Xeriscaping is the process of landscaping and gardening designed to eliminate, or at least sharply reduce, the need for supplemental irrigation. The concept of the xeriscaping is the brainchild of the Denver Water Department, the municipal water utility in a metro area plagued by drought issues with regularity. Since its initial conception, xeriscaping is becoming more widely practiced, not only in areas with water availability issues but in a growing number of other locations as well. Arizona is a state with a growing number of residential and commercial property owners that apply xeriscaping practices.
At the heart of xeriscaping is the planting and cultivation of a landscape that takes advantage of plants that naturally adapt to a particular location, including being able to thrive on the amount of water naturally available in a specific local.
What Xeriscaping is Not
A myriad of misconceptions exists about xeriscaping. A persistent and pervasive one is that xeriscaping involves the elimination of live plants for nonliving things like rocks and gravel. Yes, some nonliving materials can be utilized in a landscape that applies xeriscape principles and practices.
As noted a moment ago and needs to be stressed. Xeriscaping does not involve the replacement of plants with rocks and similar nonliving items. This landscaping practice involves the use of foliage that naturally thrives in the locale at hand.
Perennials are a Plus
When planning a landscape using xeriscape principles, focus on perennials when it comes to flowering plants. These plants are designed to return year after year and do not require the water-intensive germination and early growing process of annuals.
You can focus on selecting perennials that have different bloom cycles. By taking this approach, you can have different blooms bursting out at various times of the year, making for a gorgeous presentation.
Supplemental Water Practices
Xeriscaping does contemplate the occasional need for some supplemental watering. The wise course is to install drip irrigation as needed. If your community allows, you can use saved rainwater to feed a drip irrigation system when necessary. (Some communities restrict the capture of rainwater; some cities that have prohibited this practice have changed their ordinances to permit homeowners the ability to save and use rainwater on their properties.)
Not only does xeriscaping save water, while allowing for a beautiful landscape, but you can also save money as well. The cost of watering a more traditional landscape is becoming a more expensive proposition in cities across the country, including communities like Phoenix and Scottsdale.