Each spring and summer, homeowners venture into the outdoors to begin the daunting task of repairing damaged home landscaping. Torn and brittle from harsh winter climates, home landscapes often require complete re-design. For homeowners facing a home landscaping overhaul, consider using landscaping options which provide for less demand of water in an effort to improve water conservation use over the spring and summer months.
Water is a precious commodity which is depleted in massive quantities each day. For homeowners, in the spring and summer, water grass to create green lawns and spreading water over plants and shrubbery, to create exterior home landscaping, is quite common. For many, however, the use of landscaping has become a creative project in an effort to control and in many cases, eliminate the need for watering at all. As a homeowner, consider measures to improve the appearance of landscaping with these unique ideas to eliminate, or reduce, the need for water.
First, when designing a home landscape, be mindful that water conservation landscapes do not, necessarily, require plants which are not aesthetic to the home. As a homeowner, maintaining an area of the landscape with flora requiring water, is acceptable, provided such flora is placed within an area that is visible when traveling in and around the exterior of the home. In breezeways and walkways, plants and shrubbery with a water based need are common, even in homes with a water conservation landscape. The key to landscape design lies in the avoidance of these water needy plants in an area that is not easily viewable by either the homeowner or a guest when approaching the residence.
While most homeowners, initially, believe water conservation landscaping means planting only drought tolerant plants, this is not the case at all. In fact, drought tolerant plants can be used in addition to plants which require varying amounts of water. The key to water conserving water, therefore, lies in choosing a variety of plants and then creating a landscape in which plants with similar water requirements are placed in and among the landscape together.
Mulch provides for an additional opportunity to conserve water in an exterior home landscape. While anesthetically pleasing, mulch also provides the home landscape with protection of soil so that, when watered, avoid the ease of evaporation and improve the temperature within the landscaping which is especially crucial during hot summer months.
While many homeowners will choose to mulch and plant water demanding plants around the home, there are those who seek to approach water conservation landscaping in a more extreme sense. Using rock, cactus and drought tolerant plants, these homeowners create a unique outdoor landscaping appearance to the home. While these water conservation landscapes may appear to be extreme, when planted and positions strategically, the rocks and cactus, coupled with the drought tolerant plants, provide for a pleasantry to the exterior of the home and, in most cases, little to no water use during the spring and summer months. The key to this extreme home landscape design is to purchase cactus which provide colorful blooms or pines during the hottest part of the summer.
As with any home design, whether interior or exterior, considering all viable options while planning and designing carefully, will ensure a beautiful outcome and reduce the degree to which water is consumed especially in the months when many communities enforce water restrictions.
For more information regarding water conservation landscaping, visit www.twdb.state.tx.us