Xeriscaping is a type of gardening that is quickly becoming more popular as the importance of water conservation and sustainable gardening becomes more popular. Xeriscaping refers to a type of gardening that is done with little water.
A xeriscape garden usually features plants that require low water use, and that can be sustained on little rainfall and infrequent watering. For these reasons, xeriscaping is most commonly used in desert gardens, although the principles of xeriscaping can be applied to any climate.
Why Xeriscaping Works for Amateurs for Gardeners with Limited Garden Time
The principles of xeriscaping are sustainable and earth-friendly, but they can also be a viable way to garden if you have a limited amount of time and resources. Xeriscaping can work for the amateur gardener because it involves hardy plants that survive (and in some cases, even thrive) with minimal care and attention.
A properly maintained xeriscape garden does not require frequent watering, and it can withstand a certain amount of neglect. These are hardy, tough gardens that can withstand extreme temperatures, while still adding beauty and richness to the environment. Here are some key principles to keep in mind if you are considering starting your own xeriscape garden.
Avoid Impulse Buy at the Nursery and Choose Your Plants with Care
When it comes to establishing a healthy and viable xeriscape garden, plant selection is key above all else. Walking up and down the aisles at your local nursery store, it can be very tempting to pick the plants with the showiest blooms. But are they right for your garden? But you should resist the urge to pick out just any plant. For a xeriscape garden, you will want to select the right plant for the right place.
Where Will You Be Planting?
In order to select the right plant for the right place, you will want to determine exactly where you will be planting. What are the key characteristics of the planting site? Important factors to consider include sunlight, water needs, climate and soil type. Choose plants that are well suited to the planting location. Smart plant choices will save you a lot of grief in the long run.
For Your Xeriscape Garden, Choose Low Water Usage Plants
Drought-tolerant, low water usage plants are the backbone of any xeriscape garden. If you don’t know which plants are low water use plants in your area, ask your local nursery expert to direct you to hardy perennials that do not require frequent watering.
Choosing hardy perennials is the best way to ensure that you are getting low water usage plants that will thrive in your xeriscape garden. Also, consider focusing on plants that are native to your area. Native plants are already adapted to your growing climate, and thus will almost always require less water than more exotic plants. Native plants have the benefit of thousands of years in one area, and thus are better suited for their specific region than exotic plants.
Liven Up Your Xeriscape Garden with Multipurpose Plants
Perhaps you think that a xeriscape garden will result in a dull display. This is not true, especially if you plant multipurpose plants. These are plants that fulfill more than one purpose at a time, especially if you would like to attract birds, butterflies or wildlife.
Choose native plants that can provide you with natural year-round foliage, periodical blooms and that can attract local birds or butterflies. Native plants are often the primary source of food for native birds and other wildlife.
If you are trying to attract certain birds or other animals into your garden, then this is another compelling reason to invite native plants into your xeriscape garden.