|Thursday Tips & Techniques: Xeriscaping|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Thursday, 07 June 2012|
The term Xeriscape gardening was developed and trademarked by the city of Denver, Colorado's water department, Denver Water. The word xeriscape is derived from the Greek word for dry and refers to gardening using plants that are drought tolerant and do not require irrigation or supplemental watering.
Xeriscape gardening is not necessarily the same as naturalistic gardening although native plants are typically used in both, and water conservation is often an objective in the latter as well. Nor is Xeriscaping the same as zero-scaping, which uses hardscape elements with a few cacti or succulents thrown in for color. If you've ever seen the desert in bloom you know how colorful it can be and Xeriscape gardens, which use many of the same plants, can be quite colorful as well.
Yaupon holly, cherry laurel, palmetto, red yucca, desert willow, sweet gum, and autumn sage all are examples of plants that are used in Xeriscape gardening. Since the main focus of Xeriscape gardening is water conservation it's important to group plants together with like watering requirements. Water requirements are just one of the seven principles of Xeriscape gardening, the others include planning and design, evaluating soil, minimizing turf, using appropriate plants, mulching with organic materials, and proper maintenance.