Drought-Tolerant Landscaping Rapidly Becoming a Selling Point in California

Photographs of depleted reservoirs and Governor Jerry Brown’s call for mandatory water restrictions drive home the serious impact that California’s drought will have on our lives.

cactusIn real estate, properties featuring drought-tolerant landscaping will likely fetch a premium from homebuyers, particularly in the environmentally conscious Bay Area. Sellers, if they haven’t done so already, may want to take steps now to incorporate water-saving features in their landscaping.

Several weeks ago, Pacific Union discussed indoor improvements to conserve water, such as low-flow toilets, water-efficient appliances, and dripless faucets. Today’s discussion moves outdoors. Whether you are a homebuyer, a seller, or simply a Bay Area resident trying to cut back on water usage, check out the links below for smart ideas that can save you money and help the environment.

The California Institute for Water Resources has more than a dozen web pages offering advice on many aspects of landscaping and gardening. A few of the topics include “Keeping Landscape Plantings Alive under Drought or Water Restrictions,” “Growing food with less water,” and “Water-wise gardening tips for Marin County.”

The California Landscape Contractors Association offers smart, practical tips to help you survive this year’s drought and help you prepare for water shortages.

Sunset magazine, famous for its rich, color layouts of manicured lawns, does an equally fine job presenting “24 inspiring lawn-free yards.” One look at these outdoor scenes, and you may be tempted to tear out every blade of grass in your yard. Also check out the magazine’s Water-Wise Garden Design Guide and list of 12 great drought-tolerant plants.

Better Homes and Gardens, not to be outdone, offers detailed steps to create 11 lush outdoor environments with minimal water needs.

Southern California’s Las Virgenes Municipal Water District has posted a 60-page “California-Friendly Guide to Native and Drought-Tolerant Gardens” that’s every bit as useful in Northern California.

Digital First Media, which operates a half-dozen news websites in the Bay Area, including those of The San Jose Mercury News and the Marin Independent Journal, offers plenty of local advice for tending lawns and gardens without much moisture.

(Photo: Flickr/Jeremy Levine)

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