What is Xeriscaping?

What is Xeriscaping?

Let’s talk about Xeriscape.

This is a term that is still fairly unknown to most homeowners, but is a great way to design your yard. We will be discussing the positives, the negatives, and the overall effects of using Xeriscape in your own backyard.

First, let’s define the term.

Xeriscape: What Does it Mean?

Put into the simplest terms, Xeriscaping is basically gardening and landscaping that reduces or completely eliminates any need for extra water besides what nature provides. This type of landscaping is most common in areas of the world that do not have water that is plentiful or easy to access.

As the amount of fresh water fluctuates in different areas of the world, Xeriscaping is gaining more traction and becoming more popular.

If this particular term does not sound familiar, you may know Xeriscaping by a few other terms. Drought-tolerant landscaping, water-conserving landscapes, and smartscaping are all other words that refer to landscaping without additional water being needed.

This type of landscaping is made possible with plants who thrive in a desert climate, and do not need much watering to live. However, there is special care taken to avoid losing water to runoff and evaporation.

The most common drought-resistant plants that you will see when it comes to this type of landscaping are cacti. These are other succulents are plants that actually thrive on very little water, and are perfect for this type of yard. Other plants that do well in Xeriscaping are juniper, agave, and even lavender.

You are also able to grow food, herbs and spices with this type of landscaping as well. Oregano, thyme, and sage will all thrive with a water-conserving landscape, as well as black walnuts, sapodilla, and Jerusalem artichokes.

Xeriscaping is very different from simple natural landscaping, because it focuses mainly on choosing plants for water conservation, and not necessarily native ones.

Now that you know what this type of landscaping entails, let’s talk about the pros and cons of Xeriscaping your own backyard.

The Positives

This type of landscaping has many different benefits to it.

First of all, it is a gorgeous, unique look for your landscaping, if it is done correctly. You have so many different plants and designs to choose from, especially if you are a fan of succulents and more drought-resistant plants. Many people are under the impression that it is a bland design, with gravel and sand and no greenery, but that does not have to be the case. Choosing a variety of beautiful plants, and arranging them in a pleasing way is fairly simple to do.

You will also obviously save a lot of money and water with this type of landscaping. Because these are not plants and grass that need extra water provided by you, there is very little you have to do to maintain your Xeriscaping. The plants that you choose are often cheaper than choosing lush greenery and a lawn for your landscaping as well.

This type of landscaping also does not need any fertilization and/or pesticides. Your backyard will be free of any chemicals, and not needing to purchase those items will save you more money as well.

Lastly, this is of course much more low-maintenance than regular landscaping. You won’t have to mow a lawn, which is a huge time saver. You also won’t have to spend time watering your plants or doing much pruning either. Most of these plants will be able to fend for themselves for the most part without any issue.

There are so many positives to Xeriscaping, but there are some potential shortcomings you should keep in mind as well.

The Negatives

Let’s take a look at the negative aspects of Xeriscaping as well.

The one feature that homeowners mention most frequently, is having plants with thorns and prickly edges, like succulents and cacti, especially with small children and pets around. If you are concerned about your kids or dogs playing in the yard because of the plants you choose, you may want to rethink the layout and the greenery you went with.

Another aspect of Xeriscaping that could be a negative is the initial cost and time it will take to get your landscaping started. While it is much cheaper in the long run, it will take some serious time and money to change your yard into a Xeriscape. If you have a lush green lawn to start with, it will take a lot of effort to remove it, and then to add in all the plants and stone to remake the yard. It definitely does not have to be a dealbreaker, but it is an important part of the process to consider.

The last potential shortcoming when it comes to Xeriscaping is how other people may react to it. While it is a beautiful choice, it is definitely not for everyone. If you are in a neighborhood with an HOA, you may have to get it past them first as well, as it is a little less traditional than a lawn and flowers.

Our Final Thoughts

If you have the initial money and time to get this type of landscaping, Xeriscape is a wonderful choice! It is beautiful and unique, and will save you quite a bit of water and money in the long run. Xeriscaping is definitely not for everyone, and it can take some getting used to, but it is definitely a landscaping trend that is here to stay.

For those of you that are interested in this type of landscaping, but aren’t sure if you want to take the leap, contacting a professional to discuss it with may be helpful as well. Contact us to discuss the possibilities and get your yard Xeriscaped today!