Irrigation must be the next important issue to talk about in regard to landscaping, and this goes beyond just proper landscape selection and planting techniques but also crosses into water savings. In South Florida irrigation accounts for almost 70% of residential water use. This is a very high number and is not necessary to be that high. Look at Landscaping 101 for proper plant selection and watch out for upcoming plant tips.
Install gutters to start. This should be a basic feature of each house, but the building code does not require them….so request them from your design professional and builder or retrofit them if applicable.
Once installed, channel the water and make it work for you. Rain gardens are a great way to have some more intense landscaping. You can create a natural pond and have it overflow into a gravel bed or other water managing feature.
If possible, collect the water. Rain barrels are cheap and there are many affordable options (http://www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com/). You can of course also create your own with any size barrel, a hose bib and some wire mesh as a filer. Here is a good YouTube clip for a how to build your own (the 40% do apply to the rest of the nation, we are closer to the noted 70%): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGFDlkJOdaM .
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Thanks, Mark Hockenberry