- test :
Home is where the heart is. Much of our attention is spent on organizing and designing aspects of our humble abodes. And aside from the physical structure of the house, landscaping plays an important role in the overall feel and design. After all, the front yard is the first impression that visitors receive. Recent surveys conducted by Harris Poll for the National Association of Landscape Professionals found that 75% of Americans believe time spent out in their yards is important. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the landscaping industry is quoted as a $75 billion/year industry. In California, given the intense, record-breaking drought that has been ravaging lawns and greenery and has nearly exhausted our scarce water resources, landscaping takes a bit of extra thought and precaution.
It is not atypical for counties to report that over 60% of residential water supplies go toward landscaping. That is an astounding rate. And it also makes landscaping the ideal candidate to look for ways to manage and conserve water usage. Particularly in California, movements have sprouted that encourage homeowners to practice water-wise landscaping techniques. These measures promote the use of efficient irrigation systems, drought resistant plants, climate-appropriate designs, and the importance of being informed and educated about the various techniques currently being used.
To encourage the use of water-wise landscaping designs, cities have taken the first initiative. Cities have been offering rebates to those who have replaced their lawns with drought resistant designs that help counteract their declining
water supplies. Several municipalities have even taken to their political leverage to establish contests that reward homeowners who have incorporated water-wise landscaping designs. Some companies have also extended their aid to promote drought resistant plants, offering free installations of drought resistant landscapes to eliminate water waste.
So when considering landscape renovations, it is vital to plan and coordinate between the site and the plants that you wish to use. It’s recommended to draw out a site plan that details shapes, sizes, and borders of your garden. All aspects of your renovation should be kept in mind, including any hardscaping, irrigation, seating, entertainment, even your choice of plants. When matching the right plants with the right site conditions, the use of additional resources, such as water or pesticides, will be minimized. This is why climate plays a huge role in developing efficient landscapes and irrigation systems. And given the current drought, it underscores the importance of using plants that resist
drought conditions to further minimize the use of water.
Water is an immeasurably valuable commodity that must be protected and conserved. We can all do our part to help eliminate the unnecessary waste of water, even by simply incorporating these incredible techniques that help reduce consumption and help make the world a better place.
*Images depict renovation of water irrigation system for historic 1400 N Ogden home.