Last week, I shared with you Part 1 of my visit to a beautiful, drought tolerant garden located in the middle of a city in the Southwestern desert. The beauty of the design and plants belie the fact that this garden needs very little supplemental water.
The Scottsdale Xeriscape Demonstration Garden showcases plants that thrive in areas that regularly experience drought. Varieties of Baja fairy duster (Calliandra californica), bougainvillea, flame honeysuckle (Anisacanthus quadrifidis var. wrightii), globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua), lantana, penstemon and Texas sage (Leucophyllum species) are just a few of the drought tolerant plants that are on display.
The demonstration garden is located next to a water treatment plant and part of the garden sits on top of a reservoir that contains 5.5 million gallons of treated water.
Throughout the garden are examples of water harvesting, which captures rainfall that otherwise would end up as run off, where it finds it way to the storm sewer. By creating cisterns like this one, storm water is saved and once the cistern if full, the excess water is directed to run through a swale lined with plants that benefit from the rain.
Another innovative example of channeling rainwater is seen in this grove of honey mesquite trees (Prosopis glandulosa). This section of the garden is lined with concrete walls that form a spiral down toward the center. There is a gradual slope, which directs rainwater toward the plants in the center.
At one end of the garden stands a large cistern that holds the average amount of water that a household uses in 1 week, which serves as a powerful example of why we need to conserve water.
Around the cistern is a Native American saying:
“THE FROG DOES NOT DRINK UP THE POND IN WHICH HE LIVES”
I hope you have enjoyed this tour of a beautiful drought tolerant garden. Next week, I will talk about different ways that you can save water in your own garden.