xe-ri-scape/ˈzi(ə)rəˌskāp/Noun: A garden or landscape that needs little supplemental water. Verb: Landscape an area using water conservation principles.
Xeriscapes do not have to be cactus or rock gardens. Often they include other native and drought tolerant plants. When you think of dry gardening, you may picture a wild, natural looking landscape. But the xeriscape water conservation principles can be applied to different styles of landscaping. You can create a more formal English, Southwestern, or Japanese garden using the same basic principles. Tired of mowing your lawn and paying for all the water to keep it green? Explore xeriscaping and see if it is right for you. In arid and semiarid climates, where water conservation is important, xeriscaping is a wise choice. The concept of xeriscaping was developed in the 1980s in Colorado, as a result of water shortages. Xeriscaping can also be used to reduce the amount of maintenance required for a beautiful yard or garden. Xeriscaping incorporates seven basic principles of landscaping to achieve water conservation. The Xeriscape Principles page provides additional information on each of these topics.
- Planning & Design
- Soil Preparation
- Turf Considerations
- Plant Selection
- Efficient Irrigation
Benefits of a Xeriscape
Saves Water. Throughout North America, more than 50% of residential water use is for lawns and landscaping. Xeriscapes can reduce the water needed for landscapes by 50%-75%. This results in a costs savings as well. Reduces Maintenance. Xeriscapes eliminate the time required to mow and fertilize a large lawn. Drip irrigation systems save time spent watering. Improves Property Value. A good xeriscape improves property value, by creating curb appeal and reducing water costs. Provides Wildlife Habitat. Native trees, shrubs and groundcovers in a xeriscape provide seed, fruit and nectar for local wildlife. Insects attracted by the plants in turn attract birds and reptiles. Reduces Pollution. With smaller turf areas, pollution from gas-powered lawn mowers is reduced or eliminated. A reel mower may be sufficient for the small areas of grass included in a xeriscape. No Fertilizers of Pesticides. Xeriscapes usually need fewer pest control measures and less fertilizer than traditional landscapes. This too saves money.
When planting or maintaining your xeriscape, a hori hori can make you feel like a garden samurai. This multipurpose digging knife works like a trowel, a weeder, a knife, a saw and even a ruler. Why buy, store and maintain an assortment of tools when this one does it all so well? The Nisaku/Tomita hori hori is one of the better quality gardening knives available. See the details for this stainless steel hori hori. Some buyers wanted a sturdier leather sheath for their digging knife, instead of the original vinyl sheath provided by the manufacturer. MB HANA custom designed a durable sheath to fit the Nisaku hori hori. It is made of top grain leather that will protect both you and your knife for years. Learn more about MB HANA's leather hori hori sheath Read the full review >
Want to attract butterflies to your xeriscape garden? The Asclepias, or Butterfly Plant (also known as Milkweed) is drought tolerant and attracts monarch butterflies. It is also a nectar source for hummingbirds and bees. Watch this video to learn how to plant a native butterfly plant. It is a great perennial to have in the garden. With over 140 known species, you should be able to find one that grows in your region of the United States.
Use your imagination to create a rooftop xeriscape.
“Intended to be more than an observable minimalist Zen rock garden, the courtyard was also designed to be a gathering space for family and friends to enjoy the coastal Southern California weather all year. Designed in collaboration with landscape designer Carol McElwee, an outdoor fire pit and Koi pond were added to soften the space and add an element of life.” – Annie Thornton