Sunday, February 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Local landscape shows how to reduce water use

Truscott landscapeW

Rozanne geranium and Elvira red hot poker are among the low-water-use plants in Marq and Rachel Truscott's landscape at their home at 233 B St. in downtown Davis. Labels identify the plants and QR codes allow smartphone users to look up more about them online. Courtesy photo

By Anne Schellman

Marq and Rachel Truscott wanted to replace their Davis lawn and water-thirsty plants with a new, low-maintenance landscape that saved water. Marq is on the Advisory Committee of the California Center for Urban Horticulture at UC Davis and he wanted to support one of the center’s missions: to help Californians develop more water-conserving, pest-resistant and disease-resistant home gardens.

In 2013, the Truscotts offered to use their front yard on B Street in downtown Davis as a demonstration landscape with the goal of showing that water-conserving plants can be attractive providing seasonal color and interest throughout the year.

The first step the couple took was to decide what kind of irrigation system to use. Both are landscape professionals, so they knew that in order to create a low-water landscape they needed irrigation technology designed to be as water-efficient as possible.

“Many people are unsure of how to program a traditional irrigation controller,” Marq said. “I think ‘smart’ irrigation controllers are the best choice because they do the work for you. I really believe they are the future of landscape irrigation.”

Those interested in purchasing a “smart” controller should consult an irrigation professional on the appropriate controller for their landscape and for proper installation and setup.

Marq and Rachel chose an irrigation system created by Hunter called the “Eco-Mat,” which is a drip system with tubing inside a mat that evenly disperses water. The mat is installed about 6 to 8 inches below the surface of the soil, so initial plantings needed overhead water until they were established.

Currently, the California Center for Urban Horticulture is working alongside researchers at UC Davis to find plants tolerant of reduced irrigation. Plants are observed over a two-year period and assessed for their ability to thrive under heat and drought conditions.

The Truscott landscape utilizes some of the plants from these research trials, including Tutti Fruitti butterfly bush (Buddleja Tutti Fruitti), peaches and cream honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum peaches and cream) and dwarf mat rush (Lomandra longifolia).

One of the plants used in the Truscott landscape that is currently being tested is Kurapia (Lippa nodiflora Campagna Verde), a ground cover developed in Japan for use in drought conditions. Research done at UC Riverside found Kurapia to be one of three top-performing ground covers out of 19 chosen for a study on water efficiency. Additional Kurapia information can be found at www.kurapia.com.

Aside from working with researchers in collaboration on plant trials, the California Center for Urban Horticulture is also a partner with the UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars program. The All-Stars are a group of 100 plants evaluated by horticulturalists for their ability to thrive in California’s Mediterranean climate.

Some of the All-Stars in the Truscott landscape are Concha ceanothus (Ceanothus Concha), California fuchsia (Epilobium canum Sierra salmon) and Lenten Rose (Helleborus x hybridus).

The Truscott landscape is at 233 B St. in downtown Davis and can be seen during daylight hours. Labels identify the plants and QR codes allow smartphone users to look up more about them online. Stop by and observe the plants to see if any would work well in your landscape.

The Arboretum All-Stars are also available at the Friends of the Arboretum plant sales in spring and fall. Learn more at http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Well-loved library has services for all ages

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    The end of an era for The Enterprise, as pressroom closes

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Jewish fraternity vandalism classified a hate crime

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Islamists post beheading video

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    More than a foot of snow possible for Midwest, Northeast

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Kudos to the Thomsons

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

     
     
    UCD Med Center patient tested negative for Ebola

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Arboretum ‘I do’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    The story of Mark and Maria

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Summer lovin’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Stories come alive at the library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Japanese students seek Davis host families

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    And bingo was the game-o

    By Tate Perez | From Page: A9

    Lee will speak Wednesday about city issues

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Training starts Tuesday for Jepson Prairie Preserve tour guides

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Lecture looks at women in Egypt

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Stepping Stones supports grieving youths

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Tuleyome Tales: Searching for the elusive McNab cypress

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Questions and answers about breast cancer set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Davis Arts Center welcomes students’ work

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Forum

    Three old ideas going, going, gone

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A10

     
    How much drinking is too much?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    One-way street solves dilemma

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Council, follow your own policies

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Ensure that you’re protected against measles

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    Act would let patients control their own fates

    By Our View | From Page: A12

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

    They’re experienced and honest

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Toy drive was a big success

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Wi-Fi in our schools could result in health impacts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

     
    Life goes on in Rutilio Grande, despite country’s gang violence

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13 | Gallery

    .

    Sports

    Depth charge: DHS girls defeat Elk Grove

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devil boys lose on Herd’s buzzer-beating trey

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD women survive against winless UCSB

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Foursome will represent Davis at national soccer tournament

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD roundup: Aggies make a racket but fall to Sac State, Pacific

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Kings get past Pacers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Sharks blank Blackhawks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Ullrich Delevati, CPAs, adds senior accountant

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    And the survey says: Success for Davis Chamber

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

    Putah Creek Winery launches ‘Give Back Tuesday’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    Doby Fleeman: Toward a more perfect Davis

    By Doby Fleeman | From Page: A12

    Novozymes, Cargill continue bio-acrylic acid partnership as BASF exits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

     
    Seminar will cover business challenges

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13

    Japanese fondue dips into Davis scene

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, February 1, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8