Garden Tour 2015

Water Conserving Compromise

Water conservation - we read it in the paper and hear it in the news. How much water does the average front yard landscape really use? Current estimates suggest that the average front yard landscape uses approximately 60% of the total daily residential consumption or anywhere from 100 to 150 gallons per day. Whereas water-wise or river-friendly landscapes consume less than half that amount! The homeowner works in the water industry and knew it was time to ‘walk the walk and talk the talk’ at home as well as at work.

The landscape includes ornamental grasses and flax for vertical texture (Feather Reed Grass, Blue Fescue and New Zealand Flax) and Maidenhair Tree for beautiful fall color. Spring color is provided by Foothill Penstemon, a UC Davis Arboretum All-Star, and California Fuschia, Goodwin Creek Lavender and Sun Rose bloom during the summer months.

The compromise in this landscape is the retention of a small portion of lawn. When asked why the lawn was retained the homeowner said they were concerned about their home looking too different and not blending with the rest of the neighborhood. This is a common concern, but in the future as opinions change or water restrictions increase, it would be very easy to abandon the lawn completely and convert this small area to more water-wise plants.

Using the river friendly benefits calculator available at www. riverfriendly.org, this garden now uses approximately 26 gallons/day during the peak of the summer compared to the previous 75 gallons /day! What a wonderful water saving compromise!

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