What is Xeriscape?
Posted by Landscaping Ideas on 23rd January 2012
If you live in a drier climate you may have heard the term xeriscape rather than landscape and have wondered exactly what that means. This is actually a very relevant type of landscaping for desert climates in which drought friendly measures are used in the process of landscaping. Literally the word is a combination of the Greek word for dry xeros and the word landscape. It refers to a type of gardening or landscaping that doesn’t require additional irrigation in order to maintain. This is great for desert regions and certain areas that do not get as much rain as other areas in the country or have little access to fresh supplies of water. Drought tolerant landscaping and smart scaping are other terms used in lieu of xeriscaping.
Some things you can do in order to make the landscaping process much less painful in drier climates is to choose plants that are native to the area whenever possible. Even if you can’t find plants that are native to your particular area that you like perhaps you can choose those that are native to similar climates instead. This process will help you choose plants that are far less likely to experience great distress as the result of a lack of water.
You can have beautiful landscaping through this process if you take the effort during the planning stages. You should keep in mind how the plants will be grouped when xeriscaping as this will have a large part in how successful your project is. Grouping the plants that require the most water closely together will limit the amount of water you need to ‘spread’ around your plant and garden area. You may also wish to consider placing plants that are more susceptible to a need for water in more shaded areas in order to limit evaporation of that oh so precious supply of water.
You should also keep ‘turf’ areas limited as much as possible and use drought tolerant plants to create an oasis affect surrounding the areas of turf. For the grassy areas you should take great care to use drought tolerant species of grass rather than other species that will require much more water in order to maintain.
This type of gardening and landscaping is definitely not for everyone. It requires special planning and pretty regular maintenance in order to keep things lively and looking great throughout the many growing seasons. This type of landscaping is work but well worth it in areas where you would not otherwise be able to maintain a healthy garden or growing area around your home.
Some of the wonderful advantages of xeriscaping include the following: lower water bills, conservation of water for other uses, little or not lawn mowing, a garden that will survive the water restrictions that will kill other gardens, and you will find that these gardens become a natural habitat for other animals and insects that can be quite lovely to watch.
When wondering exactly what it meant to xeriscape, the short answer is that it means to landscape with conservation of resources in mind. This is probably one of the most efficient and Earth friendly ways one can landscape his or her home.