Water-wise landscaping in the Sierra Foothills

AN ABUNDANCE OF LAKES, RIVERS, streams and ponds have defined our region’s geography and culture for generations. This also is reflected in the landscaping and design around our homes and businesses: lush lawns, water features, water-loving trees and shrubs.

But a prolonged drought is forcing us to rethink our commercial and residential landscapes, often the site of our “staycations.” State officials have imposed mandatory water restrictions on residents, businesses and farms, ordering cities and towns to reduce usage by 25 percent.

The bad news is there’s a crisis. The good news is you can do something about it. Landscapers skilled in drought-tolerant landscaping, drip irrigation, water-efficient nozzles, “smart” timers and other affordable, water-wise gadgets are helping to redefine landscaping and design in our region — from Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville; to Auburn, Grass Valley and Nevada City; to Truckee and Tahoe.

One of the leaders in water-wise landscaping is Weiss Landscaping in Nevada City. With three generations of landscaping experience, Weiss has been transforming outdoor spaces into drought-resistant gardens. Its leaders — Adam Weiss, Brian Coalson and Bob Zucca — reflect the kind of professional talent that is helping to regenerate our region, just like the local architects and others.

“We create landscapes where you can feel the water, without the usage,” says Adam, who is president. “It can be beautiful and pleasing to the eye without being a desert landscape.”

One example is a water feature that Weiss exhibited at the Nevada County Fair. It included a waterfall but conserved water with a recirculating pump and liner in the pool below. The landscaping also included artificial turf, with a putting green, and drought-resistant plants. A similar exhibit is planned at this year’s county fair.

Throughout Nevada County and outlying areas, Weiss has been re-landscaping, adding water-wise sprinklers, creating Japanese-inspired gardens or adding a little curb appeal to homes, all with a water-wise philosophy. They also can replace your lawn with with rock, bark and drought-resistant native plants.

Weiss also has been working with the Nevada Irrigation District in Nevada County to create a demonstration garden at its headquarters, including displaying some of the water-wise products.


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