We were in The Villages, FL last weekend. I’m always amazed at the beauty of the plants along roadsides and around commercial areas, but over the last year I’ve noticed a definite change in the types of plants used. Increasingly, public area plants have been converted to those that require less water.
The Home & Garden section of The Villages’ Daily Sun newspaper (4/3/2010) described water-wise practices The Villages management is following. The article defined water-wise plants as “those that can take water one day a week”.
The article suggested that if residents of The Villages watch the changes in the public areas, that it will help residents to select appropriate water-wise plants for their yards. Water-wise plants recommended are Indian hawthorn (see photo), Parson’s juniper, dwarf Walter’s viburnum, and variegated Dianella, also known as blueberry flax lily. Liriope is a good grass to use as a border plant.
The article emphasized that water-wise plants need regular watering until they are established, but most will survive on rainfall alone, except in drought years when additional irrigation by watering systems is needed.
I find it encouraging that such a large management corporation is making an effort to be water-wise, although I’m sure one of the main factors is that it reduces their budget for water just as it reduces the water budget for residents of The Villages.