With the oncoming probelms throughout the world regarding water, I have come to believe in an otherwise more worldy and more water-wise approach to landscaping. Eschewing large tracts of grass in favor of less-demanding plantings is one way of accomplishing smarter water usage. One can still use plants that love their water. Modern irrigation techniques allow much less overall water use. Drip irrigation delivers exact amounts of regulated water right to the very roots of the pantings. Sprayed irrigation, which grass requires, and it’s concomitant evaporation and wind-borne uselessness can develop weeds as well if used in garden and landscape beds. Mulches last longer, too, without the constant leaching power of water.
Being “green”, i.e. environmentally responsible, can still allow one the luxury of a setting like that pictured above. These were nearly all drought-tolerant, Reno-friendly plants requiring very little water to fully develop. This picture, for example, is year two of a planting’s history, that’s all. The fact is, it will require pruning and perhaps even removal of some plants intruding on one another, even in it’s third year of existence! Having used grass in this same area, the water use would be at least 10 times the amount of water and would be far less interesting, by far, if not far, far more than 10 times.
Considering the intensive maintenance needs of grass, with its mowing, the incessant exhaustion of nutrients requiring fretilizers and the bi-yearly necessity of Spring power raking and dethatching or aerating, one can see the true benefits in every way of something as gorgeous and eye-grabbing as this. Grass is luxurous and cool to bare feet. Kids love grass and so do animals. Grass literally can change the climate around a single home. So sure, so far, some grass is absolutely recommended for a completed landscape, especilally if children are involved. But older folks can finally experiment and have some fun on their own with ideas such as the above.