Posted on | January 7, 2011 | 2 Comments
The potential for gardeners here to conserve water while glorying in the California experience is as big as the state. Yet most of us don’t seize it. According to local water managers, the problem is “capacity.”
By capacity, they refer to the ability of chain home improvement stores to stock drought-tolerant native and Mediterranean-climate plants alongside water-hungry turf. Building native-plant capacity in big-box stores is tough. The inventory get watered to death by untrained staff, who don’t know what the plants are much less what they need. So “capacity” tends to be code for “forget about it” when the subject of water conservation comes up.
Well, water managers, reality check. Nursery capacity for native plants is increasing, albeit slowly. A network of independent specialist nurseries is emerging. Most of these not only have trained staff to sell native plants but also offer courses on how to design gardens and how to tend those new Edens.