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Baldy on water conservation

Water is the solvent of life on earth. Nothing can live without it. But water is a precious commodity that should not be wasted, even in climates like the PNW where water seems abundant at times. There are several key elements to designing and building a garden with water conservation in mind.

The first is plant choice. Native PNW plants have adapted to this climate for a reason. They tolerate heavy rain, some harsh cold in the dead of winter, and many of them are both drought and disease resistant, and they serve to provide a natural foundation for design.

The second is responsible irrigation. There are some years or seasons when everyone needs to water their garden a little, and those are usually the times that water is the least available and most expensive. Responsible drip irrigation delivers water to the desired plant, and nowhere else. This also prevents watering spaces in between plants where weeds most commonly grow.

The third and final element to responsible watering is to keep the water you use in the soil. Finish the garden with a heavy woodchip based mulch to cover your topsoil, not necessarily "beauty bark", or fir bark mulch. Mixed tree chippings are less acidic, naturally organic, and provide a natural look to the surface. Importantly they prevent evaporation of the water you use, and also help keep the weeds out.