Most of us embrace the concept of ecologically responsible gardening. The hard part is turning this worthy concept into a working reality. A new book makes that easier for Southwest gardeners to do: Earth-Friendly Desert Gardening (ArizonaMaster Gardener Press, Phoenix, 2003), by Cathy Cromell, Jo Miller, and Lucy K. Bradley. The book is packed with practical suggestions for conserving resources.
Landscape with multipurpose plants like desert ironwood (Olneya tesota) that provide beauty and shade for humans and food and habitat for wildlife.
Don't run lawn sprinklers under the hot midday sun or during windy weather (as much as 30 to 50 percent of the water would be wasted).
Replace your gas-powered lawn mower with an electric model.