It’s that time of year again. Flowers are starting to peek their little buds out of the ground, trees are blossoming, birds are singing and it’s time to break out the garden gloves and shovels. Before you run off to the nursery and buy all of the pretty flowers already blooming , picking random beautiful plants, and then seeing how they fit in when you get home, let’s do a little planning. Instead of going for the pretty colors, lets think about water. How do you plan on watering? Sprinkler, drip irrigation, watering cans, dragging the hose all over the yard…. hmm, I’m already exhausted at the prospect of all of that work. I don’t proclaim to be a green thumb or know that much about landscaping, or xeriscaping, dry-scaping, rain gardening and on and on, but what I do know is that I want to enjoy a nice garden with a minimal amount of work.
I am all for resources on the internet but they can be overwhelming, so I have come up with a “short list” for you.
- Rain Garden Network – The Time to Plant a Rain Garden is … NOW! Rain gardens are an old idea, a simple idea … and they are making a comeback and an impact in urban and suburban communities. read more This is an excellent site for information on storm water runoff, rain gardening and even rainwater harvesting.
- Water Use it Wisely – Principles of Xerscape Design – Xeriscape, or dry-scape, is a set of principles for water-wise landscaping. It’s all about planning and maintaining your landscape and watering efficiently. This sensible approach allows you to conserve water while enjoying an attractive yard. Xeriscape is based on seven water-wise landscape principles: read more Be sure to check out the list of 100+ Ways to Conserve.
- US EPA WaterSense – WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, makes it easy for Americans to save water and protect the environment. Look for the WaterSense label to choose quality, water-efficient products. Many products are available, and don’t require a change in your lifestyle. read more I always forget about the US Environmental Protection Agency when researching for info. This is a must visit site for every green project in and out of the home.
- eNature.com – Know what animals and plants share your backyard? Taking a trip? Use our ZipGuides to get a comprehensive local wildlife guide to the animals and plants native to any place in the United States. Or narrow your search to focus only on Endangered Species or poisonous and dangerous species. read more This is an excellent resource for native plants to your specific area. Using native plants can use less water and are little to no maintenence.
- Native Plants – American beauties takes the guess work out of gardening with native plants – American Beauties native plants® is a ground breaking program that offers proven solutions for your landscape while creating beautiful garden habitats for desirable wildlife. American Beauties take the guess work out of native plant gardening by providing plants and landscape solutions that fit your site.
- National Wildlife Federation – For more than 35 years, the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program has shown people the benefits of gardening for wildlife. From backyards and apartment balconies to schoolyards, businesses and farms, no garden is too big or small to turn into a wildlife-friendly habitat. Once you have planted your water smart gardens, get your habitats certified. This would be a great project for the kids to help with.
Next time you hook up the hose to water the yard, think to yourself how you can plant smarter to conserve water and ultimately save money and time.
Now go get your rain garden started.
Tags: Certified Wildlife Habitat, conserve, dry-scaping, eNature, Environmental Protection Agency, National Wildlife Federation, native plants, NWF, rain garden, Rain Garden Network, rain gardening, storm water runoff, U.S. EPA, water conservation, Water Use it Wisely, WaterSense, xerscaping