Plant the Water First: Landscaping for an Arid Climate
Jun 02, 2022
Charlene Westgate
Plant the Water First: Landscaping for an Arid Climate

Plant the Water First: Landscaping for an Arid Climate

     Charlene Westgate is owner of Westgate Garden Design, an ecological landscape design firm in Green Valley, creating beautiful landscapes in harmony with nature. By making Nature an ally in the design process, landscapes are not only more attractive but are easier and less expensive to maintain, save water, and provide greater year-round enjoyment.

     Charlene is a proud Rotarian, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Green Valley where she serves on their Foundation Board. Charlene stays active in the community as a member of the Board of the Green Valley-Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce, and the Green Valley Council’s Architecture and Planning Committee and the Park Advisory Board. Westgate Garden Design was named the Chamber Home Based Business of the year in 2017, and the Pima County Rural Small Business of the Year in 2019.

     In a region where water is becoming more scarce and outdoor water use accounts for as much as 70 percent of our residential water consumption, rain gardens provide a beautiful solution. A rain garden, also known as passive water harvesting, is “a simple depression in the ground that becomes a watery oasis every time it rains.”

     Rainwater harvesting earthworks contour the soil to make use of rainwater runoff. This approach adds interest to the landscape, saves water and reduces our reliance on groundwater, while providing plants with free, clean, salt-free water.

     Best of all, rain gardens are an easy and impactful way that we Rotarians can contribute to the environment—one of Rotary International’s Areas of Focus—and to do it in our own backyard.