Creating Beautiful Water Efficient Gardens

LAST UPDATED: Apr 02, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Jun 27, 2013 | By: Julie Blanner

We received a water bill that just about made me fall over shortly after the first month in our
“new” home. I immediately turned the sprinkler system off until we could make some major adjustments to be more efficient. Summers in Kansas can easily reach over 100 degrees with no rain in sight for weeks. However, I still wanted beautiful, lush gardens and bright green grass between my toes.

We started by evaluating our landscaping. The fence along our sprawling yard was lined with flowers and shrubs and we had 8 oversized flower beds in addition to several smaller ones. Water aside, I knew I couldn’t maintain them all. We decided which we could and should eliminate.

After removing overgrown and unwanted shrubs and flowers, we planted new. We selected grasses and shrubs that needed minimal watering in addition to some favorites, like hydrangea, that required more. To help “insulate” the plants and maximize the moisture, we added a thick layer of mulch.

Turning the sprinkler system on {grab your poncho!}, we adjusted the sprinkler heads by twisting them to direct water to plants that require the most.

During this process, we also discovered that we had several sprinkler heads that weren’t working for any number of reasons. In doing so, we discovered a large leak in our backyard. Eek! Money literally was pouring out for a simple fix. Fortunately, most sprinkler repairs are simple!

One of our main flower beds was so large and awkward, we decided to reduce it by half. I am so happy with the result! We started by moving the old mulch to the side that would later host flowers and created a rock line that blended with the other flower bed. With the sprinkler heads exposed, Chris changed some of the heads out to those intended for watering grass rather than flowers. We added topsoil to ensure proper placement and a great base for grass. Then, grass seed. Watering this daily, it only took a few weeks to have beautiful, established grass! We again adjusted sprinkler heads making sure that both the grass and flowers would receive plenty of water.

sprinkler line we tied off because we no longer needed
removed old head
Chris screwing on new sprinkler head
placing sprinkler head back in position
we still need to add grasses to line this bed, but I’m happy with the result!
I added tolerant lavender to our galvanized planters lining the front porch

In making these adjustments, we are not only saving 80% of what we were spending on water each month, but enjoying beautiful, sustainable landscaping that is easy to care for and appeasing to the eye.

You can find additional inspiration on the Lowe’s Creative Ideas Blog and the complimentary Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine! I’m honored to be a part of Lowe’s Creative Ideas Creators and Influencers Network and have been compensated for my work. All ideas, opinions and designs are my own.