of mind. Nestled between two state parks — Chatfield and Roxborough — and surrounded by three regional parks and a national forest, we wanted to make sure this community became a natural extension of the gorgeous Colorado landscape. So, we partnered with some incredible organizations to create smart water-conscious community landscaping guidelines in order to preserve the land on which we are building and to create a beautiful place for our residents to call home.

  • The Denver Botanic Gardens helped us discover how our landscaping could display the best of what Colorado has to offer aesthetically, all while conserving water and upholding the integrity of the natural surroundings. 

  •  Simultaneously, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies helped us identify plants that would make us a bird-friendly community so we can do our part to maintain and preserve the local ecosystem. 


  • Additionally, we partnered with Siemens to implement some high-tech solutions that support our wise-water management goals. Every home comes with a Rachio smart irrigation controller which integrates with STEWARD, the smart home-automation system that also comes standard with every Sterling Ranch home. This innovative tool optimizes outdoor watering patterns by monitoring local weather conditions.


Thanks to our partners and the conscientious work we have done together, the solutions and guidelines we came up with foster visually stunning, sustainable, and low-maintenance landscapes. 

As we approach Mother’s Day, which is usually when Coloradans begin gardening (gotta wait out all that spring snow!), we wanted to share the Sterling Ranch tree, plant, and water landscaping guidelines with you as well as the sensational — sight and smell! — experience you can have when you live or visit here.

What You Experience at Sterling Ranch

A blending of native, adapted, and ornamental plants emphasizes the community’s aesthetic identity while demonstrating Sterling Ranch’s commitment to sustainable design. Throughout the community, groupings of native and ornamental grasses, wildflowers, ground covers, and perennials showcase colorful Colorado at its best. The Sterling Ranch landscapes are beautiful, eco-smart, and water wise — and our residents look forward to the warm months ahead full of gardening and summer sun.

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” — Kahlil Gibran

When it comes to trees, we love them! Our residents plant two or more native trees — at least one deciduous and one evergreen, for aesthetic variety — in their front and backyards. Blue spruces, Rocky Mountain maples, and ponderosa pines are among the most popular choices.

“I trust in nature for the stable laws of beauty and utility. Spring shall plant and autumn garner to the end of time.” — Robert Browning

Sterling Ranch offers residents a variety of native plants from which to choose when creating their home landscaping. From prairie sages to columbines, western wild roses to prickly pear succulents, the possibilities for your backyard are endless! What’s more, you can plant these in any pattern you like, embracing creative freedom. 

Have you heard of vertical layering? To add texture and personality to their masterpiece back- and front yards, our residents choose plants of different heights and sizes. This can be quite stunning visually, and we look forward to seeing what the Sterling Ranch yards have in store for us this spring! 

“They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life . . .” — Hermann Hessee

As we embrace the joys of landscaping, we strive to do so in a way that conserves water, a precious resource in the West. To aid our residents in making sustainable, water-wise decisions, we have created the following eco-conscious guidelines: 

  • Design for a low-water, low-maintenance approach is encouraged. This includes considering drainage patterns as well as plant solar orientation and exposure. Plants that spread and naturalize while requiring water primarily on an as-needed basis — can you say “perennials”? — are encouraged.
  • Plants are to be grouped into hydrozones — areas of similar water needs.
  • All irrigation companies used on Sterling Ranch must be approved to ensure they comply with our water-wise standards.
  • Each Sterling Ranch home comes with a smart-irrigation controller, Rachio, that helps minimize leaks and alerts residents of any weather changes that would affect watering schedules. 


Every year, our residents contribute to the beauty of Sterling Ranch by planting their own native gardens and designing landscapes for their yards. Thanks to our Landscaping Guidelines and occasional landscaping classes, this is something we can do that is easy, earth friendly, and fun — and who couldn’t use more fun?

Sterling Ranch is an eco-conscious community located 40 minutes southwest of downtown Denver. When it comes to building and living here, we are committed to preserving our natural resources. Our partnership with the Denver Botanic Gardens has helped us raise the bar on sustainable beauty — together, we developed water-wise landscaping guidelines for the community and its residents. With a variety of quick move-in homes available from some of the nation’s top-tier builders, you can join our culture of conservation and enjoy a beautifully landscaped front yard of your own. Contact us today to find the perfect home for your lifestyle.