Go Low — Best Plants to Save Water on Your Yard
If you've ever driven around Arizona, you'll notice they don't do grass. Well, most of them don't. In many cities, they even give you tax breaks and subsidies for replacing the water-guzzling lawn with decorative rocks and low-water plants. WHY AREN'T WE DOING THAT HERE??
As soon as Wichita Falls started talking about re-using poop water, I wondered why we aren't focusing on getting all those green lawns from sucking up potable water??
Someone (and I guess I just did) should suggest to our local councils to offer tax breaks to take yards from water guzzling greens to ornamental and beautiful using native or low-water plants.
Yes, it can be beautiful and (if you're my husband the one thing he thinks about) is low maintenance. That means a little weeding each year, but no mowing the front yard ever again.
After four years of drought, when will we wake up and recognize that a lush, green front lawn is not as important as our drinking water??
Here are some great ideas to get you started:
Caddo Sugar Maple is a beautiful tree that does the bright red leaves in the fall. It has high ornamental value so it is perfect for the yard but it can tolerate dry, sandy, infertile soil. it's also got built-in pest defenses.
Lead Plant is a bush that looks great planted close together and is great for mass plantings. It works well with dry, rocky soil but needs good drainage. It will also spread so if you are looking for beautiful and will fill up more of your space, this is a good one. It has really beautiful purple flowers, too.
Porcelain Berry is great if you have a really large space that needs to be filled with pretty -- but isn't near the house. It's really a vine but it grows like crazy and will spread quickly. It's tall, it climbs and is great for long fences or to hide ugly stuff. It does grow berries (I'm not sure if they are edible) that change colors from green to orange to purple then blue. Really cool plant.
Oklahoma Redbud Tree is a shorter tree but really nice for decorative lawns and small city plots. It has beautiful flowers and can survive in just about any climate in OK.
Persimmon trees are pretty, they work well in any half-decent soil, they are pretty hearty -- and they give you persimmons (which are delicious and not many people know how yummy they are).
One Seed Juniper is one thick and stocky evergreen tree -- but they can thrive even in extremely dry conditions.
Yellow Yarrow is a nice perennial that likes to spread a bit. They are drought tolerant and deer don't like them. they are small and yellow flowers but would work well in a rock garden!
Mugwort smells wonderful and has been used in medicines from Native Americans to people at Hogwarts. It can be invasive, so you might need to trim it back a bit every season.
Yankee Point Wild Lilac grows beautifully as a bush to about 4 feet tall. It can spread out, so make sure it has room. It is drought tolerant but deer like it, so if you live in deer areas, you'll have visitors.
Rock Rose is an evergreen shrub that is about two feet tall and has hot pink flowers. It does like a little shade, but not much.
There are THOUSANDS more that could look beautiful. The city could also consider a voucher system (like they do with farmer's markets) to get people to buy native or drought-resistant plants that don't require additional watering.