WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
A XERIPHYTIC LANDSCAPE
Xeriscaping means using native
and adaptive plants that can grow and sustain themselves with low
water requirements and tolerate heat and drought conditions.
This does not translate to the use of cacti and thorny succulents
but includes ornamental grasses, adaptive perennials, and any plant
that can grow well on it's own in stressfi; environmental conditions
without supplemental care.
A xeriscape offers a huge
variety of design alternatives that add visual interest to your
landscape without sacrificing color, texture, and structure - the
same basic criteria used in any landscape design. Your limit
is how far your imagination can take you. You can have fun
whimsical with a xeriscape.
The advantages of Xeriscaping include:
- Substantial cost savings on water bills
- Conservation of diminishing water resources during drought periods
- Prevention of pollution of surface and ground water, from
environmentally harmful runoff.
- Reduced yard maintenance requirements significantly.
- Pride in knowing you are doing something substantial to protect
our fragile environment.
Non-turf areas can contain a decomposed granite, ground hardwood
mulch, crushed limestone, flagstone, or loose stone material for a
ground cover that is maintained to prevent weed growth without using
toxic or environmentally harmful chemicals. Concrete surfaces should
be limited to driveways and sidewalks only as concrete surfaces
promote runoff. Use plants adapted to
the the pH created by your choice of inorganic ground cover - e.g.
don't use a plant requiring acidic soil with an alkaline ground
Hardscapes can include large boulders, dry river rock beds, or other
natural materials that are used as part of xeriscape landscaping
design. water features, urns, large ornamental planters, and other
man-made ornamentation can add variety. For public safety, no
boulders or large rocks exceeding 12” should be used on strips
between public sidewalks and the street curb. Also for public
safety, no plant with thorns, spines, or sharp edges should be used
within 6’ of the public sidewalks for public safety.
Perennials which die back
during winter should be cut back to remove dead materials during
winter. This includes ornamental grasses and other flowering
perennials. Xeriphytic landscapes should contain a balance of
evergreen plants with deciduous.
If you have narrow strips of turf between sidewalk and street, you
should seriously consider converting those “nuisance strips” from
turf grasses to xeriphitic areas as these areas are difficult to
water without significant street runoff.
In the Southwest (including
Texas), xeriscapes can blend with the natural environment
easily by duplicating them to some degree. It involves taking
elements of the natural environment and providing structure and
organization to it, the materials being the same. Use of
xeriphytic landscapes in these dry, hot, and arid regions is a
critically necessary as water supplies are limited and often
stressed to the limit. See an example of a xeriscaped
front yard below.