Master Gardeners teach dry can be vibrant

Master Gardeners teach dry can be vibrant
Posted on 06/16/2022
Master Gardeners urge residents to use native plants in gardens. (Photo courtesy of El Paso Master Gardeners)

El Paso Water and El Paso Master Gardeners have joined to teach area enthusiasts that dry gardens can be beautiful.

Gardeners in the Chihuahuan Desert are learning through a series of free workshops around El Paso that they can create lush, colorful landscapes using native, water-wise plants.

(Gardening Resources Outreach Workshops and Seminars) GROWS

“Colorful and attractive plants don’t have to take hundreds of gallons of water a month to keep alive,” said Water Conservation Technician Alex Fashing, who serves as project liaison. “Landscape irrigation accounts for 1/3 of all domestic water use in the United States. Irrigation conservation is a very important conversation to be having.”

Alison Wells, Water Conservation Coordinator for El Paso Master Gardeners, said the water conservation series targets working adults looking to maximize their gardening hobby. Workshops will be offered throughout the year on evenings and weekends, and future events around El Paso may be tracked via or

The next workshop will be at 11 a.m. July 9 at the TecH2O Learning Center, focusing on water-efficient planting using containers and raised beds.

“This is public education on how people can embrace conserving water in our region and introduce these practices into their own yards and landscapes,” Wells said. “Through this exciting partnership with El Paso Water, our Master Gardener educators offer research-based information to equip other gardeners with the tools and resources to conserve water.”

In appreciation

Water Conservation Technician Alex Fashing (far right) answers questions about El Paso Water's portfolio of water resources during a workshop. Attendee Rose Cole said she has attended all three so far and would recommend the workshops.

“I find these rewarding and have learned so many things,” she said, adding she keeps track of the workshops so she and husband Lewis Cole, a Master Gardener, can attend.

Ultimately, Fashing hopes that gardeners can appreciate that a water-wise yard can be more aesthetically pleasing than the classic green lawn, adding that native landscaping keeps desert pollinators healthy.

“Water conservation is one of the most important things we can do to ensure our future water supply,” Fashing said. “Incorporating conservation techniques into gardening and landscaping is something that beginners and advanced gardeners alike can accomplish easily.”

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