One of my many learnings these past 3 years is that a camera is an invaluable sustainability tool. Its two-dimensional photos are truth-tellers even more than the naked eye. Whether produced via smartphone or sophisticated camera, whether striking or just so-so, they show attributes with great clarity that we otherwise miss, downplay, or ignore. Consider… Read More Snap and see
Since rationing began in our area in early 2014, I have micromanaged water. Each monthly allotment was half or less our use that same month in prior years, and I strove to meet that frightful figure. We began to budget and plan each area and each day, and, as this blog attests, made radical changes… Read More Rationing-when less is enough
Our new youngsters above eat often and a lot. As time passes, we taper how much and how frequently we feed them to a fraction of what it is now. That’s normal pet practice. It may come as a surprise that this principle holds true for plants too. To render it explicit, diminish water gradually… Read More Wean plants based on age
How much to water dry-climate gardens can be a puzzle. The consensus for lawns, the poster child for waste, is 1″/week. Beyond generic groupings into low, moderate, or high water use, the answer for plants is less clear and can challenge long-standing practices. Let me wade into the morass with the Goldilocks principle. Applied to… Read More Too much, too little, just right?
Garden benches are prized as places to relax, focal points, and landscape design unifiers. Let me champion their conservation potential too. Witness data for our 4 benches. Consumption is zero for the 700 square feet of hardscape or mulch in front and under them. By contrast, that space done as usual in grass consumes 4,500… Read More Save with benches
‘Drought tolerant’ misses the point. Yes, these plants and their gardens withstand a drought better than others do, but the lasting value is relatively low consumption. How about naming them what they are: ‘low-water’ or ‘waterwise’? ‘Dry-climate appropriate’ works too, but that’s a mouthful. Now that we rectified that misnomer, three geographies offer diverse choices:… Read More A world of waterwise choices
A mix of technology, body parts, and products, the common denominator for my top waterwise tools below is their startling value to sustainability. They embody Marshall McLulan‘s aphorism: “We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.” #1. Meter The water meter is a veritable truth-teller on use by day, by zone, by function.… Read More My top 10 waterwise tools + 2