special advertising feature 6 Simple Steps To A Water-wise GardenSpecial insert fromSave our Water
Go Native Switching to drought-tolerant plants is a great first Superstar natives step. Many nurseries offer a wide selection of native shrubs, trees, perennials, and grasses; talk to your nurseryman to find out what’s best for your garden. Another water-savvy option: try beautiful plants from other dry regions, like Australia, the Mediterranean, Baja Fairy Duster and South Africa. For healthiest plants, aim to group Bearberry them according to similar watering needs. This pro- (Arctostaphylos motes healthy growth and root systems, and reduces uva-ursi) the risk of over- or under-watering. To find out what Hardy groundcover, with tiny pink flow- works in your region, go to the Sunset Plant Finder ers in spring, red to (sunset.com/plantfinder) or saveourh2o.org. purple foliage in fall. Baja Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica) Native shrub grows to 5 ft.; puffy blooms are irresistible toCREATE A BEAUTIFUL GArDEN— hummingbirds. FirecrackerAND SAVE WATER TOO. Penstemon (Penstemon eatonii)Most people don’t realize that 50 percent or more of the water Perennial accentwe use every day goes to our lawn or landscaping. This guide plant grows to 3 ft.;will give you easy ways to create an inviting garden, filled with dazzling red flowers bloom spring to earlybeautiful plants and flowers, that helps conserve one of summer.California’s most precious resources: water. Wild LilacWater-wise gardens can have almost any kind of look, depending (Ceanothus) Wide range of sizeson your needs, location, and style. Create an inviting and shady (groundcover to tallretreat using beautiful drought-tolerant plants. Or design shrubs). Elegant flow-a dramatic low-water garden using elegant cacti, yucca, and ers attract butterflies.other desert plants. Specially designed landscaping, as well aspatios and other hardscapes, can save even more water. “I’m awestruck at how lush our gardenStart with one or two of these ideas, or take the plunge and do is without any additional water.”them all. Whatever you do, you’ll be making the right choice for Anne Severs, Livermoreyour home while saving California’s water. Scan the code to watch Ann’s video
shrink your lawn 4 easy ways to save water Take a look at your yard. Do you really need that Water-saving devices can be surprisingly easy to get4 no turf optionsCombine easy-care, plot of water-guzzling lawn? Across California, lawns up and running, with almost immediate results.water-wise plants for are the number-one consumer of residential water 1. Drip irrigationa beautiful lawn-free outdoors. Instead, try limiting turf to places wheregarden. Look for Tiny emitters affixed to flexible tubing release water you really need it (like kids’ play areas). Or try elimi-drought-tolerant directly onto the soil, replacing water-wasting sprayers.options, including: nating it altogether—it’s the most effective way to 2. Smart controller• Native grasses reduce your outdoor water use (plus it gets you out Monitors local weather conditions to adjust watering• Flowering perennials of the mowing grind). to match soil type and individual plant needs.• Succulents So be honest—if you don’t use it, why not ditch it?• Hardy shrubs Beautiful landscapes that replace turf with easy- 3. High-tech sprinklers care, drought-tolerant plants (see list, at left) will These devices reduce runoff and wind blow, making make you wonder why it took you so long to make watering more efficient. the switch. 4. Rain shutoff Simple device installs onto irrigation systems to auto- matically stop watering when it’s raining. “I got rid of the grass—my water-wise garden “You don’t need to hire a contractor to is easy, it’s beautiful, and we’re saving water.” do this stuff—it is very easy.” Santosh Seeram-Santana, Sacramento John Sahagian, Chino Scan the code to watch Santosh’s video Scan the code to watch John’s video
Tap into nature Try a permeable patio One of the easiest things you can do to reduce water Concrete is one of the most common backyard use in your garden is to turn to nature for help. hardscapes. Yet concrete is impermeable, meaning rainwater can’t soak naturally into the soil. Replacing Compost Adding a generous (2- to 3-in.) layer of concrete with 100-percent permeable or semi-per- organic mulch around the base of plants helps cool meable materials allows water to percolate into the soil, reduce evaporation, and inhibit water-thirsty soil, and to your plants’ roots. Plus, these hardscapes weeds. Use readymade organic compost, or make add unique beauty to your backyard living space. your own out of garden clippings and other green waste collected in composting bins. • stone or concrete pavers Leave generous gaps A hint of water between pavers. Plant ultra-low groundcover, like Harvest rainwater Take advantage of what naturally Try these tricks to give hardy creeping thyme, in gaps. the illusion of water falls from the sky. Simple landscape features, like dry without increasing creek beds and earthen berms, can direct water to • steppingstones water use. your plants—rather than down the driveway. Another or pea gravel • Recirculating fun idea: install pleasing rain chains in place of tradi- Use these in fountain tional downspouts to guide water into cisterns (look place of concrete • Birdbath for covered cistern designs with hose-friendly spigots or asphalt paths • Dry creekbed for easy watering). Check garden supply stores and • decomposed • Water jars and urns online sources for ideas and options. granite This material, often called DG, gives a warm, Mediter- ranean feel to an outdoor living space “I love the amount of birds, butterflies and “I made a change for myself, and if it inspires beneficial insects that come to my garden. someone else then that’s even better.” It is a delightful thing to see everyday.” Yaz Manley, San Marcos Ruth Saludes, Fresno Scan the code to watch Ruth’s video Scan the code to watch Yaz’s video
More great resourcesYour local water agencyCheck websites for tips, news, and even grants forinstalling water-wise gardens.Nurseries garden-supply storesKnowledgeable staff can help you find plantsand materials for your garden.Local collegesMany offer community classes in garden design,horticulture, and more.sunset.com/plantfinderExcellent resource for drought-tolerant varietiesand native plants.saveourH20.orgDownloadable guides, water-saving tips, water-conservation calculator, and other helpful toolsfrom the California Department of Water Resources.