3.23.2009

Xeriscaped Landscaping

With the problems of drought, economy woes, job cutbacks and layoffs as well as the move towards more green living, many people are moving towards a xeriscaped landscaping style in order to save water as well as money. It is a common misconception that this style is solely for the more arid desert type climates. It is also a misconception that xeriscape is just cactus and prickly things. It is true that these plant materials are used but they are not the only plant materials used by far. There are many many options that will add color as well as lushness to your xeriscape beds. Some of them can be viewed in the pictures below but one of my favorite sources is High Country Gardens Nursery


These are some more pictures (can you believe there are more?) from Wildseed Wildflower Farm that portray xeriscaping very well.

Yes, there is some cactus but because we do like it not because the options are limited


There are virtually 100's of plants to choose from that will add texture and color to your beds


The above bed is closer to how many of my beds look that are xeriscaped. Remember not to forget to fertilize as well even in xeriscaped beds. I like to use molasses, fish emulsion or alfalfa, and sometimes I add a non organic slow release fertilizer called Osmocote.


The agave plant above is one that will require a long term commitment if you choose it as it takes years for it to grow and bloom.

Many of these beds do display a more arid rustic look for those of you who do like that style.


There are quite a few trees and bushes (even rose bushes) that you can choose from as well to suit the xeriscape.


Palms and yuccas are another excellent option to add some awesome texture and structure to your beds.

I personally like the beds to be softened with the softer flowering plants like the sages and lantanas and several others. Most of my beds look much more cottage garden style than these.

Remember all the pictures will enlarge when you click on them


Some of my favorite trees to use in the xeriscape include desert willow, crepe myrtle, and bird of paradise tree. In my zone 7/8 they perform very well even under drought conditions.


The lantana and rosemary above are a couple of my personal favorites.






One of the most important aspects to xeriscaping is the mode of watering the beds. The very best way is via underground sprinkler system. This type of watering will deliver the water to the roots and waste absolutely no water. It is made with a material called netaphim which is sold by the foot. Our local organic nursery in Wichita Falls recommends 1/2 inch line with 18 inch spacing on holes. They also recommend that there be a line every 18 inches up to 2 feet apart in each bed. (Closer together in sand, farther apart in clay). Once the system is created then it needs to be buried in the soil about 2 inches deep. Another option is to lay the drip lines on the top of the ground and simply mulch over it. You can then keep the option of moving it as you garden in different locations and/or putting it away for winter. They say there is no need to worry about freezing because it is a poly material and with the holes all the moisture will drip out. Be sure to mulch your beds with at least 2 to 3 inches of mulch also. Hope this helped you to see some possibilities for xeriscape beds in your landscape. I personally like to use them more when the beds are out in areas that are harder to get water to and when it is a bed I don't want to have to worry about tending to so much.
Until Next Time
Debbie
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10 comments:

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

What beautiful photos! It's nice to see the variety of plants that can be used in xeroscaping!

Susie said...

Xeroscaping is a great way to go. Thanks for showing us all those beautiful beds/gardens. I need to come to Texas so I can see it up close and personal. That is a really beautiful place.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

The agave and the Russian sage makes such a pretty bed.Working with native and hardy plants is a good way to go for every gardener because of water conservation. Saves disappointments also.

Donna at Suburban Sanctum said...

I'm always amazed at the variety of plants that do well in dry conditions. Such a broad spectrum of colors and textures. Love the mix of soft and sharp. Thanks for the tour and the encouragement to try these ideas at home!

Jennifer said...

What a great site, it inspires me to get moving on my gardens. I am making fairy doors for my garden.

Signe said...

This is fotos from a great garden. Looking forward to see more of it.

Deb said...

I love rosemary one of my favorite plants

BeWaterWise Rep said...

Way to go Debra. You have a huge and beautiful garden and you have Xeriscaped it too. I guess that is the secret of your green and beautiful garden. For those who think Xeriscaping does not work or are skeptical, this is a great example.
SoCal like many other parts of the world is experiencing water shortage and the only way out is water conservation through techniques like Xeriscaping.

The MWD of SoCal also has some excellent tips on waterwise gardening on their site, besides a water calculator which tells you example how much water your garden requires a week. This not only helps you conserve water it also keeps the bills now.

To access the water meter and for waterwise gardening s visit http://tr.im/r3Cy

Anonymous said...

i love wildseed farms hope they stay in business due to high prices, I think I heard they are trying to sell because it's too expensive people don't really buy much there.

Patti Williams said...

Just what I was looking for... I live in DFW area and am wanting to convert my water sucking lawn into a xeriscaped paradise... love the looks you have in these photos... are they around San Antonio? I don't know if these plants would survive the winters up here in DFW. Any advise for me?