I am sure that you have heard by now -- “the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has found that adding the monarch butterfly to the list of threatened and endangered species is warranted but precluded by work on higher-priority listing actions. With this decision, the monarch becomes a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act…(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Press Release, Dec. 2020)” Essentially that means that as the number 8 candidate on the list, data on the monarch butterfly will be periodically reviewed until it either reaches the top of the list, recovers or becomes extinct. With the numbers of both Eastern and Western Monarchs dramatically plummeting across the entire North American continent, many question the ruling.
If you’re like me, there are always holes to fill in the garden -- a bare spot here that needs to be filled or a suffering plant that needs to be put out of its misery and replaced. In the past, I tended to pop in annuals for their cheerful bursts of color. This year, after seeing the impacts of a region coping with a long-term drought, my goals for my garden have changed. Instead of being seduced by water-guzzling beauties, I am going to search for plants that give me water-wise beauty and sustainability.
In the best of times, keeping a summer garden fresh and appealing is a challenge. This year, with half of the lower forty-eight states experiencing unusual heat patterns and moderate to severe drought, the challenges are even greater. There are, however, environmentally friendly ways to keep your garden blooming throughout the dog days of summer.
One of the first places to begin implementing water-wise techniques is your lawn. Ironically, , watering your lawn is an important way to conserve water. An irrigation system, when designed and installed by well-trained, knowledgeable technicians, can save the client time, effort and money all the while protecting an extremely valuable natural resource.