5 Fundamentals of Xeriscape A guide to drought resistant plants, irrigation, soils, mulch & style Maureen Gilmer retweet.Plants.In the dry western states, this style of landscape also supports exotics from South Africa, the Middle East and Australia.These plants are naturally adapted to the same long dry season as most western natives making them compatible in the garden.Xeriscape Plant List Discover the best trees and shrubs for planting in a western Xeriscape garden.Get the Xeriscape Plant List.Many plants that are drought resistant in their natural habitat can have a hard time adapting to conditions in the nursery.Therefore, these plants will require significant irrigation the first and possibly the second dry season to help roots travel deep enough to support the plant without irrigation.The underlying principal in the xeriscape is a low-pressure, drip irrigation system designed to deliver water to the root zone and nowhere else.Proper soil conditions are important with xeriscapes because of the preferences of the plants adapted to drought.Mulches help prevent moisture from evaporating from the surface of the soil and shade the soil so it doesn't heat up so much in the summer.Xeriscape Style Guide Use this design sheet to help you create the perfect xeriscape landscape.View all Landscape Design Style Guides.For anyone contemplating a xeriscape, researching local native species used for landscaping, plus the array of imported species from dry climates around the world, is key to your success. .

The Seven Principles of Xeriscape

Xeriscaping continues to gain popularity around the world as people discover the benefits of this landscaping technique.As an official landscaping technique, xeriscaping seems to have ‘originated’ in the 1980’s as a result of ongoing, multi-year droughts plaguing the Western, United States, but people have been planting to match their climate for centuries.Though it began in an effort to engage in water conservation in dry areas, it evolved to include a broader set of goals captured in the guidelines below.Installing xeriscape gardens, as a Nevada studyopen_in_new showed, reduced water bills by 50% (with massive 70% average reductions during summer months).Participants also reported reduced labor effort of 26.4%, since their new yards required less maintenance, like lawn mowing and manicuring.These principles can be implemented in all ecoregions and lead to positive outcomes like reduced weeds, the creation of dense native plantings, less yard maintenance, minimized use of pesticides and fertilizers, and reduction of non-native lawns.In an attempt to understand why people choose to engage in xeriscaping, researchers in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada identified two neighborhoods with homeowners that had engaged in xeriscape landscaping.open_in_new Twenty families were interviewed regarding their choices for their yards, their motivations, and the consequences of their gardening choices.They discovered water conservation took a back seat to aesthetics and the joy of gardening as the primary motivations for adopting xeriscaping principles.Ecologically speaking, native plants are also thought to provide more beneficial habitat for wildlife, making them an excellent choice to support the birds, bees, butterflies, mammals, amphibians, and other creatures that share our neighborhoods with us.Over time, however, there are substantial savings with lower water bills and reduced maintenance costs.Photo © Now open the Characteristics Tab and describe the type of ground in your xeriscape feature (gravel, mulch, rock, sand, and soil are the options).Photo © You are also encouraged to add any comments about your spot; where it is located, what types of plants are used, how often you water or if you do not water…etc.For example, the specific shrubs (), trees (), cactus (), flowers (), bird baths (), boulders (),…etc that can be found in this habitat.Make sure to label the habitat and complete the characteristics (for flowers and herbs you can even set irrigation frequency, which for true xeriscaping should be pretty infrequent once the plants are established).When you search for a native plant make sure that it is adapted to the type of light, soil, and moisture conditions of the site. .

5 Ways to Xeriscape on a Budget

The truth is, a xeric garden can actually save you quite a bit of money over time if you can commit to a modest budget and a bit of hard work up front.The first step to xeriscaping your yard on a budget is to design and plant your xeric garden yourself.If you’re xeriscaping your yard in Colorado, one of your best options is to buy a pre-planned garden like Garden In A Box.These gardens arrive with plants that are known to thrive in Colorado and a few design options are included.Grow plants from seed and collect divided, mature plants from friends.If you have friends or neighbors with established gardens, chances are that they will have some plants in their yard that can be divided and given to you.Now, they are all planted in my new xeric garden and doing great.5) Make your own mulch.Check out our Grass to Garden turf replacement program, pre-planned Garden In A Box options and these step-by-step tips on xeriscaping your yard. .

Planning & Design

Use your trees and plants to enhance and frame scenic views, such as mountains, or use them to block undesirable views, like the truck your neighbor parks on the street.Strategically place your plants where they’ll provide optimal beauty from any window of your home. .

Xeriscape Garden Ideas

Mediterranean plants, like those native to Italy, France, and Spain, like plenty of sun and sandy soils, making them a desirable choice for the American xeriscaped garden.Plant lavender near your favorite relaxing spots in the garden, and let the flowers' essential oils, known for promoting calmness, lull you into a soothing reverie. .

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