Xeriscape Gardening For Beginners
The word xeriscape is derived from the Greek word xeros, which means dry, and the English word scape, meaning a scene. Combining them, it means a dry scene. This form of gardening is often misunderstood for being a garden of desert flowers or just dry and arid gardening. However, the basic principle of xeriscape gardening is the conservation of water and soil improvement using drought-tolerant plants and shrubs.
1- Xeriscape Planning and Design
2- Soil Improvement
3- Planting Xeriscape Plants
Xeriscape gardening need not be restricted to just drought-tolerant plants. The basic idea of this form of garden is to conserve water. Moisture-loving plants can be grouped together in a low-lying area, that retains water more easily. If you are planting trees, its best to purchase dwarf varieties, like acacia, fig, olive, palm, or from the family of conifer trees. Shrubs and bushes like potentilla, oleander, and Texas sage grow well with very little water.
Designing smaller lawns with various drought-resistant ornamental grasses will add appeal to your garden and save a lot of water, as these grasses don’t require frequent watering. One can use any of the following ornamental grasses; purple fountain, switch variety, yellow pampas, blue oat, etc. Adding the element of a rock garden, with succulents such as Delopsperma cooperi, red, orange, yellow aloe species, etc. and different colored rocks with vivid shaped cacti will add to the visual appeal of the garden. One can plan from the following list of drought-resistant flowering plants, keeping its colors, height, and water requirement in mind; California poppy, cosmos, gompherna, coreopsis, iris, gaillardia, marigold, cornflowers, etc.
4- Care and Maintenance
The flower and shrub beds should be covered with mulch, which is a composition of decaying raked leaves, wood barks, composite, etc. Mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil, control weed growth, and slowly release nutrients to the plant roots over time. Plants should be adequately watered, and a system of drip-irrigation should be worked out to ensure no water wastage. A regular check for pest should be done, though most drought-resistant plants are natural pest and insect repellents.
As water becomes an expensive and scarce resource in most urban places of America, creating a garden based on xeriscape’s most basic principle of water conservation makes more sense. One can enjoy a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers, even while facing a water shortage, by just being water-smart.