Image: Desert Willow
The Chilopsis linearis is a small, deciduous tree with narrow bright green leaves and colorful trumpet-shaped flowers ranging from white to pale pink and purple. This drought-tolerant, hardy tree performs well in full sun and partial shade with various soil conditions but does best in soil that drains well. There are a variety of different types to choose from. It can be purchased locally. Seeds are eaten by wildlife and flowers attract hummingbirds. It is deer resistant but should be caged while young to protect immature bark.
Sego Lily Gardens Sandy, Utah
Utah is one of the driest states in the country. The average rainfall in Utah is approximately 13-inches per year in comparison to over 30-inches on the east coast. Since we live in a desert state, we each must be very conscientious about how much water we use inside and outside of our homes. In Utah, over half of our annual culinary water consumption is used for irrigation. Irrigated landscapes provide benefits such as natural cooling and environmental cleansing. However, landscapes in Utah are often over-irrigated. Implementing water-wise practices in your landscape can help conserve a great deal of water.
Xeriscaping and localscaping are two water-wise landscaping techniques that incorporate native, drought-resistant plants and arranges them in efficient, water-saving ways. Both approaches conserve water while creating a simplified landscape that is more resilient and sustainable in Utah’s climate.
One of the most important environmental aspects of water-wise landscaping is choosing vegetation that is appropriate for the climate. Native plants have adapted to local physical and biological conditions without the need for human intervention and will resist damage from freezing, drought, common diseases, herbivores, pests, and require less frequent watering. They attract pollinators which will increase the biodiversity and health of your landscape, as well as help manage rainwater runoff and maintain healthy soil.
Water-wise landscaping does not mean settling for landscapes without color. Landscapes can be very colorful and beautiful while conserving water as you can see below by the many examples of water-wise plants. By planning and designing your landscape, improving the soil, selecting proper plants, designing practical turf areas, irrigating efficiently, using mulch, and routine maintenance you can have a healthy and pleasing water-wise landscape.
Water-wise landscapes provide environmental and financial benefits. Saving water, saves you money! Adopting water-wise landscaping techniques can also help you save money on yard operation and maintenance costs. Check out these resources for more information on how to create beautiful water-wise landscapes and gardens:
- Sego Lily Plant Guide
- High Country Gardens Plant Finder
- Design Practical Turf (PDF)
- Irrigate Efficiently (PDF)
- Maintain the Landscape (PDF)
- Select Proper Plants (PDF)
- Center for Water-Efficient Landscaping
- Water-wise Plants for Utah
- Utah Native Plants
- Native Plant Finder
- Red Butte Garden Water-wise Gardening Tips
- SLC GardenWise
- Utah Localscapes
- Conservation Garden Park Plant Database
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Utah Special Collection
- Native Plants for the Intermountain West
- Plant Select ®
- Tree Browser
- USU Botanical Gardens and Utah House
- Water-wise Plants for Utah Landscapes Database
- Water-wise Plant Lists for Salt Lake City