Water Conscious Softscapes

Water Conscious Softscapes

Spring continues to rear its beautifully colorful head. Everywhere we turn there is a ‘superbloom’ thanks to the generous rainfall of this past winter. So as a follow-up to the previous blog post regarding irrigation it seemed natural to continue the conversation by talking about using plants that are adaptable in meeting water conservation and design needs.

The current trending name for such water conscious landscapes is Sustainable.  However, Xeriscapes and the Mediterranean Gardens of previous generations reckon back to the same concepts of landscaping based on the climate and precipitation of our specific region and micro climates. Not much has changed, the concept is the same except for the name.

As in other aspects of our daily lives, we have become more educated about the importance of being good stewards of our resources and how to be ‘waterwise’ in our landscapes is just one aspect of that education. Therefore we are seeing a lessoning of vast expanses of lawns. Front and backyards are becoming labs for a variety of plant materials. So the recipe continues to be irrigation systems that are designed, built and adapted to efficiencies in conjunction with appropriate plant palette choices.


“One of the best planting strategies from the perspective of managing water use and increasing efficiency is achieved by grouping plants together that have the same level of water needs in combination with similar seasonal water needs. This approach to planning and designing landscapes and gardens can avoid conflicts between plants such as overwatering some plants while underwatering others…Good design and water use does not diminish or compromise the quality of landscapes and gardens.”*

Whether you do the work yourself or have someone do the work for you, it makes good sense to consult with a professional landscape designer who can put together a planting plan that takes into account your specific miocroclimate and style preferences and who can audit your current irrigation system and suggest adjustments to maximize efficiencies. You do not have to sacrifice style to have beautiful softscapes. We can help.

*Source:  Landscape Plants for California Gardens by Bob Perry