Port Royal is planning to create a native-plant demonstration project at its Arboretum off Fort Walker Drive to help promote water-efficient landscape concepts. Lyn Taylor of Reflection Design & Landscapes has created a site plan for the Arboretum that features a wide array of South Carolina native plants. Hilton Head Island typically sees 40-60% of its annual drinking water demand used for residential landscape irrigation.
“We are asking residents to help turn around our paradigm of intensive landscape irrigation here on the island,” said Pete Nardi, Hilton Head PSD General Manager. “The same water that we produce and treat for drinking water is what’s being sprayed on our residential lawns and landscapes. Water is a precious natural resource and our efficient use of it today plays an important role in preserving it for future generations.”
Port Royal wants to help show that water-efficient landscapes can be beautiful and beneficial. The project will feature native plants that are drought tolerant, low maintenance, aesthetically pleasing and offer support to our native wildlife. Native plants generally require less watering, little or no fertilization, and less pesticides and fungicides.
“We are so pleased to announce that we are now partnering with Port Royal Plantation to create an educational garden within their Arboretum to promote water conservation,” said Taylor. “This newly designed section of the Arboretum will use a variety of evergreen and deciduous, flowering native plants that are beautiful and drought tolerant. Many of these plants are perfectly suited to be included in your home landscapes.”
The PSD asks residents to follow the Island ordinance that restricts irrigation to no more than two days a week at all times and requires a functioning rain sensor on all irrigation systems. The PSD also asks residents to perform a check-up on those systems at least once a year; Make sure the heads are intact and effectively positioned, to avoid watering concrete and asphalt and other impervious surfaces.
The PSD also encourages residents to learn about water-efficient landscape practices by checking out the Clemson Extension Service’s “Carolina Yards” program at clemson.edu/extension/carolinayards/. The South Carolina Native Plant Society is a great resource for learning about our abundance of beautiful native plants and ideas for water-smart landscapes, at: scnps.org. Please visit the “Conservation” menu at hhpsd.com for more information.
“We are excited to develop a ‘Carolina Yard’ concept in the Port Royal Plantation arboretum,” said Port Royal General Manager Lance Pyle. “The ‘Carolina Yard’ will use native plants that require less irrigation/water and reduce maintenance. This display will be available for landowners to visit and collect ideas for their landscaping projects.” PSD Commissioner Patti Soltys, a Port Royal resident, has helped facilitate the project.
“I’m really proud to see Port Royal engaging in this important initiative to do the right thing for our environment by providing examples for residents to plant native plants and reduce water use,” she said. “Our hope is to see this initiative be a positive example that spreads to other neighborhoods as well.”