With drought regions expanding year after year, creating a beautiful garden design requires that one consider water wise strategies.
1. Native Plants
One of the best landscaping decisions you can make is to choose native plants for your area instead of more exotic ornamentals. Native plants have evolved to thrive in your local climate, which means they can often survive with little to no additional water. This is particularly true if you take the time to select the plants to match the microclimates in your yard, thus mimicking their natural environments as well as possible.
2. Permeable Paving
Paving is a normal part of any garden design. You may have walkways, patios, or seating areas where you prefer something a bit more solid underneath. Instead of plain concrete, opt for permeable options that allow water through. This way rainfall can soak into the soil and rejoin the ground water instead of evaporating away. Sand-jointed paving bricks and stones, gravel, and permeable asphalt are a few option that are available.
3. Practical Turf
Many people want at least a small lawn area for play or appearance. Practical turf is an option that ensures you have a lawn area but that it works for you instead of being a water hog. The ideal turf helps prevent erosion and water loss, while retaining some moisture and creating a cooling sink in the landscape. Practical turf options are lawn grasses that are suited to your climate and need less water, or alternative low-water groundcovers like clover.
4. Sufficient Mulching
Mulch should be a part of every landscaping design, but it is especially important for water wise garden landscape designs. All bare soil should be covered with at least 2 inches of a mulch to prevent moisture loss from evaporation. You can use organic mulches like wood chips and pine straw around annuals and perennials in the garden. You also have the option of stone mulches in perennial beds with permanent plantings, particularly those that feature plants that require exceptionally well draining soil.
5. Catchment Areas
A catchment area is designed to capture moisture so it doesn't run off into the street and become lost to the landscaping. These areas are particularly important in dry areas where most moisture comes quickly and heavily in short spurts, such as from seasonal torrential downpours. If you have low areas in the landscape, then install a catchment area. This could be a dry creek bed, a rain garden, or simply a culvert or drain.
Contact a garden landscape design service to find the right water wise solutions for your landscaping.