With the onset of what looks like another “nonsoon” summer, perhaps you need to re-evaluate your yard, shrubs and trees and decide just how many lush, green water guzzling plants you truly can live without. While it is great to live in a lush desert, it is becoming a matter of concern because most of the water we use for irrigating our yards is not reclaimed and drains our valuable aquifers.

Water is one of our most precious commodities and because it is the least expensive of our monthly utilities, we seldom take the time to think it may not be there three, five or 10-years from now and that is a scary thought. Perhaps we all need to start turning our attention to more desert friendly plants and cacti that will allow for future generations to enjoy a nice cold glass of water on a hot July day without worrying if there will be enough for tomorrow.

With a little research and perhaps some day trips to our local cacti nurseries, you would be amazed at just how many varieties of both cacti, succulents and plants are being sold that require little to no water and even less maintenance. Maintenance cost alone is enough to make me shudder at the thought of adding flowering shrubs and trees into the landscape.

Great alternatives to water-consuming plants are colorful pots and Sonoran Desert themed artwork. If done right, you can turn your yard into a very welcoming paradise without waking up one morning only to discover our four-footed desert animals ate all your beautiful flowers.

If each of us removed a minimum of five water hungry plants from our landscape, we would go a long way in preserving our future needs.

Most of us come from areas of the country where we did not have to worry about drought, our trees and plants were green, we had gorgeous lawns and flowering shrubs that put on a display for months at a time. That was then, this is now and if we do not start respecting the desert and all that it stands for, we will end up with nothing but gravel and dry cracked earth.

It is never too late to change the way we design and plant our little piece of the land we own and hopefully with a little help, we can all benefit in the future. -

Check out WaterUseItWisely.com and subscribe to their publication. It is a most handy and informative booklet with lots of great tips.

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