Water-Wise Pollinator Gardens


Interpretive sign for the Water Wise Pollinator    Garden at Utah State University (USU)
Image source: USU Water Wise Garden, Planting for Pollinators

Water-wise pollinator gardens are a great way to add interest and diversity to the landscape. Water-wise pollinator gardens attract bees, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles,bats, and even hummingbirds. Without pollinators, many of our food crops would not exist.

Many water-wise native and non-native plants can be used in the water-wise pollinator garden to provide nectar and pollen for insects …

Design Features of Native Landscapes


Naturalistic prairie style meadow. Photo credit: Jamie and Marina Berger Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Native woodland garden in spring features different plant layers (Brooklyn Botanic Garden). Photo credit: dogtooth77 Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Native plants in an Arizona demonstration garden. Photo credit: Susan Buffler

The use of native plants in the landscape is becoming increasingly popular. Native plants are adapted to local conditions and, if planted properly, can thrive on sites non-natives may not tolerate. This can reduce the need …

Water-Wise Plant Characteristics: Arid Regions


Drought adapted Rubber Rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa) has many small light colored leaves.
Photo credit: Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org CC 3.0


Drought adapted Yucca filamentosa
Photo source: Wikipedia


Drought adapted Scarlet Globemallow (Sphaeralcea coccinea) has light colored, hairy leaves.
Photo source: Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0


Plants adapted to arid regions have developed strategies to overcome long periods of water shortage. Note, however, that not all arid region plants are water-wise.

Riparian and wetland plants naturally …

Misconceptions About Using Native Plants in the Landscape

  California Poppies and lupine. Photo credit: Isolino Ferrerira Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Use of native prairie plants in a prairie garden landscape. Photo credit: eXtension.org: Gardens, Lawns, and Landscapes  Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Common misconceptions about using native plants in the landscape include:

Native plants have fewer insect and disease problems – Not always true

  • In nature, a native plant problem might go unnoticed, but the same plant in a traditional landscape may give a poor appearance

Native plants are …

What is a “Native” Plant?

  Rocky Mountain Columbine (Aguilegia caerulea). Native columbines make a beautiful addition to the native garden.
Photo credit: Susan Buffler
  The native mid-western drought tolerant grass Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) adds attractive fall color to the landscape.
Photo credit: Carolannie Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  The shrub Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) in a native landscape.
Photo credit: Bryant Olsen Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0
  Colorful Arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) blooms in spring and is native to