If you were to ask the average American to envision a traditional landscape, that vision would probably include well-manicured lawns, knee-high hedges, well-arranged flower beds, and perhaps even a pool. In other words, a landscape that would require lots and lots of water.
That could be a real problem if you live in drought-prone regions like California, especially in a world of water restrictions.
Here are some ideas if you’re researching great options for fantastic looking landscapes that use little to no water.
MAKE YOUR LANDSCAPE LESS THIRSTY BY USING NATIVE OR MEDITERRANEAN-CLIMATE PLANTS
The Mediterranean climate is fairly dry, with long dry summers and most of the precipitation falling during the winter (about 20 inches annually). As such, several drought-tolerant grasses native to California and other Mediterranean climate areas offer a “no fuss” option when replacing the traditional lawn. Many of these grow between 2 and 18 inches tall, so they make excellent replacements to traditional lawns and shrubs.
If you’re just now beginning your search for which of the California native plants to consider, check out the recent LA Times article 5 gorgeous “no-fuss” plants that thrive on next to no water.
And speaking of California, if you’re a resident don’t forget to contact your local Master Gardener Program! There’s a wealth of knowledge a phone call away and it’s FREE to attend classes!
SAVE MONEY AND SAVE HASSLE BY REDUCING PLANTLIFE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Watering… Fertilizing… Measuring… Who really has time for all of this? There is a certain kind of appeal and attraction to having next to no landscape. This is called hardscaping and it traditionally takes the form of patios, decks, courtyards, and other outdoor living space.
But why stop there?
Builders and architects in the luxury home industry are seeing a rising demand for covered outdoor space. They’ve named this area of your home “the California room” and unlike traditional patios it features a high ceiling with an attached fan and two or more walls that join the covered space to the house. It’s designed for homeowners to utilize the outdoors all year round.
And since it’s a covered space, it allows an escape from the heat whereas traditional hardscape can feel like a glorified parking lot in the middle of the day.
HAVE A LANDSCAPE IRRIGATED WITH NON-POTABLE WATER
Of course, maybe you prefer those traditional, thirsty landscapes… And that’s OK!
It’s possible to be responsible about having those traditional landscapes, even in arid and drought-prone regions... If you irrigate with non-potable water!
There are a few approved options for “alternative sources of non-potable water” and all are great for off-setting your potable water use.
- Rain water (rebates are often available!)
- Storm water (a great option for commercial developments!)
- Grey water (2 out of 3 gallons of all your indoor water is grey water! Sounds like a pretty reliable source of water, right?!)
There are obviously advantages and disadvantages to all of these options, and it’s up to the individual homeowner to decide which combination is best for them!
Josh Fuller, Marketing & Sales
Josh Fuller is a 3-year team member at Nexus eWater and leads Nexus’ inside sales and marketing activities. Josh earned his BA in Communication and Information Sciences in 2009 and his MBA in 2014, both from The University of Alabama.