The concept of conserving water is an important one to grasp, especially as you read about how precious a resource it is in many parts of the world. After all, if some cultures value water so much they view it as a living goddess, take a few steps to preserve something many of us take for granted probably isn't such a terrible idea. While conserving water in your garden can take on many forms, from using a rain barrel to setting a timer on your sprinkler, there is also a specific method of gardening eco-enthusiasts can practice.
Xeriscaping is a type of gardening that purposely deprives your garden of water, however without leaving it dried out and dead. The name comes from the Greek word xeros, which means dry. While it is generally used in areas that have limited access to water, many communities are now encouraging this type of landscaping, touting it's environmental benefits and ability to save money, a definite bonus during these rough economic times.
Benefits of Xeriscaping
Xeriscaping involves less time spent watering, mowing and weeding your lawn thanks to some of its core concepts, including design , mulching and efficient irrigation. This efficient irrigation also means you'll use less water, which can save you not just valuable time, but money on your water bill as well. This type of landscaping makes the most of the rainfall in your region, meaning you shouldn't have to turn on the hose or sprinkler as often.
And while certain plants need substantial water to survive, the ones used for xeriscaping will be more likely to survive periods of drought or water restrictions placed on your community if water is in short supply.
What it involves
Another key concept of xeriscaping is choosing the right plants for your garden. You'll want to see out plants that are native to where you live, since they tend to require less maintenance and have a better chance of surviving in the climate conditions because they can adapt to the natural amount of rainfall in the area. Local plants are also more likely to attract wildlife to your garden, including butterflies. Also look for drought-tolerant plants that thrive with less water. Often, plants with gray foliage and thick rubbery leaves, as well as ones with tap root systems or tuberous roots are known to be drought-resistant. Examples of summery types of these plants are lamb's ears, dianthus, sea holly, coneflower and Russian sage (to name a few).
In addition to the plants you choose, where to plant them is equally important. Plants that have similar watering needs should be placed near one another, as this can help prevent you from over-watering and watering in areas that don't need it as badly.
Because healthy, green grass is so dependent on water, you can also consider replacing some of your lawn area with pretty, decorative gravel. It will still look lovely, but won't require the moisture that grass does.
Most importantly, consult experts who can advise you on the best plants to use and help…