Three water-wise tips for your backyard makeover
(NC)—Gardens can improve the appearance of your property, but they aren't always what you'd call “water efficient.” Most gardens depend on you to water them, and this can account for a significant portion of a household's water bill. But with a little careful planning, you can plant a garden that actually retains and recycles rain water.
“The more planting you have, the more opportunities there are for soaking up and capturing water,” says Dr. Nigel Dunnett, British author and horticulture specialist at the University of Sheffield.
If you're considering doing a backyard makeover this spring, why not consider transforming your outdoor space into a beautiful and sustainable oasis. Here are three features that can have a positive impact on the amount of water you use.
• Plant a rain garden, a planted or stone-covered bed specifically designed to receive stormwater and allow it to be absorbed into the soil slowly. Elevate or terrace your garden beds for the most 'bang per drop'.
• Redirect down flow from drainpipe to planted areas and rain gardens, and harvest rainwater in cisterns or rain barrels for use during dry periods;
• Re-consider your grass lawn. Lawns are not only very thirsty, but also need fertilizer and maintenance. Try using other kinds of groundcovers instead.
This spring, the RBC Blue Water Project has commissioned Dr Nigel Dunnett to create the RBC Blue Water Roof Garden to showcase effective urban water management at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, England. It will be the Show's first example of a full 'living roof' that demonstrates how biodiversity and sustainable water management can be achieved on an urban rooftop.
For further information, please visit rbc.com/bluewater
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