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 …

Xeric Gardens (Water-Wise)

house with a wall in front and shrubs with gravel mulch

Drought tolerant plants, gravel mulch, and walls were used to create this water conserving landscape. Photo credit: teofilo Flickr CC BY 2.0

Xeric gardening (xersicaping) is increasing in popularity as urban populations grow and drought takes its toll on water supplies nationwide.

The term xeric (pronounced zerik) simply means ‘dry’ in Greek. Xeric plants are adapted to dry conditions and require little to no water during the growing season depending on conditions.

Planting a xeric garden does not mean zeroscape!  …

Parking Strips: Water Conserving or Weed Magnet?

Parking strips can be either water conserving or weed magnets. Parking strips are often “out of sight, out of  mind” for many homeowners, especially in older neighborhoods without pressurized irrigation systems and can quickly become weed magnets.

Dragging a hose across the sidewalk is inconvenient and possibly dangerous to pedestrians.

One way to address this issue is to create a water conserving park strip. A water conserving parking strip is simply a parking strip that uses less water than …

Water Conservation Practices for Vegetable Gardens

Ornamental plant varieties can be chosen based upon water use. Grass can be allowed to go dormant during dry seasons. However, choices for low water vegetable plants are limited. Thankfully, there are some water conservation practices that can increase water efficiency.

  • Adding organic matter in the form of compost, animal manure, grass clippings, and leaf mould are ways to improve the soil by increasing water holding capacity and improving soil structure.
  • Planting in blocks instead of rows creates

Ornamental Grasses for Water-Wise Landscapes


A Blue oat grass plant in a garden


Blue oat grass (Helicotrichon semprivirens) makes a bold statement in a water-wise landscape.
Photo credit: Josh S. Jackson, Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0


Extremely drought tolerant Indian rice grass (Achnatherum hymenoides) is adapted to high light and low moisture habitats has a delicate open feathery look
Photo source: Utah Water-Wise Plants

Ornamental grasses are becoming increasingly popular for use in water-wise landscape designs. Combined with drought tolerant perennials, ornamental grasses can create a strong visual impact from …

Evergreens for Water-Wise Landscapes


Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) is an extremely drought tolerant plant native to the Intermountain West and is readily available at plant nurseries.
Photo credit:brewbooks Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0


Rhododendron shrub in bloom
Photo credit: tgpotterfield Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Evergreen trees and shrubs retain their leaves during all seasons. Although most evergreen are conifers, not all fall into this category. Examples of non-coniferous native and moderately to highly drought tolerant evergreen plants include: