Here is a selection of water-wise gardens; for others in your area, contact your utility district or water agency.
Alameda County Water District Drought Tolerant Demonstration Garden exemplifies the principles of drought-tolerant landscaping. INFO: Free; 43885 S. Grimmer Blvd., Fremont, CA; 510/668-4200.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum features Sonoran Desert natives alongside dry-climate plants on a 323-acre site that includes a 2½-acre landscape demonstration garden. INFO: $7.50; 37615 U.S. 60 at mile marker 223, Superior, AZ; 520/689-2811.
Colorado Springs Utilities Xeriscape Demonstration Garden showcases more than 600 plant species native to Colorado and western North America in a variety of designs. INFO: Free; 2855 Mesa Rd., Colorado Springs; 719/668-4555.
Rio Grande Botanic Garden has more than an acre of water-wise gardens on its 36-acre site, along with a dramatic 10,000-square-foot glass conservatory that houses desert and Mediterranean-climate plants. INFO: $7; 2601 Central Ave. N.W., Albuquerque; 505/764-6200.
University of California Botanical Garden houses a treasure trove of Mediterranean-climate plants. A number of water-wise plants are available for purchase year-round at the Plant Deck, inside the UC Botanical Garden Shop, as well as at this year's fall plant sale (11-3 Sep 24). INFO: $7 garden admission; 200 Centennial Dr., Berkeley; 510/643-2755.
UC Davis Arboretum has Mediterranean-climate plants in a series of gardens. The Terrace Garden (located in Davis Commons, First St. at D St.), a home-size plot planted by the arboretum, demonstrates water-wise gardening in California's Central Valley. INFO: Free; LaRue Rd. and California Ave., University of California, Davis campus; 530/752-4880.The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College contains 5 landscaped acres that demonstrate how to create a beautiful garden with less water. INFO: Free; 12122 Cuyamaca College Dr. W., El Cajon, CA; 619/660-0614.
Water Efficient Demonstration Garden at Clackamas Community College illustrates water-wise landscaping for do-it-yourselfers. INFO: Free; 19600 S. Molalla Ave., Oregon City, OR; 503/723-9692.
Xeriscape Demonstration Garden , a ½-acre site at the 63-acre University of Idaho Arboretum, exhibits low-water-use landscaping using perennials, natives, and other woody trees and shrubs. INFO: Free; 1200 W. Palouse River Dr., Moscow, ID; 208/885-5978.