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San Diego’s New Water Conservation Garden

Articles: San Diego’s New Water Conservation Garden

A dry streambed of pebbles and boulders leads past the watering can kiosk through the entry gates to a small pool filled by a trickle of water from an aqueduct pipe. Photographs by Robert E Younger
Where water is missing, life is all but impossible. Where water is scarce, nature improvises.
Plants, soil, light, air—and water: the timeless ingredients of a garden. Arid Southern California challenges gardeners to create pleasing outdoor spaces with only a trickle of rain and minimal dependence on precious imported water supplies. It’s an ambitious but rewarding task for those savvy enough to take advantage of nature’s own water-saving adaptations and apply proven principles of water-wise gardening.

That is the premise behind The Water Conservation Garden, four acres of interpretive exhibits and commentary located on the campus of Cuyamaca College, just east of San Diego. Far from the stereotypical rocks and cactus most people envision as low-water landscaping, The Water Conservation Garden proves handsomely that savvy planning, intelligent maintenance, and carefully chosen irrigation methods can yield beauti...

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