So Exactly What Is Xeriscaping?

In general terms, Xeriscaping refers to landscaping and gardening in a way that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation. So if you are just too busy to maintain your garden to the standard you would like, then this could well be the answer to your dreams.

This minimal yet stylish theory first emerged in Denver Colorado when water levels were at an all time low. It is a great way of creating a great looking yard or garden, without having to maintain it or water it on a freqeuent basis.

While many people who have a large garden find it rewarding and enjoyable, there are others who simply don’t have the time that is required to look after it in the right manner.

In Denver Colorado and several other areas there are companies that offer free Xeriscaping lessons in order to encourage the conservation of water. If your area is undergoing a drought, you should check with your water suppliers to see if they are offering lessons.

If you attend, you will be able to get advice that is specific to your region (i.e types of plants to grow, how much to water them, etc).

To some, the name Xeriscaping conjures up the image of a yard that consists of nothing but a giant rock bed. However, this is known as “zero scaping”, and it is a considerably different concept.

It focuses on reducing your yard to a place that requires hardly any maintenance whatsoever. Unfortunately the downside is that this is usually just rocks. However this shouldn’t really be your goal.

While keeping maintenance at a minimum, it is still possibly to retain a pleasant looking yard that won’t attract the negative attention of everyone who passes by.

Now at first glance this might sound like it would be hard to implement without making your yard into a hideous mess, but this is not the case. The theory basically involves choosing plants which are low maintenance to begin with, then putting them each in an environment that is the most suitable.


  • It helps to lower the consumption of imported or ground water
  • There is more water available for other uses
  • Less time and work is required for maintenance
  • Xeriscape plants in appropriate planting design, and soil grading and mulching, take full advantage of rainfall retention
  • When water restrictions are put in place, by the municipality, plants are inclined to survive and thrive, whereas more ornamental plants are frequently unable to adapt to the changing conditions
  • And it can be aesthetically more interesting than lawns

Most commonly it is applied by determining which side of the house to place it on to get the best amount of shade, and then deciding on how to group it with plants with similar water requirements.

To get started in your Xeriscaping renovation, you will first want to pick out all the plants you intend using. They should for the most part require a minimal amount of water.

Now this doesn’t mean you can only grow cactuses in your yard, simply cut back on the really water thirsty plants that you have daily water requirements. For the best part you’ll want to stick with local plants, so don’t go with anything too exotic as these generally require larger amounts of water.

The second most important principle of xeriscaping is placing plants in the most suitable areas. If you place them together with plants that require essentially the same amount of water, then you will end up saving lots of water. You will also want to place plants in areas where they will be protected from wind or excessive sun, depending on the needs of the plants.

Xeriscaping is almost the same thing as microclimating, just with more of a focus on adaptation to harsh conditions rather than avoiding them. So if it sounds good to you and you’re looking to save time and water by renovating your garden, you should find out more about Xeriscaping.

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