The other day, I heard a news reporter say, “Zeroscaping.” To her credit, we hear that word a lot. Unfortunately the word zero implies that no water or care is needed. Most people are actually referring to xeriscaping, ” a word originally coined by a special task force of the Denver Water Department, Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and Colorado State University to describe landscaping with water conservation as a major objective. The derivation of the word is from the Greek “xeros,” meaning dry, and landscaping — thus, xeriscaping.”
So xeriscaping doesn’t mean ‘no water,’ it means conserving water. All xeric plants will require water to become established, and less water after that. If you don’t water them at all after they’re established, you may not be pleased with the resulting stunted growth and possible death of the plants. The good news is that xeric plants will require considerably less water than others in your landscape, a good thing to think about as Grand Valley water suppliers look to continue drought watering restrictions. Properly planted and irrigated xeriscapes can be as beautiful and lush as traditional cottage gardens.
If you’re considering converting your landscape to a xeriscape, it’s important to consider exposure, soil, irrigation, mulching and plant selection. See more about these in this excellent article. Having a plan before you start will improve your chances of success with your new water-wise landscaping. Mt Garfield Greenhouse carries many of the plants suggested in the linked article, as well as a variety of mulches and landscape fabrics.
Image from Xeriscape Colorado