(**part of a submission I wrote for a national garden design magazine)
Xeriscape design promotes the efficient use and conservation of water in designing, managing and maintaining a landscape. Simultaneously it is also a solution to dealing with drought, minimizing the economic costs landscaping brings with it and promotes a responsible and sustainable landscape.
It is estimated that the majority of a homeowners water use in the warmer months is dedicated to watering the landscape. By implementing the principles of xeriscaping (from the Greek “xeros”, meaning “dry”) this amount can be substantially reduced while still creating an attractive, well-designed landscape
There are essentially seven steps in creating a xeriscape,
-planning practical turf areas
-soil analysis and improvements
-correct use of mulches
Many xeriscape principles are founded in common sense and good plant culture. The paramount idea is that plants are grouped together based upon their water requirements.
The most effective xeriscape plants can be native plants for that region, as they are adapted to that climate. On large properties, gardens close to the residence may be irrigated, while a native zone would extend further from the house to the edge of the property line. To a large extent xeriscape is part of the movement away from the classic American green lawn that has dominated our suburban culture since post WWII.