How to build a garden to withstand the Pacific Northwest’s hotter and drier climate

Until rain began falling Friday, the only thing coming from the skies across western Washington lately has been ash. Anxious homeowners have been glancing at their landscaping the last couple of weeks and filling online garden forums with questions about drought, fires and ash.


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But garden experts say there’s little to worry about — if you’ve been caring for your plants. And there are steps to take to make a drought resistant garden.

Western Washington is experiencing “abnormally dry” weather, according to the Pacific Northwest Drought Early Warning System, a collaborative government effort that monitors weather conditions for the Columbia River basin and surrounding region, including all of Washington state.

Central Washington is experiencing a moderate to severe drought, according to DEWS. Many parts of Oregon are in extreme drought.

Get used to it, experts say. It’s climate change.

“It’s definitely gotten hotter,” said Linda Chalker-Scott, a Washington State University professor, urban horticulturist and author. “Maybe not every summer. But when you look at long term trends, we know that the average temperature is going up in summer, and we’re getting less rainfall.”

There’s nothing from stopping homeowners from watering their thirsty landscapes, except maybe the water bill. But, Chalker-Scott suggests planning and planting landscapes that are less dependent on supplemental water.

The weather has changed to the point where spring planting season is something to be avoided unless gardeners are installing a vegetable garden or putting in annuals, she said.

“Spring is a really bad time to plant. Summer is the only worst time,” Chalker-Scott said. “The tree is not able to put out a lot of root growth because there’s just not enough water to support that.”

Instead, fall and winter are the seasons that are best for planting trees, shrubs and perennials. She suggests mid-October as the start of the planting season. Even deciduous plants, those that lose their leaves, will grow roots during fall and winter.

Fall colors might be arriving sooner than usual, said garden designer and author Sue Goetz.

“Some trees kick out fall color early if they are super stressed,” Goetz said. “If trees are stressed, it is usually because they are newly planted in the last few years and just need to get their roots deep in the ground.”

Homeowners concerned about fire should concentrate on where they plant more than what they plant. Chalker-Scott debunks lists of “flammable plants” put out by governments and other agencies.

“It’s just not really based on science,” she said. “It’s based on anecdote, just conjecture, nothing else.”

Fire defense experts suggest creating a defensible space around homes that might be subject to wildfires.

Homeowners concerned about air quality should plant more trees, Goetz said.

“It is well studied how dramatically trees can help reduce air pollution,” she said. “So, I imagine our large trees are working hard.”

Keeping plants healthy means avoiding bare earth, Chalker-Scott said. The best way to do that is with ground cover or mulch. She recommends wood chips, not

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LIXIL announces winners for Asia Pacific Property Awards 2020-21

LIXIL continues to empower the real estate sector as a headline sponsor for the Asia Pacific Property Awards

TOKYO, Sept. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — LIXIL, maker of pioneering water and housing products, in partnership with the Asia Pacific Property Awards, today announced the winners for this year’s edition.

Asia Pacific Property Awards 2020-2021

This year there are 628 winners from across Asia Pacific in the Architecture, Development, Interior Design and Real Estate categories. Mainland China swept the maximum awards (146 awards) followed by Thailand (69 awards). This was closely chased by Singapore (58 awards) and Hong Kong (54 awards). Other important markets including Vietnam (44 awards), India (26 awards), Philippines (26 awards) and Indonesia (27 awards) also made a mark at this year’s edition.

In this globally challenging time, the award ceremony was held online and saw the congregation of many renowned names in the architecture and design community. All the top winners for 2020-2021 in the Asia Pacific region will be a part of the International Awards, celebrating their achievements in a virtual ceremony held on 7 September 2020. The Asia Pacific Property Awards are one of the biggest and most established awards in the industry, receiving over 900 entries each year from countries across the entire region. The awards provide recognition to the best companies operating within the architecture, interior design, real estate and property developer sectors. Sponsored by LIXIL Asia through its power brands GROHE and American Standard as part of a three-year partnership as Headline Sponsor from 2019 until 2021, the Asia Pacific Property Awards are the largest branch of the International Property Awards (IPA).

LIXIL, as a global market leader in the water technology industry, recognises the increasing concern around hygiene globally and is pre-empting consumers’ needs for touchless, IoT enabled, hygiene solutions (technologies and products). Through its portfolio of power brands, LIXIL offers pioneering technologies that promote health, hygiene, comfort and sustainability. Each of the power brands have their own star products, including American Standard HygieneClean Technology, award-winning Genie hand shower and Aqua Ceramic; GROHE SmartControl Kitchen Collection and sensor faucets; INAX 3in1Jet Bowl; as well as the SPALET range and the recently launched SATO Tap. Against the backdrop and uncertainties of an ongoing global pandemic, the awards mark a celebratory milestone for the community and for LIXIL Asia to continue providing consumer-centric products across different price points, designs and technologies.

Satoshi Konagai, CEO of LIXIL Water Technology Asia Pacific, expressed, “We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the winners and hope that this memorable moment will be a reminder that good design will shine even during tough times. At LIXIL, consumer centricity is a big part of who we are and what we do as a purpose-driven company. Our industry leading brands cater to consumers across all lifestyle needs, from affordable to luxury ranges, functional to precision technology, and classic to modern design. By awarding these professionals with this industry honour, we want to empower them to rise

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