2011 Tucson Regional Xeriscape Contest Is Underway!

By: Christina L. Bickelmann

In partnership with the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, Tohono Chul Park, and the Tucson Botanical Gardens, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is hosting the Eleventh Annual Xeriscape Landscape Contest for professionals and homeowners.

We are searching for water smart landscapes that feature native and low water use plants, attract wildlife, irrigate with rainwater and/or graywater, and have efficient irrigation systems and schedules.

There are separate design categories for homeowners, community projects and professionally designed residential and commercial landscapes.

Landscapes must be at least 2 years old. A newer landscape can still qualify if it has attained a mature look through the use of salvaged plants or larger nursery stock.

Winners will be selected based on their successful understanding and incorporation of Xeriscape principles:

• Water conserving design with all turf, water intensive plants, pools and water features
located in the Oasis Zone

• Plant selections include Sonoran and/or Chihuahuan desert natives as part of the total
palette of low-water, drought tolerant and non-invasive vegetation

• All plants should be zoned by water use and irrigated accordingly

• Irrigation must be efficient and based on plant water use requirements, soil types,
seasonal water requirements, microclimates and other unique site conditions

• Incorporation of rainwater harvesting and/or graywater reuse for irrigation

• Use of mulch and/or soil improvements to retain moisture and reduce evaporation

• Demonstration of proper maintenance practices.

Homeowner Category

Win a Rainwater Harvesting Cistern!

The landscape must have been substantially designed, installed and maintained by a homeowner. Homes can be single-family, condominium, town house, or manufactured. The homeowner grand prize will be a 200-gallon water harvesting barrel and rain chain, or a 300 gallon Raincatcher tank, winner’s choice! Entry Fee $10

All homeowner entries will receive a subscription to Tucson Lifestyle Home & Garden Magazine, a cactus dish garden courtesy of Bach’s Cactus Nursery; and a Southern Arizona Water Wise CD which contains information on over 700 low water use plants suitable for Southern Arizona; photos of outstanding gardens and photo galleries with inspiring design ideas.

New this year, a separate category for schools and community projects!

Any Xeriscape-inspired community landscape project or school landscape in the greater Tucson area designed and installed by a group of volunteers, students, teachers, or parents without the services of
a professional landscape designer.

Professionally Designed and Installed Landscapes Winners will be granted the use of the 2011 Xeriscape Contest Winner logo for advertising purposes! Judges will give awards at their discretion based on the quality of the entries in each professional category. $75 per Entry.

Special awards:
The Community Xeriscape Leader Award recognizes an individual or organization that has been a driving force in promoting Xeriscape principles and/or the use of native and arid-adapted plants, and the ìJ.D. Di Meglio- Artistry in Landscaping Awardî honors J.D.’s memory, and is given at the judge’s discretion to either a homeowner or professional entry.

Awards Ceremony and Exhibitors:

Winners will be announced at the award ceremony on June 4, in the Warden Oasis Theater at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The event is part of the first Summer Saturday Evening of
the season. After the awards ceremony there will be an opportunity to meet with local landscape designers as well as irrigation, water harvesting and lighting specialists to learn about Xeriscape design from the experts. Additional prizes will be given as part of a drawing to those who visit exhibitors in the exhibit hall. Prizes include15 gallon low-water use trees; 4’ Yucca rostrata’s valued at $300 each and
$100 dollar gift certificates for low water use plants. Interested in being an exhibitor? For information or to reserve your table, call (520) 880-3010,
space is limited! Entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. April 25, 2011. For information, rules, entry forms and prizes, or to nominate a 2011 Community Xeriscape Leader visit

desertmuseum.org/xeriscape/ or call (520) 880-3010.

Major Sponsors:

The New Southwest – Healthy Lifestyles for Contemporary Living
92.9 The Mountain
Tucson Lifestyle Home & Garden
Mountain States Wholesale Nursery
Tucson Water
Silverbell Nursery
Oasis Water Harvesting
Civano Nursery
Metro Water District

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