Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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

     
    Davis school nurses are stretched thin

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Wright resigns his seat in California Senate

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Dempsey: If campaign fails, ground troops possible

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Scotland took long road to independence vote

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Sierra Club gathers for morning walks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    DPNS has afternoon openings

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Paws for Thought: Socialize your new pup at UCD’s Yappy Hour

    By Evelyn Dale | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    DHS parents go back to school

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    New DHS Hall-of-Famers

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A3

    Exploration of dementia lecture set for Sept. 25

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sick-pay benefits expanded to millions

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A4

     
    Bad roads cost Californians billions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Farmers market continues at Sutter Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County’s looking for a few good advisers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Search the Internet at Connections Café

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Garage, bake sales benefit outdoor education trip

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

    Sutter qigong classes start Sept. 22

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Halloween costume sale benefits preschool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Hundreds flee wildfires; homes burn

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Harmony Award nominations sought

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Da Vinci seniors take on Constitution essay

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Sounds like a swell party

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Maybe not the best rebound guy

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Nate Beeler cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Many reasons to back Sunder

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    I support Madhavi Sunder

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    A leader with heart and vision

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Carbon fee and dividend plan is the answer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Open Cup final has local flavor

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1

     
    Devil volleyball victories keep piling up

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS needs just 10 boys to top Elk Grove

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Finding the good in a tough DHS football loss

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

    More pressure on QB would be nice for Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Raber: glad to join in bringing readers golf column

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1

    Highlights galore in Junior Blue Devil weekend

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Big Monday for Masiel as DHS golfers win league opener

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Jane Eyre’ to screen at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Anais Mitchell to play Third Space

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    ‘Shrek, The Musical’ shines at DMTC

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Irish fiddlers come to Davis house show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Jenny Lynn and Her Real Gone Daddies play at Picnic in the Park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Woodland artist hosts event at her new studio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7