Water Conservation: From lawn to rock garden
- Work Smarter, Not Harder: Instead of going out to your lawn with a shovel, you can begin the conversion process with newspaper. Gather up a bunch of old newspaper, lay them out in the area you want as your new rock garden and lay out several layers. Add some water and in a few weeks the newspaper will kill the grass and allow you to begin.
- Think Interesting: When you are gathering up rocks, think interesting. An assortment of different colors, shapes, and sizes will add variety and aesthetics. Do not use the same color of rock, make it eye catching. Also, if you install paving stones consider getting ones that are permeable. They allow water to move through them and you will reduce overland erosion.
- Think Water Conservation: What would a rock garden be without plants? When you are installing your plants go with drought tolerant native species where appropriate. These plants are more hardy and reliable and will be more resistant to pests. When you are considering your plants you can use the colors of your rocks for contrast. If you have some red sandstone, plants with bright green or silver leaves will add great distinction. If you rely on sprinklers to irrigate your grass, do not forget to cap the old lines because your new rock garden will not need to be watered. Imagine the time and money you will spend. If you hate mowing your lawn, your new rock garden may become your best friend.
- Take a water-wise field trip: If you live in Los Angeles or Orange County, go to bewaterwise.com and find a California friendly garden near you. You will be able to get an idea of native plants that will handle drought conditions and what they will look like when they are fully grown. After a visit to the gardens you will come to appreciate how beautiful the plants will look within your own rock garden.
Droughts will come and droughts will go. If you want to have a yard that is beautiful no matter what Mother Nature can throw at you, make your rock garden into something that will become the center point of your yard. When each of us do our part to conserve the little we have, the better it will be for all of us.