Landscapes and Gardens

Not only does this water CRISIS affect our farmers but also landscaping and home gardeners. Food Gardens require a ready source of water continuously through its growing and fruiting season, during much of this growth period, the land becomes parched during natural dry periods, so we rely on watering our home grown vegetables. The other forms of gardens are known as Eye Gardens; these include flowers, shrubs and ornamental trees. Eye Gardens add benefit to the total landscape by pollinating insects; such as butterflies and honey bees, (Where have all the butterflies gone?). These Eye Gardens also help reduce storm water runoff, and beautify everyone’s residential property with park like features and enhance property values.

There are many thousands of very small sized local companies that provide shovel ready opportunities in landscaping. A highly beneficial form of landscaping art known as Xeriscaping also lends very well to the conservation of our water resources.  Several companies are now marketing drip irrigation systems for not only the residential user but also the farming communities. These concepts lend well with a life style known as Permaculture.

Recent Yahoo Hotjobs post;

Well-Paid Jobs That Won’t Be Outsourced – 7. Landscaping worker — Nobody’s trimming your hedge from abroad. And gardening work is surprisingly lucrative, and forecast to grow, especially in grounds maintenance for commercial buildings and golf courses. In this enjoyable field, workers are often self-taught. Bergson reports many in colder climes fill in the slow winter months by also offering snow-removal services. Median annual salary: $46,973

Allowing a water CRISIS to happen will continue to cause watering bans and put many of these Americans out of work.

However, adoption of a rainwater catchment system to harvest the bountiful supply of pure water can generally side step those watering bans. One may even consider recycled watering for irrigation by using greywater.  Some communities allow the posting of signs on the property of such alternative watering practices to counter the reporting and solicitation of police tickets and fines. New and old innovations of Rain Water Harvesting will help alleviate some of the STRESS on the community’s water system.

“Innovation has been essential to our prosperity in the past, and it will be essential to our prosperity in the future,” President Obama said one Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address.

Energy Saving Landscapes  

It is possible to achieve as much as a 30% reduction in cooling and heating costs through careful landscape planning. Landscaping can reduce direct sun from striking and heating up building surfaces. It can prevent reflected light carrying heat into a house from the ground or other surfaces. By reducing wind velocity, an energy conserving landscape slows air leakage in a house. Additionally, the shade created by trees and the effect of grass and shrubs will reduce air temperatures adjoining the house and provide evaporative cooling.

The use of dense tree and shrub plantings on the west and northwest sides of a home will block the summer setting sun. This is the most effective landscape planting strategy. Additional considerations include the use of deciduous trees on the south side of the house that will admit summer sun; evergreen plantings on the north side will slow cold winter winds; constructing a natural planted channel to funnel summer cooling breezes into the house.

Carefully evaluate existing plants at a building site to identify those that can play a role in an energy conserving landscape. Indigenous plants and well established plants will require less effort to maintain and will generally be of a larger size and better established than new plantings.

It is wise to at least seek a professional landscape consultant prior to implementation. That professional can map out a strategy for individual parcels; due to location, topography, soil types, wet/dry periods, colors, etc. Many projects even within small counties can have micro climates due to prevailing winds, water inundations (from swamps, canals, etc.) and as well as proximity to salt air.

A well qualified landscape professional should also be knowledgeable in the design, configuration, and implementation of Rainwater and Greywater adaptations.

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