by Charlene Burgi
Climate change: We read about it and hear about it on the news. We wonder what it means for future weather patterns and if recent unusual weather will become the norm. We pay attention to reports from the weather channels and watch patterns keeping low pressure north and east, preventing precipitation from moving in our direction.
The question is how long will the weather conditions remain as we experience this low precipitation pattern? As a gardener living with four years of drought, I am forced to look around to see what can be done to minimize water usage while still enjoying a colorful and bountiful garden.
It didn't take long to spot the decorative pond/waterfall in the front yard—a sure place to save water! The rate of evaporation from pools and ponds is high—so high that surface water area is classified as a high-use hydrozone, the same as bluegrass lawn.
| Disassembling the pond
As I considered eliminating the pond, I wondered what the birds would do if there were no water source for them to drink or bathe in? Pondering this outcome, Jack and I decided to redesign the pond into a disappearing waterfall. Our plan is to scour the landscape for a fall rock (a rock on the receiving end where the water falls) with a depression deep enough for bird bathing and where birds, butterflies, and bees can still stop to wet their whistles. The circulating water will be put on a timer to recharge the system in order to replenish the evaporating water for visiting critters. The size of the actual falls will be reduced, and the reservoir of water will be stored underground to slow the rate of evaporation. The balance of the existing pond will be transformed into a dry creek bed accented with low-water-using bulbs and perennials to attract bees and butterflies. The very idea has me thumbing through books, catalogs, and websites. Can I find a low-water groundcover in blue to thread along the base of the dry creek bed? Or better yet, maybe we'll use blue tumbled glass as an accent. The wheels churn in my head. This adjustment stirs the creative juices!
How about you? Can you envision making a slight change to your garden in order to use less water? If you have a pool or spa, is it covered? Believe me, there is nothing more tempting than looking out at a sparkling pool of water, but there is also a price that comes with the view. A pool cover will help you save water and energy—and you may even qualify for a rebate from MMWD
Are you up to making some creative changes? Share your thoughts and ideas. We would love to see them!