Toss the turf, homeowners switch to desert landscape for drought

Toss the turf, homeowners switch to desert landscape for drought

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - In this time of drought, people are looking for ways to cut back in their gardens water use.

The Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley is preparing for their 10th annual Desert Garden Tour this weekend.

"With the drought going on right now our main purpose is to educate to public that you can have water efficient drought tolerant landscape with out it looking boring," said Lisha Astorga, Events Coordinator for the Desert Horticulture Society.

With water restrictions coming down the pipe, landscapers say many people want more water efficient yards.

"People are taking out their lawns, that's the main thing they are doing, and they are really going for drought tolerant gardens, and they're into it, which is great. We don't seem to fight a battle, they do seem to be on board," said Gino Dreese the owner of Mojave Rock Ranch Landscaping

Even though the drought is relatively recent, horticulture experts say people have been converting their lawns into desert landscapes for years here in the Coachella valley.

"We have one garden that has creosotes in it that are over 100 years old, we've got native plants from the Coachella Valley floor that are highlighted in several gardens, and then we go into more Mediterranean style plants that are just water efficient," said Astorga.

"There's lot of vegetation here that's very drought tolerant and very colorful very full so it doesn't have to be a cactus garden," said Mary Marks, a member of the Desert Horticultural Society.

You can find out how to pick the perfect plants and the right way to water them.

Check out the 10th annual Desert Garden Tour on Sunday, April 12, from 12 p.m. to 4 pm. This year's event features five different water conserving gardens.

You can register online. The proceeds from registration go to scholarships for kids interested in getting college degrees in horticulture.

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