Saturday, August 1, 2009
This year Leah and I decided to enter our garden in the Flagstaff Garden Competition. There were two main categories: Native Plant and Water Wise Garden. Having not irrigated our garden with fresh city water since 2007, we felt like we had something to offer. I guess the judges did as well since we won the Water Wise Garden Award this year!
This past Sunday we had a garden open house with over 100 people stopping in throughout the afternoon to check out our abundant edible oasis and to see our rainwater and greywater harvesting systems in use.
I think most people that come to a "water-wise" garden in the southwestern US assume that it is covered in gravel and just uses cactus and other dry loving plants. The Xeriscape notion is often associated with "Zero-scape" as the gravel covered moonscape demonstrates. What we have done in our gardens is the opposite. Rather than intentionally creating hot and dry micro-climates, we have naturally created moist and cooler ones. Through simple strategies we are able to harvest much of the 140,000 gallons of precipitation a year in addition to about 900 gallons a month of household greywater. Who needs a municipal or well water supplied landscape when we already have an abundance of free and ecologically sourced supplies ready for the using!