Foundations of Water-Wise Garden Design
Course opens May 3, 2024
$79.99 - ON SALE NOW!

In this online course, you will learn how to make the most of rainfall by implementing strategies that keep rainwater on-site. You will discover ways to minimize the need for supplemental irrigation while building drought resiliency in the landscape. The lessons learned will give you the confidence to create sustainable spaces in your yard, whether you are landscaping a newly built house or renovating an older garden.


It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of unprecedented drought, water restrictions, and soaring temperatures—but we gardeners are not powerless. With careful planning we can create beautiful, drought-resilient gardens that thrive no matter what the weather may bring. And by applying water-conservation techniques in our backyards, we not only lessen our dependency on supplemental water but also help to preserve and protect natural waterways downstream.

In this course, you will learn how to: 

  • Understand and manage your soil type
  • Make the most of rainfall
  • Plan efficient irrigation
  • Deal with watering restrictions
  • Find drought-resistant plants
  • Choose alternatives to water-hungry lawns
Lesson 1

In this class, instructor Kimberly Toscano will define the goals and principles of water-wise gardening and discuss the first steps to applying them in the landscape. By studying the movement of water, she will help you envision what a water-wise landscape might look like. Kim will teach you how to do a site assessment and then use this information to plan for water efficiency in the garden by establishing water-use zones, identifying practical turf areas, and planning for the use and management of rainwater. Finally, she will help you put everything together into a design concept or garden renovation plan.

Lesson 2

This class will address the next three components of water-wise gardening: soil improvement, mulching, and maintenance. By understanding how soil composition impacts water and air movement as well as water-holding capacity, you can identify the best approaches for improving soil to enhance water infiltration and drought resiliency in your garden. Kim will go through the materials used to build and protect healthy soil and discuss how maintenance fits into water-wise gardening goals. Finally, she will discuss cultivating resilient plantings through proper establishment and care.

Lesson 3

Throughout this final class we will take a closer look at the methods and materials available for managing rainwater on site. Kim will help you pull together information gathered during your landscape survey and analysis, along with details regarding soil type and percolation to apply strategies for capturing, retaining, and redirecting rainwater. She will also dive into the pros and cons of different equipment options and systems available for efficient irrigation and will discuss ways to match these to the water-use zones you identified during the design process. Finally, she will share tips for adapting to periodic water restrictions and determining priorities for watering.

Meet Your Instructor

Kimberly Toscano is an accomplished horticulturist with an eye on design. Formally trained in horticulture, environmental science, and entomology, she is interested in all things edible as well as garden design and landscaping for wildlife. Kim takes a holistic approach to gardening and landscaping, working in harmony with the natural environment. This includes organic and sustainable gardening practices, careful management of water, and enhancing biodiversity in the landscape.

Before establishing a career in garden writing and consultation, Kim served as writer and host for Oklahoma Gardening, a weekly PBS television program produced by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. In this role, she shared her expertise through more than 1,000 video segments covering all aspects of gardening, environmental stewardship, and sustainable living. To support her programming, Kim designed over a dozen gardens that were installed at The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University, including a formal terrace, an organic vegetable garden, and themed ornamental plantings.


Foundations of Water-Wise Garden Design

with Kimberly Toscano

$79.99 - ON SALE NOW!