Would you like to grow a beautiful perennial garden in Utah? Just add water! (Duh? Well, I just learned this.)
Luke Petersen convinced me. Water conservation is necessary in the desert, and a virtuous goal, but… if you want lots of flowers to attract lots of insects and abundant growth (i.e., classic aesthetics) in a short-ish amount of time, there’s really no other way.
Choose species with moderate watering requirements and soak the heck out of the garden once per week when it starts to get hot. Luke actually left the water on for 3 days straight in early July, to make sure the soil was well soaked before heading into July and August. He’s obviously been around this block a few times.
The garden 4 months ago, right after planting:
And on July 1st, just before the deluge of irrigation water. Now that I look back, things do look a little parched. Luckily, an experienced person intervened.