People who live in the parts of the country that experience hot dry summers where water restrictions are in place will be fighting a losing battle if they try to maintain a verdant green lawn. The opposite extreme is to practice xeriscaping which permits no water, but adopting a drought tolerant regime is a middle way that allows minimal water usage. I found an article on the Goop website which gives some tips on adopting drought tolerant landscaping and includes details of gardens that have taken this route.

Anyone who lives in Southern California (or anywhere near a desert, for that matter) knows the familiar struggle of trying to keep verdant, usually expensive, landscaping alive when faced with dry heat and watering restrictions. And the guilt that comes with turning on the hose at all. We?ve rounded up some of the best xeriscaping resources for lawn makeovers that are easy on the planet.
Before you embark on your drought-tolerant landscaping crusade, a few tips from the pros:
  1. Know the vocabulary. ?Xeriscaping? describes landscaping that never has to be watered, which is admirable (and low-maintenance), but limiting. The similar-but-different term ?drought-tolerant? means minimal watering, and typically includes plenty of native species.
  2. Invest wisely. It?s tempting to think that a lawn makeover means pulling everything out and starting from scratch, but it usually makes more sense to move slowly, keeping trees and other large, healthy plants intact while taking out bits of the lawn or planting over dirt patches.
  3. Be patient. Small plantings take some time to grow in?it could be years before your garden reaches maturity.
  4. Plan ahead. Even the most self-sufficient garden will wither away without proper maintenance. If you don?t have the bandwidth to do it yourself, seek out a skilled gardener?if you have big trees, an arborist can be helpful too?to keep things on track.


  • Scott Shrader

    Scott Shrader is probably as close as a landscape architect can get to celebrity status. His clean, elegant designs are plastered all over Pinterest and in the pages of garden and architecture magazines. His designs aren?t exclusively drought-tolerant, so be sure to discuss your watering needs and wishes well in advance of planting.

  • CBL Landscapes is hyper-focused on sustainability, and obsessed with creating watering systems that are efficient and reliable (a life-saver a few months after install when most watering systems start to break down). That said, their range of design styles is broad, with a portfolio that includes everything from European-style topiaries to desert-inspired landscapes specifically formulated to attract local birds and insects. Also cool: They do gorgeous green roofs.

See more at Goop

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