With our recent years of drought, it may seem that having a lush beautiful landscape is too much to expect. Don’t dismay. In recent years a water conservation concept known as Xeriscaping provides an option for those who have a goal to combine a beautiful and colorful landscape with water conservation. Xeriscaping originated in Colorado and quickly spread as a way to use water efficient landscape designs to save water as well as being attractive.

Many people think Xeriscaping means deserts and prickly cactus, or even barren. This is not the case. With Xeriscaping, one creatively chooses the appropriate plants throughout the landscape and garden along with an efficient irrigation system. The plant choices with conserve water, save on water utilities and maintenance. Starting a new landscape or incorporating Xeriscaping in your lawn and garden can be achieved by following four easy steps:

  1. Start with a simple look at your yard to see how it is effected by sunlight during a complete day. Determine which zones receive sun and which do not.
  2. Once you have a good grasp of how sunlight or lack of affects your yard you will want to draw on a piece those areas and place name them with these three zones:

Oasis– This is the area closest to your house. These will be places that      have more shade or require more water. Water can be conserved here by using run off.
Transitional– This is a buffering area between the area closest to your house and the most arid area of your yard. This area needs some water but not as much as the Oasis area.

Arid Zone- This is the area furthest from the house and receives the greatest amount of sunlight. These are where the most drought tolerant plants will live

3. Begin by choosing the appropriate plants based on the three zones mentioned
above. Plants should be chosen keeping in mind the idea of “layering”. This means
larger plants in the back, medium in the middle and low growing in front.

Local independent nurseries will have the best selection as well as the     knowledge to help you choose the right plants that will give you the look and feel you desire.

4. Finally, the use of the correct mulch is vital to the completion of your       Xeriscaped landscape. Mulch helps in erosion, controls weeds and assists in retaining moisture. It also adds healthy nutrients to your soil.

Xeriscaping is often taken a step further by reducing turf areas. This can be done by the use of stone or ground cover for areas that need little or no maintenance and can add interest to the landscape

With just a few easy common sense guidelines, you can be on your way to a lush beautiful landscape that is not only low maintenance, but will conserve water and save you money!