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Drought-Resistant Gardens Are an Economical Alternative
The high cost of watering yards and gardens is driving many homeowners to switch to drought-resistant landscaping, according to Darrin Miller of Central Coast Wilds. Miller’s firm designs and plants native and drought resistant gardens for residential customers and commercial clients.
Miller said he studied eco-landscaping about nine years ago. Yet, even though landscapers have been studying and planting drought-resistant gardens for a long time, many traditional landscape architects are still planting formal lawns and annual flowers, which require heavy amounts of fertilizer and regular watering to maintain.
Miller said that traditional landscapers may continue to use these types of plants because those are the plants they know well. For example, they already understand what those plants need in terms of water, fertilizer, sunlight, and how they will grow.
People’s preferences and our cultural history of planting formal lawns and gardens are another reason that not everyone has switched to ecological alternatives. Some homeowners would let their lawns die before they think of planting a drought-resistant garden, Miller said, showing me photos of brown lawns while at West Coast Green.
Homeowners have many more choices than the familiar water-hungry plants — options of drought resistant plants that are alive with color in yellows, reds, purples, and greens. Flowering yarrow and sages, strawberries, poppies, and daisies are just a few examples of the plants that can replace a lawn.