Both Dallas and Plano are hosting waterwise landscaping tours in October. Above, a xeriscaped yard on Robin Meadow Drive in Dallas. Courtesy of the city of Dallas.
Oct. 10, 2017
Summer’s over and yards still thriving after weeks of 90 to 100 degree temperatures are true survivors.
That’s why it’s the best time of year to show off native and adapted plants that can stand up to the Texas heat.
This month, two local waterwise tours will be held that showcase these resilient gardens – one in Dallas, one in Plano. Both are free.
DALLAS' DROUGHT-TOLERANT DEMOS
On Saturday, Oct. 14, the 23rd annual Dallas Waterwise Landscape Tour will be hosted by the city of Dallas Water Utilities and Park and Recreation Departments and the Dallas County Master Gardeners.
Whimsical landscaping on Lyre Lane in Dallas.
For more than 20 years, the event was held in the spring when gardens are typically prospering due to cooler temperatures and occasional rain.
“Last year, we decided to change the date to the fall to show that water-wise landscapes that use native and adapted plants survive the heat of the summer and still look good," said Noel Nielson, coordinator for the city of Dallas.
Waterwise landscapes are defined as landscapes that use native and adapted plants, compost and mulch and less turf, and require very little supplemental watering. Some use rain barrels and drip irrigation as well.
The pollinator garden at Tenison Park is on the Dallas tour.
This year’s tour will include 11 residential landscapes and three school and demonstration gardens.
Nielson said the homes are selected through a call for entries and recommendations from Dallas County Master Gardeners.
“This year a group of Dallas County Master Gardeners judged the landscapes,” Nielson said.
PLUCKY PLANO PLANTS
On Oct. 21, the city of Plano is hosting its fifth annual Waterwise Landscape Tour. Katie Masucci, city of Plano Environmental Education Coordinator, said this year’s tour will include five homes in addition to the city of Plano’s Environmental Education Center.
The free self-guided event will feature native plants, reduced turf, attractive hardscapes, composting, rainwater harvesting, vegetable gardens and pollinator gardens, according to Masucci.
Demonstration gardens at the Plano Environmental Education Center.
There will also be free plant lists and other resources, including gardening experts to answer questions on landscape design, plant selection, irrigation and composting.
The Plano Waterwise tour started in the summer five years ago. It was held in the spring one year before organizers moved it to the fall.
“We piloted the fall tour in 2015. It worked well, so we decided to only offer the fall tour,” Masucci said. “We wanted to showcase plants that thrived over the hot, dry summer without substantial water use. Also, it seemed there were fewer conflicts with other kinds of events in the fall.”
As for how homes are selected, Masucci said some of the homeowners asked to be on the tour while others were sought out by tour organizers.
“Sometimes we spot prospective homes while out and about. Sometimes folks will tell us about a home we should consider. We mail letters and knock on doors to gauge their interest.”
All the homes chosen for the Plano tour include the use of plants and practices that work in conjunction with nature, increase variety and decrease irrigation needs.
“A waterwise yard, while being beautiful, is maintainable and sustainable.”
Dallas Waterwise Landscape Tour
About: 23rd annual self-guided tour featuring 11 residential and 3 school/demonstration gardens using native ad adapted plants and other water saving features. The first 500 visitors at the tour headquarters will receive a free hose-end spray nozzle.
When: Oct. 14, 2017, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Plano Waterwise Landscape Tour
About: Fifth annual tour featuring five homes and the Plano Environmental Education Center, which serves as the tour headquarters
When: October 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.