What Does Xeriscape Mean?
The root of the word Xeriscape comes from the Greek word “xeric,” which means dry or arid. Xeriscaping is a kind of landscaping design that is meant to use as little water as possible while still utilizing a varying amount of colorful, beautiful plants that attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.
What is Xeriscape Landscape Design?
Usually when you hear people talk about xeriscape design, they’re describing landscapes in desert or arid climates. However, xeriscaping isn’t limited to just that type of aesthetic. People think cacti and gravel and barren lots when they think xeriscape, usually, but the true intent behind the design is to be attractive to a variety of natural wildlife and to cut energy costs. Xeriscaping is also a great example of a sustainable landscape design.
Xeriscapes can be utilized not only in hot climates but also in urban yards or even rural yards. These xeriscapes will use things like fruit or ornamental trees, shrubs, and flowers that adhere to the principles of a proper sustainable design: renewable nutrition, reduced heating costs, shade, and a colorful environment for nature to be drawn to. With the right plant choices and placement, pleasing and functional landscapes can be achieved that will thrive with minimum irrigation and maintenance.
Native, drought-resistant plants are used so as to not disrupt the local wildlife and to reduce watering costs. Animals typically rely not only on the plants and flowers grown naturally in your area, but also the plants used in neighborhood landscapes. On the same page, xeriscapes also utilize native plants in order to prevent invasive species from taking hold and disrupting the local ecosystem. You might not realize it, but even certain grasses are native to certain regions, and it can be quite detrimental to use a grass in your lawn that is not local to the area.
What Are the Principles of Xeriscaping?
Xeriscaping has three purposes: to conserve water, to support and propagate local wildlife, and to require the least number of resources possible.
The most important principle is planning for the water needs of the people using your space. While grass turf is typical of most lawns, a xeriscape will avoid using grass or lush plants that require irrigation and fertilizing as much as possible, except for areas where activities are meant to be done such as games and sports.
Xeriscape saves on resources by helping cool your property with the proper shrub, plant, and tree arrangement that covers your yard better than a standard grass turf. Not only that, the time and energy required to cut, aerate, fertilize, and otherwise maintain a grass lawn can be eliminated with a proper xeriscape design
How Do You Design for Xeriscape?
Great question! While true DIY individuals might be able to do the research required in order to adhere to xeriscape principles in their own climate, most homeowners do not have the time or knowledge to properly design their landscape to be truly water-conservative and sustainable! This is where a professional landscape designer comes into play. Landscape Architectural is such a service that offers a great way for you to get the designs that fit your needs, such as being water-conservative, without any of the guesswork. If you’d like to see what our designers can offer you, please consider a consultation today!