Gardening With Water Conservation in Mind
Garden Planning and Design with Water-Use Zones
Understanding your landscape's water zones can help you create a water-efficient garden. Water-Use Zones allow you to focus water use where it is most beneficial for the beauty of your home's outdoor living environment.
Zone One: The Oasis Zone
The oasis zone is the area up close to the house. Here the landscape is most visible and accessible to the home's interior and entryways. Since these areas are also closest to your home, they're more accessible to water. You can use a hose, or passive water retention strategies to harvest rainwater, to irrigate these areas.
- If you plan to use regular moisture or high moisture perennials in your garden, this is the zone where we recommend planting them.
- We also recommend planting waterwise perennial groundcovers, ornamental grasses, and small trees or shrubs to give your garden curb appeal and structure that lasts throughout the year.
- You can also plant annuals and container gardens near your home for added interest.
- Consider fragrant or low-growing plants along walkways to enhance the entrance to your home.
Zone Two: The Transition Zone
The transition zones are areas that occupy the middle ground of the property, especially along walkways, driveways, fences and other areas that are visible as you approach the house. You'll want to use plants that are waterwise and require less maintenance in these areas. You may also add areas of sustainable lawn for walking and playing.
- Use waterwise perennials, shrubs, shade trees, ornamental grasses, and native turf grass lawns.
- Harvested water is especially useful for irrigating shade trees, which need infrequent irrigation once established.
- In higher rainfall areas, plant average water need plants in this zone.
- Note: Some homeowners opt to forego an oasis zone and bring the transition zone right up to the house. You can design a beautiful garden, while providing additional water savings.