Xeriscaping and xerogardening refers to landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental irrigation. It is promoted in areas that do not have easily accessible supplies of fresh water, and is gaining acceptance in other areas as climate patterns shift.
The word xeriscape is a portmanteau of xeros (Greek for "dry") and landscape.
Plants whose natural requirements are appropriate to the local climate are emphasized, and care is taken to avoid losing water to evaporation and run-off. While many Denver Water employees helped coin the term xeriscape, Xeriscape and the xeriscape logo are not registered trademarks of Denver Water, the water department of Denver, Colorado. They were created by the Front Range Xeriscape Task Force of Denver Department in 1978. The specific plants used in xeriscaping depend upon the climate. Some common plants used in Western xeriscaping are agave, cactus, lavender, juniper, sedum and thyme.
In some areas, terms such as water-conserving landscapes, drought-tolerant landscaping, zeroscaping, and smart scaping are used instead.
- Lower water consumption
- More water available for other uses and other people (such as showers, sinks, hoses etc.)
- Less time and work needed for maintenance, making gardening more simple and stress-free
- Little or no lawnmowing (saves energy)
- Xeriscape plants along with proper bed design tends to take full advantage of rainfall
- When water restrictions are implemented, xeriscape plants will tend to survive, while more traditional plants may be unable to adapt.
- May require more start-up work to prepare beds for planting than simply laying soil
- Some homeowners' associations may object to non-traditional plants. However, some states, such as Florida, possess regulations pertaining to homeowner's associations that make it unlawful to include a clause prohibiting "property owner from implementing Xeriscape or Florida-friendly landscape, as defined in s. 373.185(1), on his or her land." (Ref: 720.3075.4 Prohibited clauses in association documents). In 2007, Arizona enacted similar legislation.
- Xeriscape beds require periodic maintenance which is more involved than simply mowing and edging, especially to maintain color
- Native gardening
- Sustainable gardening
- Sustainable landscape architecture
- Rainwater harvesting
- University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Bulletin AZ1048
- Landscape Plants for the Desert Climate, 2004, AMWUA
- Xeriscape Colorado
- Xeriscape Council of New Mexico
- City of Albuquerque
- Texas Agricultural Extension Service
- Southern Nevada Water Authority
- Colorado State University Cooperative Extension
- Center for the Study of the Built Environment's Water-Conserving Landscapes Project
- Back to Natives Restoration a 501(c)3 (Irvine, CA)
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