Whether in real estate listings, gardening and landscaping literature, or drought alert information, chances are that you’ve heard the term “xeriscaping.” But what exactly does that mean? Xeriscaping – based on xeros, the Greek word for “dry” – is the practice of landscaping with the goal of creating a yard that needs very little supplemental watering (or even none at all), with rainfall providing the hydration needed. Xeriscaping often relies heavily on the use of native plants, drought and heat tolerant vegetation, and design elements that minimize run-off and evaporation of water so that it is reserved for the plants’ use.
Because xeriscaping is designed to use less water, it’s a popular choice – particularly in hotter, drier climates like North Texas – for a number of reasons. For one, xeriscaping is an earth friendly option for the environmentally conscious homeowner, as it preserves natural resources and reserves by requiring very little water other than rainfall. Homeowners looking for a low maintenance – and lower budget – option also often turn to xeriscaping, as xeriscaped yards generally require less work and upkeep to keep them attractive. In addition, many Dallas and North Texas homeowners are choosing xeriscaping in their landscaping as a solution to the frequent and long-lasting drought conditions that result in severe watering restrictions that some plants can’t tolerate.
Misunderstandings of xeriscaping have lead to the stereotype of yards or outdoor living areas landscaped with nothing but gravel, rocks, and succulents like cacti. While this type of landscaping is an option – and can be breathtakingly beautiful if designed by a landscape architect with an artistic eye – it is far from the only option available. In fact, xeriscaped yards can be lush, green and vibrant. No matter what your idea of an attractive yard that fits your personality and style, chances are that your vision can be incorporated into low-maintenance, environmentally friendly, water saving xeriscape design.
While native plants aren’t necessary for xeriscaping, they’re often a top choice because of their natural resilience and adaptation to the climate. Here in North Texas, for example, the ideal plants for xeriscaping are generally heat tolerant and extremely drought resistant, hardy enough to resist winter frosts or freezes, and thrive in the soil conditions native to the area. Think this severely limits your selection? Think again. Whether you choose to use only plants native to Texas or include imports from across the globe, plants that thrive in these conditions – and make great xeriscape choices – range from stately shade trees like the Live Oak to brightly flowered shrubs like the Red Yucca and the purple-flowered (and kitchen favorite) Mexican Oregano, from the sunny Black-Eyed Susan to the sweet-smelling Confederate Jasmine – and countless more including, yes, even succulents and cacti.
With the countless options and choices available, creating a drought resistant and water saving yard with xeriscaping doesn’t mean giving up stunning design. Contact us today, and let the professional landscaping architects at Scapes, Inc., design a xeriscaping solution that’s custom designed to meet your needs.