Gardening With Water Conservation in Mind

 

Many parts of the country have hot, dry climates, and even more areas are experiencing more frequent droughts and hotter weather. As a result, you may see  water restrictions in your community, or your lawn and garden suffering from lack of water. Fortunately, water conservation doesn't mean that you can't enjoy gardening. This is why we xeriscape! Designing your gardenscape with water conservation in mind will result in a beautiful, blooming, waterwise garden. As an added benefit, you can cut back on watering and maintenance chores, while also supporting pollinators, birds, and wildlife. It's a win-win!

Water ZonesWater Zones

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.

 

Zone Three: The Xeric Zone

The xeric zone is the outermost area along the property boundary and other out-of-the way areas that lack supplemental water.

  • Use very waterwise perennials, shrubs, and ornamental grasses.
  • You may want to plant wildflowers, trees, shrubs, or ornamental grasses to soften the look of fencing at the edge of your property.
  • Or, you can plant to create a "living fence" that offers privacy and creates a buffer for sound and views. 
  • Since these areas may not be viewed or maintained as often, it's best to choose easy-to-grow plants and flowers for these areas. 

Shop Waterwise Plants

  1. Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote Superior Photo Courtesy of Walter's Gardens Inc

    Lavandula angustifolia ‚Hidcote Superior‚ (English Lavender) is sweetly fragrant, uniformly compact and blooms with darkly colored lavender-blue flower spikes in late spr...

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    Hidcote Superior English Lavender Hidcote Superior English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote Superior
    As low as $13.99 Sale $11.89
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote Superior' (English Lavender) is sweetly fragrant, uniformly compact and blooms with darkly colored lavender-blue flower spikes in late spring.
  2. Richfield Strain Firecracker Beardtongue, Penstemon eatonii Richfield Strain

    24-36„ tall x 15„ wide. The Richfield form of Eaton‚s Beardtongue was selected for its overall vigor and flower production. It blooms in early to mid-spring bloomin...

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    Firecracker Penstemon Richfield Strain Richfield Strain Firecracker Beardtongue Penstemon eatonii Richfield Strain
    As low as $11.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    24-36" tall x 15" wide. The Richfield form of Eaton's Beardtongue was selected for its overall vigor and flower production. It blooms in early to mid-spring blooming with tall spikes of brilliant red flowers. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
  3. Blut Ice Plant, Delosperma ashtonii Blut

    ‚Blut‚ is one of the very best cold hardy Ice Plants. With its vigorous growth habit, durable evergreen foliage and summer-long display of deep magenta-red flowers, it is...

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    Blut Ice Plant Blut Ice Plant Delosperma ashtonii Blut
    As low as $8.99
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    'Blut' is one of the very best cold hardy Ice Plants. With its vigorous growth habit, durable evergreen foliage and summer-long display of deep magenta-red flowers, it is an invaluable groundcover. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
  4. Jumbo Waterwise Pre-Planned Garden

    Our Jumbo Waterwise Pre-Planned Garden has been a bestseller for decades! Perfect for hot, dry, sunny gardens, this eye-catching combination of long-blooming perennials will light up...

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    Jumbo Waterwise Pre-Planned Garden Jumbo Waterwise Pre-Planned Garden
    As low as $225.99
    Per Garden of 18
    Our Jumbo Waterwise Pre-Planned Garden has been a bestseller for decades! Perfect for hot, dry, sunny gardens, this eye-catching combination of long-blooming perennials will light up the landscape with bright, clear colors. Grow more flowers and foliage while using less water. Easy-care plants feature inedible foliage to keep rabbits and deer away. Large garden of 27 plants covers 190 sq ft, small garden of 18 plants covers 100 sq ft. This Pre-Planned Garden comes with a garden layout map to make planting easy. (For gardeners in coastal CA, OR, and WA, plant the Jumbo Waterwise Pre-Planned Garden For The West Coast)

Shop Sustainable Lawns

  1. Microclover seed, alternative lawn

    Trifolium repens ‚Pipolina‚ (Microclover) is an ideal solution for a sustainable, low-water lawn. This tiny white clover spreads densely and evenly for a soft and cushion...

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    Microclover Seed (Pelleted) Microclover Seed (Pelleted) Trifolium repens var. Pipolina
    As low as $12.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Trifolium repens 'Pipolina' (Microclover) is an ideal solution for a sustainable, low-water lawn. This tiny white clover spreads densely and evenly for a soft and cushiony surface that stands up to high traffic while staying green from spring through fall. This perennial clover is drought tolerant and eliminates the need for fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Plant as a waterwise lawn alternative, overseed an existing lawn, or pair with low-water grass seed for a self-sustaining lawn. Seeds are pelleted for even distribution.
  2. Bouteloua gracilis Hachita Grass Plugs, Bouteloua gracilis Hachita, Hachita Blue Grama Grass Plugs

    Hachita Blue Grama Grass Plugs (Bouteloua gracilis) is the most vigorous selection of this beautiful native grass from the western Great Plains. Beloved for its „eyelash„...

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    Hachita Blue Grama Grass Plugs Hachita Blue Grama Grass Plugs Bouteloua gracilis Hachita
    $69.99
    Per Tray of 70

    Hachita Blue Grama Grass Plugs (Bouteloua gracilis) is the most vigorous selection of this beautiful native grass from the western Great Plains. Beloved for its "eyelash" seed heads, it can also be mowed once a month to create a soft, inviting lawn. Quite xeric, 'Hachita' Blue Grama thrives in both sandy soils and clay! You can also interplant plugs with wildflowers to grow a colorful, low-care short grass prairie. For a turf type lawn, plant plugs 6" apart. 4" tall (15" with seed heads).

  3. Cynodon hybrida Dog Tuff Grass Plugs

    Dog Tuff™ Grass (Cynodon ‘PWIN04S’) is an amazing, highly drought-resistant lawn grass perfect for high traffic and play areas. It has excellent durability in yards wit...

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    Dog Tuff Grass Plugs Dog Tuff Grass Plugs Cynodon hybrida Dog Tuff
    $69.99
    Per Tray of 70

    Dog Tuff™ Grass (Cynodon ‘PWIN04S’) is an amazing, highly drought-resistant lawn grass perfect for high traffic and play areas. It has excellent durability in yards with dogs and is resistant to yellowing from dog urine. Once established, this warm-season grass is highly weed resistant, deep-rooted and provides a soft, cushioned feel for bare feet. It only grows 2 ½-4 inches high, so you need not mow it unless you prefer a manicured look. 2015 Green Thumb Award Winner.

  4. Buchloe dactyloides Legacy Grass Plugs, Buchloe dactyloides Legacy, Legacy Buffalo Grass Plugs

    Legacy Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides Legacy) is a premium-quality native turf grass variety bred by University of Nebraska agronomists to be a drought tolerant, low care turf gra...

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    Legacy Buffalo Grass Plugs Legacy Buffalo Grass Plugs Buchloe dactyloides Legacy
    $69.99
    Per Tray of 70

    Legacy Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides Legacy) is a premium-quality native turf grass variety bred by University of Nebraska agronomists to be a drought tolerant, low care turf grass with the lush look of traditional bluegrass or fescue lawns.