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|Xeriscape for Beauty and Conservation|
What is Xeriscape?
Nationally, communities have been faced with increased demands on existing water supplies. Consequently, there is a greater focus on water conservation, not just in times of drought, but in anticipation of future population growth. Water can no longer be considered a limitless resource. A philosophy of conservation of water through creative landscaping has engendered the new term, xeriscape.
The term xeriscape is derived from the Greek word xeros meaning dry, combined with landscaping, thus xeriscaping. The term was coined by the Front Range Xeriscape Task Force of the Denver Water Department in 1981. The goal of a xeriscape is to create a visually attractive landscape that uses plants selected for their water efficiency. Properly maintained, a xeriscape can easily use less than one-half the water of a traditional landscape. Once established, a xeriscape should require less maintenance than turf landscape.
Get Your Free Xeriscape Templates
These templates can serve as blueprints to guide residential and business property owners in creating spectacular xeriscapes with color, logic, beauty and purpose.
Xeriscape vs. Zero-scape
Many people confuse xeriscaping with "zero-scaping." While both of these landscapes use less water than the traditional, turf-dominated approach, they are totally different in appearance and appeal.
Xeriscaping Saves Time
A Xeriscape can look as conventional and formal as you like. The look you choose can be highly individual. You might choose to create a distinctly western landscape with rock formations and indigenous plants. Or you could create a mountain meadow, complete with an ever-changing medley of wildflowers.
The Principles of Xeriscape
By applying xeriscape principles to your landscape, you will not only save water, but you will also enjoy the beauty and diversity of native and other water-wise (drought-tolerant) plants. Many delightful varieties of trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses do very well in Albuquerque's climate. The following seven principles serve as a basic introduction to successful xeriscaping.
Planning and Design
A well-planned design enables you to convert to water-wise landscaping quickly or to install your xeriscape in phases. Whether you create your own design or call upon a landscape design professional, a properly designed xeriscape can help meet your life-style needs.
Limited Turf Areas
Limited Turf Areas
Xeriscaping uses the concept of zoning. By grouping plants with similar water needs together in specific zones, your landscape can use water more efficiently. Low-water-use plants should be grouped together, away from high-water-use plants and turf. Take advantage of warm or cool microclimates (the actual climatic conditions around your property which can be influenced by the placement of walls and shade trees) to create areas of interest and diversity.
Proper irrigation choices can also save water. Turf lawns are best watered by sprinklers. Trees, shrubs, flowers, and groundcovers can be watered efficiently with low-volume drip emitters, sprayers, and bubblers. For additional information see the Irrigation Manual (616KB PDF) entitled Low Volume Irrigation; Design and Installation Guide.
To ensure continued water savings, keep irrigation systems properly adjusted. Properly maintained, a well-planned xeric landscape requires even less work as it matures - leaving more time to enjoy your yard.
This page was adapted from the New Mexico State Engineer Office Water Conservation Program publication entitled The Enchanted Xeriscape: A Guide to Water-wise Landscaping in New Mexico.
Free Xeric Design Templates
These free xeriscape designs were designed for the City by local landscape professionals Judith Phillips, George Radnovich and David Cristiani. These templates can serve as blueprints to guide residential and business property owners in creating spectacular xeriscapes with color, logic, beauty and purpose.
Kaleidoscapes (80KB PDF) - Judith Phillips creates vivid, striking plant arrangements with abundant textures and rotating, colorful perennials.
Greenscapes (69KB PDF) - David Cristiani combines contouring with groundcovers, grasses, vines, shrubs and trees for a lush, green xeriscape year-round.
Loungescapes (95KB PDF) - George Radnovich blends dramatic native and xeric plants for a spectacular lower-maintenance xeriscape.
Wildscapes (109KB PDF) - Judith Phillips balances copious blooming perennials with intensely aromatic plants to attract abundant local wildlife.
Hotscapes (91KB PDF) - David Cristiani fuses succulent textures and groupings that thrive in full sun and high heat for impressive visual impact.
Coolscapes (75KB PDF) - George Radnovich orchestrates an elegant, simple mixture of ornamental plants and features for north-facing xeriscapes.
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|Last Updated ( Monday, 11 August 2008 )|