Xeriscape Does Not Mean ‘Zero’-scape

For those of us who live in areas that experiences limited rainfall, the term ‘xeriscape’ is a familiar one.  So what does ‘xeriscape’ mean?  Well, the word ‘xeros’ is Greek for the word ‘dry’.

Put both ‘xeros’ and ‘scape’ together and you can probably figure out that they mean “dry landscape”.

Now some people mistakenly mispronounce the name ‘xeriscape’ and call it ‘zeroscape’, which leads many to believe that it means using little or no plants.  Well, nothing can be further from the truth.  Xeriscapes are landscapes that are designed to use water efficiently.  They are by no means devoid of plants, they often have turf and are quite beautiful.

So what are the basic principles of xeriscape?

1. Planning a design.

2. Soil analysis

3. Appropriate plant selection

4. Turf planning

5. Efficient irrigation

6. Mulching

7. Maintenance

You may think that xeriscapes are only for hot and dry climates, but this is not true.  In fact, over 42 states currently have xeriscape programs that help to teach residents how to use water wisely in the landscape.

Over the next few posts, we will cover the principles of xeriscape in more detail.  In the meantime, check out this Birds & Blooms article about Water wise Gardening.

  1. Danielle says

    Can’t wait to read more about the principles of xeriscape, Noelle. I had no idea over 42 states had their own programs- many of us can benefit from that!

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