The Art of the Xeriscape

July 25, 2018

 

The Art of the Xeriscape

 

An English garden may be the classic choice for residential landscaping, but lush greenery and dewy roses may be difficult to maintain — especially under the sweltering heat of the Dallas sun.

 

A beautiful yard is always possible with the low-maintenance and weather-proof method of xeriscaping.

 

What is xeriscaping?

 

Derived from the Greek word “xeros,” meaning dry, and “scape,” meaning view, xeriscaping is landscaping that intentionally chooses plants and design native to their environment to reduce the use of excess water.

 

The term doesn’t mean a yard overflowing with cacti — especially if those prickly plants aren’t part of your aesthetic.

 

Texas possesses an abundance of wildflowers and native grasses to provide color and fit the xeriscaping needs of various styles.

 

Plan and design

 

As with any landscape, careful design should be considered when starting a xeriscaped yard.

 

While wide expanses of St. Augustine lawns reign Texas yards, grassy knolls aren’t an ideal feature of water-saving yards.

 

Experts recommend limiting turf and compensating the rest of your space with equal parts native and adaptive plants and walkways or a patio area.

 

To use water efficiently, group plants with similar water needs together. Many xeriscaped yards also use in-ground drip irrigation systems to prevent excess water usage and to efficiently penetrate the soil and roots of the plants.

 

For full-bodied soil, mix organic compost with the native dirt.

 

Mulch is an excellent way to reduce evaporation underneath the beating heat of the sun. Stones are a beautiful alternative to wood mulch and complement the minimal look of a succulent garden.

 

Color and composition

 

Prickly pear cacti do produce beautiful bright blooms, but here are other options for a xeriscaped yard.

 

  • Grasses such as buffalo, blue gamma and needle
  • Succulents, such as aloe or agave
  • Bluebonnets, lantana, echinacea, daisies, thistles
  • Willows, such as desert willow
  • Reeds, such as horsetail reeds

 

Read more about sustainable practices on our blog:

On the Leading Edge

How to Start Composting 

How to Grow an Herb Garden 


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