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Water Wise Demonstration Garden

The Acton Water District invites you to visit our water-wise garden, located in front of the District’s office on 693 Massachusetts Avenue in West Acton. The garden is the Gold Badge project of Kathleen Niple, a Girl Scout with Acton Troop 2001. Kathleen designed the garden with water conservation in mind, using drought-resistant plants, organic mulches, and water-wise design principles. Kathleen worked with the Acton Garden Club, who provided consultation and donated plants for the garden, as did several Acton Nurseries. We hope the garden encourages Acton residents to replace their water-thirsty lawns with attractive, conserving, and low-maintenance gardens. Please stop by the Water District’s Office for instructions on how to plan and plant a water-wise garden in your yard.


  • Hybrid Daylilies (Hemerocallis)
  • Yarrow (Archillea)
  • Beebalm (Monarda)*
  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)*
  • Creeping Thyme (Thymus)
  • Yucca (Yucca glauca)
  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)
  • Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia uvaria)
  • Blazing Star (Liatrus graminifolia)
  • Stonecrop Sedum (Sedum nevii)


  • Autumn Joy (Sedum telephium)
  • Lambs Ear (Stachys byzantina)
  • Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea)
  • Boltonia (Boltonia asteroides)
  • Penny Royal (Hedeoma)
  • Thread Leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis venticillata)
  • Bear Berry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)*
  • Dead Nettle (Lamium)
  • Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium)*
  • Snow in Summer (Cerastium tomentosum)
  • Rose campion (Lychnis coronaria)


  • Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)
  • Ornamental Grass (Spodopogun)
  • Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca)

Trees and Shrubs

  • Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)*
  • Juniper (Pfitzerina)
  • Mock Orange (Philadelphus virginiana)
  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidi)

An * at the end of the plant name denotes the plant is native to New England.


Native Plant Trust - Garden Plant Finder – Search plants native to New England by sun exposure, soil moisture, drought tolerance, wildlife attraction, and more!

Grow Native Massachusetts– Access a variety of resources including Flora & Fauna Databases and Plant Lists & Landscape Guides.

UMass Amherst Drought Tolerant Plants for the Landscape – Review a list of plants that have been shown to be drought tolerant. UMass Amherst also offers soil testing for nutrient content and acidity (pH), which can help you make informed soil amendment choices and learn about a new garden or growing area!