In an effort to acknowledge the benefits and beauty of xeriscape gardening in our semi-arid climate, the San Diego County Water Authority presented awards for winning designs at the San Diego County Fair. On June 14, a total of $1,500 in awards were given to six exhibits that best displayed xeriscape gardening and succulent gardening.
The show was open to contestants in three categories: commercial (landscape architects, nurseries, and contractors); non-commercial (individuals, garden clubs, societies, colleges); and youth (any student group or club through high school). Xeriscape and succulent gardens were judged separately. Judging was done by the Xeriscape Council in cooperation with the Water Authority. Awards were only given for gardens that met the standards of an exemplary display.
The 2002 xeriscape garden awards were presented to Escondido High School Future Farmers of America, first place ($300), youth; Fallbrook High School Future Farmers of America, second place ($200), youth; Palomar Cactus and Succulent Society, first place ($300), non-commercial; and Quail Botanical Gardens, second place ($200), non-commercial. Two succulent garden awards were given to Solana Succulents, first place ($300), commercial; and Palomar Cactus and Succulent Society, second place ($200), non-commercial.
The xeriscape garden awards were given for environments that displayed a range of attributes that contribute to a water-wise, yet beautiful outdoor landscape. The seven principles of xeriscape gardening include: planning and design, soil analysis, appropriate plant selection, practical turf areas, efficient irrigation, use of mulches and appropriate maintenance.
The San Diego County Water Authority is also hosting an exhibit just steps away from the garden displays in the O'Brien Pavilion. The exhibit area features a different Water Authority member agency each day and includes displays on xeriscape gardening. A key message at the exhibit is that more than 60 percent of the water used by homeowners is spent irrigating lawns and landscaping. Water conservation has never been more important than it is today. The Water Authority promotes conservation through nine different programs, ranging from agricultural water management to providing vouchers for high efficiency washing machines and low-flush toilets.
The San Diego County Water Authority is a public agency serving the San Diego region as a wholesale supplier of water from Northern California and the Colorado River. The Water Authority works through its 23 member agencies to provide a safe, reliable water supply to almost three million county residents.
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