I'm not sure I should be sharing this with you. Besides writing, I earn some my income designing residential gardens. And here I am, about to hand you a great, free tool for doing it yourself. But I'm also a teacher and a generous kinda guy, so what the hell?
The local water agencies have shelled out some pretty serious coin to fund a goodie-filled website with lots of water conservation ideas. Follow their advice and you'll save money while helping preserve the planet's most essential natural resource - clean drinking water. You've read my rants ripping folks who let water run down the gutter, or squander it washing sidewalks. (If you want your concrete clean enough to eat off of, toss it in the dishwasher.)
Smart water use in the garden has two key components: Wise water management is important, but putting the right plant in the right placeis where sustainable landscaping begins. Growing conditions can vary widely on a small residential lot: The same plant that thrives in cool morning sun on the east side of your place turns into oven-roasted ‘tater skins when subjected to the summer scorch of afternoon sun. A mounded bed in one part of your yard might provide ideal drainage for natives, while clay deposits in the parkway usually mean the same plant's kiss of death.
With thousands of plants to choose from, how do you decide what to plant? I've got nothing against everyone's go-to garden encyclopedia, the Sunset Western Garden Book (actually, I do… check the link at the end of this article), but what if you could take an on-line tour of LOCAL gardens, click on plants that turn you on, then read everything you'd ever want to know about how to use each one flawlessly, and print out a shopping list?Then step right up, ladies and gents, for the rip-roaringest, easy-peasy, life-changing garden design website in the whole world. (I'm holding off on giving you the link, cowgirls and stud-muffins, so hold your horses and don't scroll down just yet.)