Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping (ZEE-RAH-SCAY-PING) and xerogardening (ZEE-ROW-GARDENING) is landscaping and gardening to eliminate the need for water. Its usually seen in places that tend to be dryer and do not have easy access to water. But, its also gaining acceptance in other parts of the country.

The word comes from two Greek words; xeros (meaning “dry”) andlandscape. Dry Landscape? Sounds like a contradiction, but its not. Many plants today are “drought-resistant” and use very little or no water at all. When shopping for plantings, ask for “drought resistant” plants.

Yard grass is a very thirsty ground cover, and many homeowners are replacing their gluttonous grassy front yard with a more eco-friendly ground cover. Nobody actually walks on their front yard any more, so why not? Looks better, needs no mowing, easier to maintain …
I don’t know, works for me. Drought resistant plants and foliage, appropriate to your local climate are available nearly everywhere.

Originally, Denver Colorado Water Works employees helped coin the term xeriscape (Denver – the mile high city, remember), and many of the plants came from around there, like cactus, lavender and juniper. Many of these draught-resistant plants will really surprise you because of their beauty!

A FEW THINGS TO CONSIDER:

• Lower water bills
• More water available for other uses
• Less time and work needed for maintenance
• Little or no lawn-mowing
• Takes full advantage of rainfall
• Tend to survive over other plants

• May require more start-up work
• Some homeowners’ associations may object
• Beds require periodic maintenance
• Weeds may be a problem
• Insects may also be a problem

Regardless of any problems or concerns, this is the way to go. Its good for the planet and good for you. Of course you can mix in a vegetable garden that you have to maintain and water regularly, but that very water you’ll be using was saved in your very smart landscaping! Does that mean you’ll have a free garden, free veggies, free food? Maybe.

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