Drought Resistant Landscape

Yesterday during lunch I had a nice, impromptu conversation with my office’s property manageIMAG0716ment company, McKenna & Co.  While touring the facilities we talked about the drought, wild fires, and sustainable landscape.  Come to find out they are replacing turf grass with drought resistant landscape.  It looks amazing, and it drastically reduces water usage.

IMAG0719I learned one good tip … notice how rock is placed about two feet from the building. That helps catch water and stops dirt from splattering onto the building, which also reduces the need to re-paint.

That got me thinking about a homeowner around the corner who did something similar, and the design is as beautiful, efficient, and a money savor.

His landscape architecture placed rock along the side of his home, used colorful succulents, and used decomposed granite to design walking paths (see video below to learn how to install a decomposed granite) — he has not used water in his front yard for more than one year!!!

IMAG0705If you are thinking about creating a sustainable landscape design, these tips from  This Old House should help you conserve water, time, and money.

  1. Water just the roots of your perennials, annuals, and shrubs – don’t shower the leaves.  That cuts the risk of fungal disease and reduces evaporation.
  2. Cut back on fertilizer, mow high, and leave mulched clippings on the lawn to shade the soil and redIMAG0695uce evaporation.  When you set up the sprinklers, make sure water is being absorbed; if you see runoff or puddles, you’re adding water too fast.
  3. Plant at least one tree for shade, beauty, and posterity.
  4. Choose plants wisely.  IMAG0707The homeowner’s  drought-tolerant plants adapted to the hot, dry summer climate, soil, and sun exposure.IMAG0697
  5. To water transplants efficiently, shovel soil and mulch into a donut-shaped berm as wide as the tree branches.  Fill the berm with water and then let it percolate into the soil.
  6. To cut water use by up to 70% over conventional sprinklers, use a soaker hose.  This inexpensive hose oozes water along the length of rubber tubing.  It’s best to snake it through shrubbery and hooked up to a time set for early morning watering.
  7. Use less water and nurture fewer weeds with a drip system.  They target just the plants you are trying to encourage, not the spaces in between.

This video to show a backyard design with decomposed granite.