Save water, but we don't really mean it

bpgreen(5UT)October 17, 2006

Here is an article about somebody who xeriscaped her yard and is getting in zoning trouble for it.

At first glance, it sounds like something is horribly wrong, but a careful reading of the article makes it sound like she's not really landscaping, and is just randomly putting native plants in the lawn. And she's not replacing the KBG lawn--just not watering it.

Maybe if she'd plant some native grasses instead of the KBG, the neighbors wouldn't mind so much.

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Interesting. Esp the clash between social responsibility and the always-subjective matter of good taste/good design.

My personal challenge is to create a waterwise garden I truly enjoy. Sometimes I wonder how our gardens appear to other eyes. I love to fool people with plants that appear "lush" but actually need little water, and I joke with neighbors that my real goal is to get rid of every blade of grass (I have a small place & no interest in low water lawns when I can have stone paths and eccentric perennials, that's just me! If I had room to toss a frisbee I might sing a different tune.)

Wish more homeowners would consider less-thirsty grasses and ground covers. Tax incentives might help.

I'd like to see city plantings that demonstrate striking landscape with less water -- for example, the main library downtown Salt Lake which sees a lot of visitors. Some public grounds are taking good steps, others shamefully flood open lawns at noon, sun or rain! Seeing good design with less water will help all of us adjust our vision and take better steps at home.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 3:45PM
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I've been cutting back on my water use, and overseeding with streambank and western wheatgrass as the KBG gets bare spots. Most of my neighbors have secondary water and I don't, but I spend less on water than I would if I had secondary water.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 4:55PM
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zachslc(6 Salt Lake City)

Front yards with turf grass are quickly becoming a minority on my street.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 11:53AM
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Out here in the boonies I didn't realize water conservation was NOT a way of life for everyone. You guys are going to make a smart old lady yet, aren't you?

Out of town limits, folks have to pump water from a well. Electricty costs a lot these days so lawns are either very small (the general case) of, if large, the owner don't have anything else to spend their money on but their lawns.Those with big, green lush lawns obviously are not worried about having water to drink and flush with.

In the city limits municipal water is gravity flow but folks are charged culinary rates for overages...a very spendy lawn if you ask me, even if we weren't just coming out of a drought.

We keep animals near the house who require lots of drinking water. This is where my water costs go, towards the horses and our roping cattle. I let my lawn burn. It's amazing though how quickly a summer rainstorm can quickly bring back a lawn! I did not once run water on my lawn (which is a good size) and it remained green on what fell from the sky. The only watering I did was on my container plants.

When faced with having something to drink or having a lush lawn, drinking wins hands down for me.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 2:12PM
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down_and_dirty(6/7 UT)

Interesting article--thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 12:30AM
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