There is a commonly held misconception in southern California that our area is naturally lush and green, mainly due to the exposure to large amounts of landscaping in private residences. While the area is more temperate than Nevada which is a classic desert environment, we are still far from a lush and tropical paradise. The fact of the matter is that there is not an adequate amount of precipitation here yearly to grow grasses naturally in abundance, and the green grass that you see in most homes would not survive without artificial watering. While this is typically not an issue, it becomes quite problematic when there are shortages of water that threaten the reserves that are necessary to assure drinking water for people and animals. We must put people first, even if it means that we must watch our lawns turn brown in the heat, because wasting water to make a green lawn in a desert is not responsible. While watering restrictions force residents to stop watering their lawns, it is probably time for us as a culture to begin to rethink our landscaping choices.
You have many options at your disposal which will conserve water while still making your landscaping look spectacular. These methods of landscape design have evolved over the years as a result of water shortages in desert communities, and have redefined what is traditionally thought of as a yard space. In the past, if you did not have grass you were going to appear different than every other house on the block, but today people are embracing low-water landscaping techniques for many reasons ranging from conservation to simple low-maintenance. In a nutshell, even if you are not concerned about conserving water you are probably attracted by the fact that you do not have to spend your time and money maintaining your yard space. You can simply install the elements that you enjoy and then spend your time enjoying them.
The main techniques that are generally used to provide dramatic landscapes that do not use much water are desert landscaping, which is the utilization of elements from low water environments in a way that creates dramatic effects. This will generally mean the use of cacti and rocks, with levels being created by shaping the raw ground underneath. The ground is then covered with a unifying element like crushed rock in order to create a clean and colorful look. Xeriscaping goes one step further, using no water at all in it’s construction. Pavers and walls are often used in xeriscaping plans to create drama, as well as lighting. For those who still enjoy the look of grass, many are moving to the use of synthetic grass products as ground coverings. These “carpets of grass” are staked securely to a prepared surface in order to perfectly simulate the look and feel of grass, without the need for water or maintenance. The soft surface and clean look of these types of landscapes create a perfect environment that is ecologically friendly and also saves time and money. If you would like to learn more about low to no water landscaping, contact us today.