feel like you're losing the battle to keep the garden watered?
try these tips:
instead of throwing out the leaves of trees and shrubs, (-and grass clippings etc), use them to mulch the soil around tender plants.
The only exception are vegetable prunings and roots, which do need composting, (- and tomato plants which need removing completely as soon as you've harvested the last crop).
Hanging baskets and pots can be mulched with pea straw and lucerne , but this will end up lining the nests of the local bird life.
Try using a non organic mulch like the bags of washed pebbles sold in craft shops (and the bucket shops like Cheap As Cheaps etc). They are cheap, and they last forever. For non- decorative pots (such as the thyme,and oregano etc), keep your broken flower pots and use the teracotta shards over the soil surface.
Avoid plastic pots (especially dark coloured ones) like the plague. They will cook your plants, if the sun hits them,. Transfer new purchases to porous pots asap.
Sooner or later large lawns will cost you a great deal more than you can possibly imagine, in water bills, labour and broken hearts.
Cover up as much bare soil as possible with native ground covers such as Myoporum Parviflorum, and prostrate grevilleas, hibbertia etc
For vegie patches and flower beds dig in a subsurface weeper hose (its a porous hose made from recycled rubber particles).
Instead of watering a little every day aim wherever possible to deep soak plants more occasionally, to establish deeper stronger roots.
If you've got a rainwater tank, use it. Rainwater is much better than tap water for almost all you want to grow,especially seedlings.
You can keep the water clean by fitting a leaf trap, and adding 1/4 cup of kero to stop the mozzies breeding.
But don't listen to people who reckon you can drink the rainwater yourself, without boiling it first)
Trees and shrubs in particular, should only get a really deep soak every couple of weeks for the first couple of summers. After that if they fail, they aren't going to make it through the next drought, whatever you do