It may come as a surprise to many residents of places like Orange County, Anaheim and Irvine, but southern California is actually not the lush and green place that we have grown used to. What we see today is the influence of artificial watering sources being available within a climate that offers a perfect amount of sunlight to grow plants. Take away the artificial sources of water and we end up with a landscape that looks much more like areas of Nevada, with plants being sparse and low to the ground. The majority of the colorful flowers and beautiful, delicate plants that you will see in our communities are actually imported from more tropical areas now that we have access and the ability to irrigate with water piped in from some distance away. In these ways, we have recreated our area into a tropical paradise, but that cannot be sustained during times when water levels cannot assure drinking water for animals and people. During times of drought, residents are forced to cut back on the amounts of water that is allocated to landscaping, essentially assuring the demise of most plants. One of the biggest culprits of water wasting is grass lawns, which use upwards of 55 gallons of water every year for every square foot of grass. Residents are encouraged to remove grass lawns and replace them with more water-smart alternatives in order to assure that landscaping investments are not lost to drought watering restrictions every year. Essentially the choice is yours as a home owner, but there appears to be no end in sight to the watering restrictions that are going to turn your grass brown.
You do have many options for creating beautiful landscapes in southern California that do not involve copious amounts of water. The most obvious is “desert landscaping,” which is essentially the practice of utilizing elements from the desert in ways that will use light and shadow to create dramatic effects. Desert landscaping may use some elements from the desert that need occasional water like cacti, however these elements will generally be able to survive without the need for artificial irrigation. Another method of landscaping that is gaining in popularity is “xeriscaping” which uses no elements that need water at all. In a xeriscaped landscape, you will find rocks and walls, lighting and pavers as well as other elements that will not need any water to create beauty. Lastly, for those wishing to mimic the look of grass you have the option of synthetic turf, which is a plastic product that looks and feels exactly like real grass if professionally installed. There will be no watering or landscaping necessary with synthetic grass due to the fact that it is not a living plant, and as such it will always remain in the current state of look and feel. Synthetic turf is a more popular choice for those creating play areas for pets and children, as it is more comfortable to crawl and walk on.
No matter what your “water-smart” choice, all of these methods will help conserve water in our drought stricken area, as well as saving on maintenance costs and landscaping charges. If you would like to clean more or receive a free consultation, contact us immediately.