Dry landscaping

Dear Editor:The xeriscape landscaping, or "dry landscaping," system is used where water conservation is practiced in drought susceptible areas. The reduction of lawn grasses is necessary since it is the worst offender of water conservation. It is important to use plants that are adapted to the climate and thus use less water. The Downey Public Works Department, several years ago to conserve water, began planting many areas in town using the xeriscaping technique. A good example is seen at the northwest corner of Brookshire Avenue and Civic Center Drive, near City Hall. Most of these plants are blooming. Both sides of Florence Avenue several blocks west of the Rio Hondo River are also planted with these plants. Last month, precipitation was about half normal in California and snow runoff was 35 percent of average so planting water-conserving plants is a step toward reducing water use. Xeriscape landscaping, in addition to water conservation, also reduced the need for fertilizer, pesticides, yields lower maintenance costs, reduces runoff, conserves topsoil, improves drought tolerance and is a unique and beautiful landscape which can be environmentally and financially rewarding. Much of our water comes from the Colorado River. John Wesley Powell and his men in 1869 were the first to navigate the dangerous rapids through the Grand Canyon. Years after, in a speech before Congress, Powell said it all: "When all the rivers are used, when all the creeks in the ravines, when all the brooks, when all the springs are used, when all the reservoirs along the streams are used, when all the canyon waters are taken up, when all the artesian waters are taken up, when all the wells are sunk or dug that can be dug in all this arid region, there is still not sufficient water to irrigate all this arid region." Byron Dillon, Downey

********** Published: April 5, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 51