xeriscape in high-desert
We would like to get rid of our current lawn - that requires watering in warmer weather - with something low-maintenance and hardy. Unlike most of these posts, we don't have the southwestern climate - we are high desert - arid, not too hot in the summer, but big temperature differences day to night (20-40 degree swing) and lots of wintery snowy days. We're at a high elevation so lots of sun. Due to fire hazards, we can't let the native bunch grass, rabbit brush, etc take over. We like the grass as a fire break, but hate watering (ok, hubby hates mowing too!!) Looking for ideas for either low maint ground cover plants or xeriscaping or combination. I'm a novice when it comes to plants, and don't have a lot of time or money to spend. Any help would be appreciated!!!