Landscape Sustainability Checkup
In trying to mindfully develop our gardens, taking into consideration water use, mulching, recycling, wildlife, pest control, choosing the right plant for the right place, fertilizing, storm water runoff, and streamside care (where applicable), it's a good idea to periodically give yourself an evaluation. The Landscape Sustainability Checkup is a great tool to see how well you're maintaining your garden's sustainability. Designed to give points for different sustainable practices, you'll easily see ways to improve. Plus, there are links to additional information on sustainable landscape topics. Although developed by Oregon State University, the Checkup will work anywhere.
Drought conditions are happening more often over a wider area of the country. With increased water-use restrictions, as well as one's own conscience to answer to, we want to make our gardens more sustainable. It's one thing to want to use less water in your garden, but how can you know which plants will grow best with a low-water regimen? Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens: 200 Drought-Tolerant Choices for All Climates (Timber Press, 2011, $24.95) by garden designers Lauren Springer Ogden and Scott Ogden is a practical guide to 200 of the best trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, ground covers, grasses and sedges, vines, bulbs, and succulents for low-water gardens. Each entry includes common and botanical name, the regions where the plant is best adapted, growth and care information, and notes on pests and diseases. The book also has design ideas, suggested companion plants, and full color photography.