“If you want to know the value of water, try not having any.”

Bobby Markowitz, ASLA, President/CEO Earthcraft Landscape Design, Soquel, CA

Do you know what to do if you’re denied the use of irrigation for the properties you’re designing landscapes for? Do you have the knowledge and skills to triage an existing landscape when water is restricted or denied?

In the 21st century, we’ve been in drought 76% of the time. So you could say California is trending hotter and drier. In late 2021, before the first atmospheric river flowed through and dumped its liquid refreshment mostly on the northern portion of our parched state, communities were losing their access to irrigation. 

The Town of Healdsburg denied use of irrigation back in June of 2021. Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) is prohibiting irrigation from December 1, 2021 through the end of May 2022. In Humboldt, the main water source was almost completely dry last fall. In the Central Valley, wells were running dry, and the land is subsiding radically from overdraft of groundwater. And Southern California water districts may be facing a 0% allocation of water from the State Water Project for 2022.

With the prevalence of drought, increasing population, and impending statewide restrictions and water budgets, you absolutely need to add new knowledge and skills to your tool set. Lori Palmquist, Dave Phelps, and Sarah Sutton have created courses that will show you that it’s possible to design for little or no available water. Dry landscaping doesn’t have to mean gravel and cactus. 

Taking these courses will help you future-proof your landscapes and your business. Dave, Sarah, and Lori will point you to the plants, land-shaping strategies, alternative water sources, and temporary irrigation setups that will yield beautiful, natural gardens that will make your heart sing. 

We Introduce Our Courses

Dave, Lori, and Sarah talk about their courses

Who these courses are for

We have created content suitable for:

  • Landscape designers and landscape architects
  • Design-build contractors
  • Maintenance gardeners
  • Students in the landscape professions
  • Property and account managers who oversee landscapes
  • Architects/engineers who want to know more about water-conserving landscape approaches 

Who these courses are not for

Homeowners and those who do not design or maintain landscapes

Launch your skills into orbit with three new courses and three instructors!

We're coming at you with THREE powerful online courses that will send your practice into the stratosphere!

Let us show you how to swiftly and capably handle water restrictions. Whether you're designing landscapes or maintaining them, we can help you with tools and methods for saving your landscapes.

Sarah Sutton headshot
Lori Palmquist

Lori teaches the Irrigation Design and Scheduling online course. See her course description and more about Lori here.

Headshot of Dave Phelps
Dave Phelps

Dave teaches the Alternative Water Sources online course. See his course description and more about Dave here.

Sarah Sutton

Sarah teaches the Plant Selection and Design online course. See her course description and more about Sarah here.

Our Promise to You

All three instructors promise to:

  1. Be available for three weeks after courses launch (March 8 through March 29) to answer questions and respond to comments online.
  2. Hold two optional Zoom sessions where you may join in the conversation or ask questions:
  • Zoom session #1: Tuesday, March 15 at 10:00 am
  • Zoom session #2: Tuesday, March 22 at 6:00 pm

Tech Note: These courses are best taken on desktop or laptop computers. There is an iOS app available, but images may not all be visible.

Courses Still Open for Registration!

You haven't the missed the boat. The instructors are promising lively, rapid engagement until March 29. After that, they'll still respond to comments, as time allows.

Or ...

Banner photo of garden at top of this page courtesy of