A warming climate is prompting builders around the country to adapt with landscaping that can take extreme heat and drought. Builders like Austin Trautman, of Phoenix, Ariz., look for ways to keep rainwater on site rather than dumping it into storm drains. Although storm drains are typically installed to carry off water as quickly as it falls, Trautman treats water as an asset and has found that choosing the right plants reduces the need for irrigation. Builders also are concentrating on creating shade in outdoor living areas that will keep homeowners comfortable outside even when temperatures are relatively high. Drought tolerant plants can include green, vibrant hybrids, not just cactus and other spiny plants.

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