Drought,have You been Affected?

wci-chop-2.jpgI’d like to hear from some of you who live in parts of the country where drought has been a problem this year. I keep hearing about problems,and how water restrictions have really changed how some folks look at their landscaping.

Knowing that, I am curious about a few things, and have some questions.

  • How has it affected your business?
  • Has it affected your business?
  • Have you changed how you design?
  • Are you doing anything differently?
  • How about those other Designers in you area-have they changed?
  • Will it change you permanently?

It’s fine if you answer in the comments, or just drop me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing some of your experiences.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

1 comment

  1. Hi Rick,

    I reside and work as a Landscape Designer outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. There has definitely been a drought here.

    Providing complete designs for my Clients, there is usually a mix of many elements…plantings being one of them. By the time we were in a real drought, I had no planting installations going on. Many were already completed.

    For others, there were and are other things to do before the plantings were to go in. I have a few Clients at the moment for which I have done driveway designs, walkway designs and patio designs, along with plantings. They have chosen to install these parts of the design and hold off until spring for the planting installations.

    Thus, I am finding that it has affected the landscapers I work with. They are not installing any plants now. On the other side, they have more time for hardscape installations, such as walkways and patios. Actually, they are anxious for the work.

    I don’t have many Clients that are concerned about future drought conditions. I think many feel that it is a condition of this year (not remembering clearly droughts of the past perhaps).

    I am concerned, however. It’s not pleasant to consider the possibilities of plants not performing their best in future seasons, or at worst, not performing at all! Although I don’t follow xeriscaping completely, I do try to include plants that will take drought conditions.

    Along with classifications of particular plants as to the type of conditions they need, I use plants in my own garden as a guide. I have found there are many that will do well with little water. I have Nepeta ‘ Walker’s Low’ which provides an almost continuous season of bloom and is still flowering. It has received very little water and still looks good. In addition, my Butterfly Bush has also done well under the same conditions. The annual, Verbena, did not suffer at all.

    Many established shrubs are real troupers, so my feeling is if they can get appropriate amounts of water in the beginning, they will do well in years of drought. That does not solve the problem if those first years are drought years though. Japanese Holly, Blue Holly, Burning Bush, and Boxwood are some examples.

    It is clear that if landscapes were comprised of drought tolerant plants, things would be easier. Yet it does take the enjoyment out of having others exciting plants. Perhaps a mix, with the majority surviving dry conditions is somewhat of a solution. Lawns can be a problem, but then again, if they are ignored, they will return. Additional hardscape is a very poor choice. It’s bad for the environment, it’s costly, and…well, just “hard” looking. Hardscape should be used where functional and aesthetic only.

    These are just some of my thoughts. I have been enjoying your Blog!

    Great comments, thanks for taking the time and sharing your situation and your thoughts on this matter, i had hope that more folks in the drought areas would have left remarks in the comment area. Again, thanks.


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