Xeriscaping refers to landscaping in ways that do not require supplemental
irrigation. It is promoted in areas that do not have easily accessible supplies of fresh water, and is catching on in other areas as climate patterns shift.
The word xeriscaping was coined by combining "xeros" (Greek for "dry") with "landscape".
Plants whose natural requirements are appropriate to the local climate are emphasized, and care is taken to avoid losing water to evaporation and run-off. XeriscapeTM and the xeriscape logo are registered trademarks of Denver Water, the water department of Denver,
Colorado.cite news | url = http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2007-07-15-xeriscaping_N.htm | title = With xeriscaping, grass needn't always be greener | author = Elizabeth Caldwell | publisher = USA Today | date = 2007-07-15 ] They were created by the Front Range Xeriscape Task Force of Denver Department in 1978.
The specific plants used in xeriscaping depend upon the climate. Some common plants used in Western xeriscaping are
agave, cactus, lavender, juniper, sedumand thyme.
In some areas, terms such as water-conserving landscapes, "drought-tolerant" landscaping, "zeroscaping," and "smart scaping" are used instead.
*Lower water bills
*More water available for other uses and other people (such as showers, sinks, hoses etc.)
*Less time and work needed for maintenance, making gardening more simple and stress-free
*Little or no lawnmowing (saves energy)
*Xeriscape plants along with proper bed design tends to take full advantage of rainfall
*When water restrictions are implemented, xeriscape plants will tend to survive, while more traditional plants may not
*Increased habitat for native bees, butterflies, and other fauna
*Can live in more habitats than most other plants
*May require more start-up work to prepare beds for planting than simply laying sod
*Some homeowners' associations may object to non-traditional plants. However, some states, such as Florida, include law, as it pertains to Homeowner's Associations, that make it unlawful to include a clause prohibiting "property owner from implementing Xeriscape or Florida-friendly landscape, as defined in s. 373.185(1), on his or her land." in Homeowner Association documents, (Ref: 720.3075.4 Prohibited clauses in association documents). In 2007, Arizona enacted similar laws.
*Requires that people moving from water-abundant to water-scarce areas change their mindset as to what types of plants they are able to practically and economically maintain
*Xeriscape beds require periodic maintenance which is more involved than simply mowing and edging, especially to maintain color
*Weeds and trash may also be more of a problem than in a traditional lawn.
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
Sustainable landscape architecture
* University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Bulletin AZ1048
* Landscape Plants for the Desert Climate, 2004, AMWUA
* [http://www.xeriscape.org/ Xeriscape Colorado]
* [http://www.xeriscapenm.com/ Xeriscape Council of New Mexico]
* [http://www.cabq.gov/waterconservation/xeric.html City of Albuquerque]
* [http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/xeriscape/xeriscape.html Texas Agricultural Extension Service]
* [http://www.snwa.com/html/land_index.html Southern Nevada Water Authority]
* [http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4dmg/Xeris/xeris1.htm Colorado State University Cooperative Extension]
* [http://www.csbe.org/water_conserving_landscapes/index.html Center for the Study of the Built Environment's Water-Conserving Landscapes Project]
* [http://www.backtonatives.org/NativeLandscapes.htm Back to Natives Restoration a 501(c)3] (Irvine, CA)
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