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Gardening to conserve water

July was a hot, humid month with stretches of blistering days followed by fast-moving, violent thunderstorms that dropped enough rain to fulfill our watering needs for a few days. This summer’s weather activity seems much like that of previous years, but weather patterns are changing all over the United States. Rising temperatures and extreme weather events are becoming the norm. In coastal Virginia, we have escaped severe weather so far, but it would be wise of us to look at what is happening in other sections of the country.

Western and southwestern states face increasing temperatures with little respite offered by rainfall. Many cities have embraced xeriscaping, landscaping methods that utilize rainfall and natural resources rather than depend on the community water supply or private wells. Naturally drought-tolerant plants that survive with minimal irrigation are the key to successful xeriscaping. Many western locales landscape with trees, shrubs, and native and non-native pere...

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