A Native Plant Community Approach to Landscape Design for Water Conservation
Morrison, Darrel G.
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In many urban areas in this country, one-third or more of water consumption is devoted to the maintenance of lawns and ornamental landscape plantings. Peak demands for such water use typically coincide with the hottest, driest periods during the growing season. Traditional American landscape design, with historical roots in the green, pastoral landscapes of England, relies heavily on large expanses of lawn with trees, shrubs, and perennial boarders outlining these lush open spaces (Howett, 1987). With the inexpensive and abundant water supplies of the past, drought has been no particular incentive for the development of landscapes with less water-demanding plants. More recently, however, with growing human populations and with the advent of serious droughts, and the resultant prospect of ever-greater demands on finite water supplies, there is a growing need to consider alternatives to the traditionally accepted water-consumptive landscapes in residential, commercial, and institutional grounds.