Water Conservation. It's For Life.

Marina Smith

If somebody offers me something good for free, I take it! When CVWD offered free water audits, I thought it was a good idea. I always believed I was cautious with water; but the water department representatives analyzed my water bill and informed me that, since my bill got so high in the summer, the majority of my water use was on my grass. That ugly grass that never looked good no matter how much water I threw on it.

The audit and the rebates that were available at the time became an opportunity to change my water habits and my despondent front yard landscaping. Like most people I just wanted someone to realize my dream landscape – a landscaping fairy, if you will. I found someone who “got” me. Working from my design, the landscaper knew how to install a beautifully realistic dry riverbed, which is the foundation of my landscape. My job was to pick the plants. My sons and I dug the holes for all the plants and tossed mountains of mulch. My husband put in the drip irrigation system. The plantings I did were a lot of trial and error. What I found out was that plants that like my yard need little, if any, encouragement from me.

Even though I have irrigation, I rarely turn it on. Maybe once or twice in the summer, mainly because I feel thirsty and I think the plants must be too. Also, I’ve found out that plants you might think like a good daily drenching, can do very well on whatever moisture nature supplies. Plants like Johnny Jump-Ups, irises, calla lilies or hollyhocks.

In my opinion, my front yard is beautiful in any season. It always makes my eyes happy to come home. Another bonus is that it is home to other creatures as well, like butterflies, bees, birds, lizards and probably other animals that visit at night.