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The Real Eco Choice for Southwest Landscapes


Is the summer heat leaving you feeling a bit parched? Perhaps your landscaping is thirsty, too? If so, you’re not alone. People all over the southwestern United States are realizing that our traditional green lawn landscapes are more difficult and expensive to keep watered in hot, dry years like this one. So much so that cities are actually paying residents to rip-up their grass and replace it with climate-appropriate plants.

No matter where you stand on the aesthetics of the issue, the fact is that losing the lawn allows cities to reduce water consumption—amazingly, by up to a third—even while the population grows. Clearly, the water savings that come from planting more wisely are huge.

But, in spite of that, people still love their lawns—which is why cities will pay you some green (cash) to lose the green (grass). While a lush lawn does have its appeal, so do sages and native plants that attract butterflies and native birds...

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  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    I've been seeing more and more of this, and they're beautiful. I really like how rock and glass can be incorporated to make the designs interesting. I love that it saves water- but I wonder in areas with winter climates how something like this would work?