What is Xeriscape?

The term xeriscape is derived from the Greek word xeros, meaning dry. The word 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.

To encourage landscapes that are appropriate to our desert environment, the Water Authority offers generous rebates for the replacement of turf with xeriscaping. Several conditions must be met in order to qualify for the rebates, including approval of plans in advance by a Water Authority inspector. Click here for complete xeriscape rebate information.

Why Xeriscape?

  • Xeriscaping Saves Water
    Using native and other drought-tolerant plants can significantly reduce water use.
  • Xeriscaping Saves Time
    De-emphasizing the use of bluegrass lawns and other thirsty plants is a common-sense approach that can reduce the time you spend watering, fertilizing and mowing.
  • Xeriscaping Saves Money
    Reducing water use can lower your water bill. Xeriscaping can also reduce maintenance costs and increase the beauty and value of your property. The Water Authority also offers money-saving rebates.


The Water Authority’s How-To Guide to Xeriscaping

Interactive plant list tool from the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer: http://wuc.ose.state.nm.us/Plants/home.jsp

Xeric Design Templates
These free xeriscape designs were designed for the Water Authority by local landscape professionals Judith Phillips, George Radnovich and David Cristiani. These templates can serve as blueprints and thought-starters to guide residential and business property owners in creating spectacular xeriscapes with color, logic, beauty and purpose.

Kaleidoscapes (509KB PDF)
Judith Phillips creates vivid, striking plant arrangements with abundant textures and rotating, colorful perennials.

Greenscapes (508KB PDF)
David Cristiani combines contouring with groundcovers, grasses, vines, shrubs and trees for a lush, green xeriscape year-round.

Loungescapes (518KB PDF)
George Radnovich blends dramatic native and xeric plants for a spectacular lower-maintenance xeriscape.

Wildscapes (553KB 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 (503KB PDF)
George Radnovich orchestrates an elegant, simple mixture of ornamental plants and features for north-facing xeriscapes.

How to Xeriscape 2020 Guide

2020 The complete how-to guide