Guide to low-maintenance gardening

From low-water plants to simple projects, our guide to easy gardening will make a green thumb out of anyone

Water-wise garden design guide

Everything you need to give the hose a rest, from unthirsty plant picks to inspiring gardens

Low water, big impact
Thomas J. Story

Low water, big impact

Recently, on the heels of another dry spell in California, we surveyed a patch of brown grass in the backyard and wondered: What does climate change mean for gardeners? With experts warning that droughts will only get worse, should we bother planting anything at all?

Glancing at the red-flowered penstemons blooming lustily despite neglect, we realized: absolutely. Hundreds of plants not only tolerate drought, but do so beautifully. And of course the water-wise garden has practical benefits—namely, less maintenance and lower water bills.

Here we offer ideas to help you make the shift, and plenty of proof that unthirsty gardens can be as interesting as well-watered greenbelts—perhaps even more so.

Design for garden pictured: Arterra Landscape Architects

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