Applying the Xeriscape Design Concept
When I hear people say they do not like Xeriscape landscapes, their explanation is often based on a misunderstanding of what the term means and I would like to take this opportunity to clarify and broaden the discussion of what a xeriscape landscape can be.
It is often misunderstood that a xeriscape landscape or garden must consist of only very low water use plants and perhaps that the garden must be exclusively natives or cacti. While some people may love a very “dry” garden, many do not and yet they can still have a garden that expresses the principles of “xeriscape” (pronounced: zeriscape).
So the question is: How can one incorporate plants that require higher amounts of water in this type of garden? It is a matter of how and where those high water use plants are located. If we think of plants that require more water than others as more expensive plants, relative to the amount of water they consume, we might think of using them more sparingly and put them in places where we will be able to appreciate them the most. This philosophy does not imply, however, that low water use plants are less valuable or even less attractive because they certainly are not.
The design of an outdoor patio can be done in such a way that concentrates higher water use plants very close to the patio so when we are sitting outside on the patio, we can see the texture of the leaves, we can smell the flowers and maybe even see butterflies or hummingbirds getting to know each flower. This should be done in a relatively small area.