What’s in a name?

In yet another dry summer in year 5 of a drought, I’m reminded how names influence perceptions and actions. Shakespeare’s Juliet argued “That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” Maybe for Romeo, but not for amorphous concepts to transform water-intensive landscapes. Take ‘drought-tolerant,’ the industry-standard coinage for… Read More What’s in a name?

A world of waterwise choices

‘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

Rethink groundcover

Drifts of groundcover are naturally beautiful and unifying elements in gardens. Yet these innocent-looking plants can become an H20-ingesting Little Shop of Horrors. It’s the nature of an abundance of alluring smallish plants, each dependent on a little irrigation. Three sustainability pitfalls stem from groundcover’s seductiveness. Initially, with human nature being what it is, plants… Read More Rethink groundcover