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Xeriscaping: A Winning Solution for Water Savings

By David Olson on August 2, 2012 in Blog1 Comment

Xeriscaping: A Winning Solution for Water Savings graphic

With ongoing droughts and extended water restrictions across the nation, residential and commercial property owners are considering a unique idea to both save water and maintain attractive landscapes. It’s called xeriscaping.

Xeriscaping (from xeros, the Greek word for dry) is landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation. It originated in 1981 with the Denver water utility, and has become a helpful solution in regions that do not have easily accessible, plentiful, or reliable supplies of fresh water.

Are your clients determined to reduce their water footprint? Xeriscaping can be the solution they are seeking. Whether they want to convert turfgrass in areas that are difficult to water or maintain, or design a whole new yard with native plants, xeriscaping can create a visually appealing property—and a lower water bill.

A unique visual appeal
Designing or converting a property with reduced water consumption in mind doesn’t limit you to cactus and gravel, however. Rather than traditional turf and ornamentals, xeriscaping features a variety of drought-tolerant plants native to the region. You can still create a colorful, fragrant landscape with its own unique character, and add to property values with the right plant selection.

Many different plants, from perennials, shrubs and vines, to grasses, trees and succulents, can complement a xeriscape, such as:

Misc Red Valerian

Red valerian: A perennial shrub that grows well in western states, popular as an ornamental for its showy, purplish red flowers.

Misc Creeping Mahonia
Creeping Mahonia: Native to the Rocky Mountains, this evergreen shrub and ground cover features pale blue berries and shiny leaves.
Misc White Thorn Acacia

White thorn acacia: A desert tree that enhances naturalistic landscapes and attracts birds.

Misc Basket of Gold

Basket of gold: This evergreen perennial features yellow flowers and looks best on sloping ground, rock gardens, or as edging for garden beds.

Misc Lady Banks Rose

Lady Banks’ Rose: A fast-growing, low-maintenance vine with clusters of white or pale yellow flowers.

Misc Blue Yucca

Blue yucca: The blue leaves of this tree-like succulent create a dramatic effect in landscape design.

PRIMG Misc Xeriscape Yard 2
Opportunities with xeriscape
You can expand your business offering by creating and maintaining xeriscaped properties for water-conscious customers. All landscapes require care, and xeriscapes are no exception. Occasional watering, pruning, fertilizing and pest control applications are all necessary to create thriving xeriscapes.

You can provide the best care for a xeriscape by installing the smartest, most efficient irrigation products. Rather than conventional spray heads, include high efficiency nozzles such as the MP Rotator or Rain Bird HE-VAN. Or install a low-volume drip irrigation system to apply only the required amount of water directly to the soil above root zones.

To increase water savings and avoid overwatering a xeriscape, install a rain sensor to prevent watering during rainfall. You can also install a soil moisture sensor, to help deliver only the necessary amount of water. Applying organic mulches can help prevent evaporation, as well.

Arrangements of native plants can become excellent subjects for illumination, presenting you with an opportunity to include landscape lighting in a xeriscape. With lighting effects, you can accent and highlight a xeriscape’s unique appearance.

Many Southwestern cities, including Mesa, Ariz., Aurora, Colo., and Albuquerque, N.M. are promoting awareness of water conservation and efficiency by offering rebates to residents who have xeriscaped their properties. Check your city’s codes to see if a rebate for xeriscaping is available.

Tell your customers about the benefits of xeriscaping:

  • Lowered water consumption creates a lowered water bill.
  • During water restrictions, xeriscape plants tend to survive and thrive, while more ornamental plants may be unable to adapt.
  • Appropriate planting design, soil grading and mulching allows for greater rainwater retention.
  • Colorful plants create a unique look, and can attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
  • Little or no mowing necessary.

Ready to begin xeriscaping? You can learn more about xeriscape and the water savings it creates at the Alliance for Water Efficiency.

Xeriscaping: A Winning Solution for Water Savings graphic
David Olson
Find your nearest Ewing location at EwingIrrigation.com/locations.

One Response to Xeriscaping: A Winning Solution for Water Savings

  1. Highlands Ranch Landscaping Experts February 3, 2020 at 12:55 pm #

    This was a great article to find! We’re a new landscaping in the state of Colorado and information like this is really useful as we try to explain the benefits of xeriscaping to our clients. They have the usual misconceptions and don’t think about saving water (money) or time (more money). Thanks for sharing your insights!

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