If you have considered having your outdoor space professionally landscaped, you probably have come across the term xeriscaping while doing your research. It is an odd sort of word, to say the least, but the definition is pretty straightforward and easy to comprehend. In a nutshell, xeriscape is a form of dry-plant landscaping, which consists of utilizing succulents, cacti, and other plants that don’t rely heavily on water to survive. And while xeriscaping is a rather big deal in places like Texas, Arizona, Utah, and other states where annual rainfall is low, it is popular with eco-minded homeowners who desire their landscape to reflect their passion.
What is Xeriscaping, and What are the Benefits?
What is Xeriscape?
When thinking about xeriscaping, it is better to think about the overall look of your yard as opposed to just considering the types of plants. We get it, there isn’t a whole lot of love for cacti and succulents, and most people associate them with a dessert setting. It is better to look at xeriscaping in terms of a group of plants, a combination of various plants that are intertwined to create a colorful and beautiful landscape.
It might surprise you to learn that xeriscaping is a term that was coined by Denver Water, a utility company based in Denver, in the early 1980s. It is now a common term used to describe a landscape in which one of the main goals is water conservation. Over the years, xeriscaping has become increasingly popular, thanks in part to climate change and changing attitudes in homeowners. But, of course, it has also gained in popularity because the end result is a beautifully landscaped yard.
The Seven Principles of Xeriscaping
If you are interested in the concept of xeriscaping, know that it is a process based on seven principles. Your thriving xeriscape garden will be based on these common-sense gardening principles.
Planning and Design- A xeriscape garden is designed to direct any rainfall to the plants that need it most. Traditional gardens don’t direct water; it just becomes runoff. One way to ensure water gets to the proper plants is by contouring the land. Another way is to incorporate a water storage system like a rain barrel or an underground tank that holds runoff water.
Practical Turf- Traditional lawns are expansive and require a lot of water to maintain. As such, it is far better to limit the area in which grass is grown and maintained. The less grass you have, the less water you need to maintain your entire landscape.
Efficient Watering- Your sprinkler system might be a carefree way to water your yard, but it is highly inefficient as it merely shoots water all over the place, including on your driveway and into the neighboring lawn. A xeriscape landscape is watered only when needed, and the water is emitted directly into the ground to minimize waste through evaporation.
Soil Amendments- Rich soil filled with organic material is better able to hold water until plants need it, so it is a far better choice than clay or hard soil that does not absorb moisture. In addition, adding organic material to the soil, like compost, for example, breaks up soil and allows water and oxygen to penetrate.
Mulches- Mulch needs to be applied around all plants to ensure stable moisture levels and even temperature.
Landscape Maintenance- Weeds are never a good thing as they rob moisture the other plants need. Make sure weeds are eliminated from your property.
Low-Water Plants- The plants used in your landscape should be low-use water plants and plants that are adapted to the climate. Native plants thrive in the existing soil and can get the nutrients they need without tons of fertilizer.
Benefits of Xeriscaping
The basic premise behind xeriscaping is conserving water with landscaping that is efficient and aesthetically pleasing. But there are also several more benefits of xeriscaping that should not be ignored.
With a xeriscape yard, there is no need to spend your summer mowing large areas of grass and tending to the sprinkler system. All you really need to do is ensure your landscape is free from weeds, and you have to trim the plants occasionally. In addition, having a xeriscape landscape means you have more time to spend actually enjoying your outdoor space as to working on it.
A xeriscape landscape does not mean it isn’t a beautiful yard; just the opposite is true. You will discover that there are endless designs and options that are aesthetically pleasing, and you will have a unique, one-of-a-kind backyard that is sure to impress the neighbors.
You might hesitate and cringe when your water bill arrives. The heat of summer means lots of watering and a very high water bill. With xeriscaping, you will use considerably less water, and this will reflect in a lower water bill. So you will save money with a xeriscape yard.
Because you mow a lot less with a xeriscape yard, you are doing your part to reduce pollution. Gas-powered lawnmowers are to blame for poor air quality, and nobody wants to hear you fire up your lawnmower on a Saturday morning. You are also helping the environment by using less water to maintain your yard. Having a xeriscape yard is a noble gesture rewarded by helping nature.
Disregard the Myths
If you are still on the fence about xeriscaping because of what you have heard about it, there are a few things you should consider. Xeriscaping is not just rocks and gravel; vivid plants are also a part of the equation. But to ease your mind, take a look at rock gardens, and you will see they are filled with beautiful plants, and they look truly amazing.
And even though there are a vast array of plants native to our area, xeriscaping isn’t just about native plants. There are plenty of flowers and plants that are not native to Colorado that will work just fine in our area. Roses and tulips are two fine examples of non-native flowers that thrive in our region.
Having a xeriscape yard does not mean you can’t have grass. The idea behind this concept is to minimize the amount of grass in your lawn, not to eliminate all of it necessarily. It makes perfect sense to keep the grass in high-traffic areas or places where you want to play catch or do other activities.
What is the Next Step?
If we have convinced you to at least look into a xeriscaped lawn, contact us and let’s talk about it. We can discuss your dream layout, learn your vision, and align it with our own ideas and concepts. We will discuss the budget and then create 2D drawings and 3D designs of our plans to give you a crystal clear picture of what your yard will look like.
When we come to an agreement on the design, we begin to bring your vision to reality. We will work diligently on the hardscaping until your yard has been transformed into a beautiful oasis. Rest assured that we will be in constant contact with you throughout the entire process.
Once the construction is complete, you are free to enjoy your own corner of paradise right in your backyard. And should you desire more elements, like a fire pit, water feature, or landscape lighting, we are here to for all of that as well. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and give us a call today.