Utah is one of the most photographed and
recognizable states in the Nation due largely to its
scenic highways and diverse landscapes.
Homeowners and businesses enjoy a variety of
color and fragrance in their landscapes.
Throughout the West, 40 to 60% of all urban water
use goes to landscapes. Research shows that much of
the water is applied in excess of plant water needs.
Even an effectively irrigated lawn requires
substantial water (60 to 80% of the amount of water
that would evaporate from a pan of water) (Source:
Utah State University
It is necessary for Utahns to implement Best
Landscaping Practices by using groundcovers and
other vegetation that responds well to our climate.
Many of our areas currently covered with turfgrass,
such as front lawns, parking strips, and other
little used or viewed areas, could be replaced with
drought-adapted plants that yield beauty, but
consume little water.
There are many plants well-suited for low water-use
landscapes that originated in similar climates
elsewhere in the world. However, focusing on natives
for low water-use landscapes is common sense. These
plants are already adapted to the summer drought
characteristics of the West. Using native or
adapted planting also respects the environment in
which we live. (Research based on Roger K
Kjelgren. Associate Professor Department of Plants,
Soils and Biometeorology Utah State University).
Brent Morris, President, Brent Morris Associates,
consulting landscape architect, recommends the
following for ensuring productive landscape and
- Cultivate the soil. Magna has several types of
soil to the soil through rotor
tilling or hand turning of the soil with a shovel.
- Landscape an area for seasonal change. Create
a “circumbulation garden” plants and flowers will
bloom in a circumference according to the seasons.
(Insert Seasonal Garden.jpg)
- Choose plants that are both aesthetically pleasing
and “water-wise”. As noted, there are many
plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, and vegetables that
grow in our climate.
Utah nurseries and planting centers
are tagging water-wise plants with the symbol below to help you make responsible, yet
creative choices for designing your
gardens. For other choices, check out:
Water-wise plant tag.
Desert Sand Verbena
Yellow ground cover is both stunning in color and
Desert four o'clock: Mirabilis multiflora
Sego Lily Flower