Recent studies have shown that gardening is therapeutic to the mind and soul. I guess I must need lots of it, since I thrive being in my yard. I grew up in a place where rain water was often a nuisance, since we had more rain than sunshine. I always wondered as a child, what it would be like if the sun always shined, thinking that water would appear magically. Well, there is no magic and unfortunately, the never-ending sunshine and hot days can be a nuisance of its own kind.
Living in Lehi for the past 14 years, I’ve discovered that water shortage is not a trend that comes and goes–unfortunately water shortage is the future. A few years ago my husband and I wondered how we could reduce water consumption in our own little yard. We took a lot of drives and walks around neighborhoods until I felt inspired about what we needed to do with our landscaping. We discovered that our side yard was not serving any purpose at all, other than walking from the front to the backyard. Instead of fighting the sprinklers and spending time mowing and fertilizing, we created a little path we love, filled with drought tolerant plants and shrubs.
According to landscape designers, drought tolerant landscaping or xeriscaping (landscaping that requires little or no irrigation), is an attractive alternative to turf grass. Plants and shrubs in hardscaped areas still need water, but a simple drip irrigation system uses much less water than a sprinkler system. Creating this type of landscaping seems very challenging and at times more expensive than laying sod, but this type of project is very doable and in the long run requires minimum maintenance. Utah has some beautiful native plants that are drought tolerant, and considering all the options available, there are nearly 1000 plants that are classified as drought-tolerant.
“Having a beautiful yard does not have to mean using a lot of water or spending a lot of money” (EPA). Know how much water your landscape actually needs and adjust your sprinklers and drip systems accordingly. A drought tolerant garden is a wise choice for your home, neighborhood and environment. Maria can be contacted with your gardening questions at Mariarobertfox@hotmail.com.