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Lots of talk this week about California’s long dry spell and what it means for cities and counties. But what does it mean for you, Property Owner? If you haven’t assessed your irrigation system and your existing plantings and maintenance practices, this is a great time of year to do so.

High-efficiency irrigation delivery systems have exploded in the last few years. Several new types of components can be added to your existing system for an inexpensive, money-saving upgrade, including ‘smart’ controllers with weather sensors and multiple-stream rotors for popup irrigation that deliver water more evenly and at a slower rate, allowing it to sink into the ground to the root zone rather than running off into the gutter.

Arctostaphylos_silvicola_Ghostly_Manzanita-4-5Another unexpected benefit of the long drying trend has been the introduction of many beautiful, low-maintenance climate-adapted plants at nurseries. Arctostaphylos silvicola (pictured here) is part of the native California Manzanita family. It has beautiful flowers, silvery leaves, and over time will develop the dark red, muscular-looking trunk that is so prized in the garden. There are many other low-water or no-water plants to explore at local nurseries or demonstration gardens in the Bay Area.

Sarah Gronquist

has been designing California landscapes since 2000. Her projects include commercial and institutional gardens, multi-family housing, and private homes.

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