XERISCAPING Part 1

March 7th, 2011 - Planted by Ian Hall

What is it?

Like clinging to a memory of a time now past, the last culprit in my garden was holding on strong. I gamefully tried to release its final grip from a decadent life of indulgence I simply was not willing to enable anymore. With a final deep tug the Hybrid Tea Rose finally gave away (a bit too easily) and I flew to muddy ground in a comical display that rivaled the best flops the Italians could give us in the World Cup.

Of course my main concern was not being thrown into the mud, but the thorny twisted trunk that was flying to ground with me at break neck speed. So with an ungraceful twist and toss I was able to avoid being punctured, in exchange for having not one clean square inch left on my body. Sheepishly I looked up to make sure no neighbors just happened to be walking by with a video camera in hand. Assured that I would not be the next YouTube sensation I quickly skirted around to the backyard to pot up Mr. Rose for later delegation to my mother’s gorgeous and very thirsty rose garden, and (albeit with a wee bit of humiliation) celebrate the first stage of my front yard transition being complete!

Thirsty lawn being removed

New gorgeous drought tolerant yard!

This transition had been long in coming….especially considering that I was already convincing many of my landscape design clients to do away with their front lawns and other water hogging plantings. The direction I was trying to steer them in addressed one of their main concerns– reducing the amount of water being used in their current landscapes.

This concept is called xeriscaping, which essentially is defined as the reducing or elimination of the supplemental water that is used for gardening or landscaping. You can also hear it referred to as drought tolerant landscaping or Smart Scaping. Typical strategies include:

-  Use of plants resistant to drought
-  Elimination of plants and or sod that typically require excessive water
-  Converting any watering you are doing from sprinklers to a drip system that waters infrequently.

More people than ever are concerned about Xeriscaping, either because they are having water meters being installed in their neighborhoods, or because they want to minimize their impact on the Earth’s resources.

Now is the time to reconsider your current curb appeal! Do you feel that you are ready for a change? What is your current challenge facing you and your water meter?

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