Xeriscaping and Xerogardening refers to landscaping and gardening in ways that help reduce or even eliminate the need for irrigation. This practice is promoted in areas that do not have easily accessible fresh water supply. As climate patterns shift, more and more regions are using this method. The term “˜xeri’ or “˜xero’ comes from the Greek “˜xeros’ which means “dry”.
Plants that require the appropriate amount of irrigation in reference to the local climate are emphasized, and care is taken to avoid losing water to evaporation and run-off. The specific plants that are used in xeriscaping depend mostly on the climate. Common plants for western xeriscaping are agave, cactus, lavender, juniper, sedum and thyme. Although the Denver Department of Water helped coined the term xeriscaping, it is not a registered trademark of that office. It was officially created by the Front Range Xeriscape Task Force of Denver Department in 1978. In other areas, terms more commonly used are water-conserving landscaping, drought-tolerant landscaping, zeroscaping, and smart scaping.
There are many advantages to xeriscaping and xerogardening. Reasons include lower water bills, more available water for other needed areas and people, less time and work needed for maintenance, making gardening simple and stress-free, and less need for lawn mowing (saves energy). Proper use of xeriscaping lets plants take full advantage of rainfall. Xeriscape plants will also thrive when water restrictions are implemented.
There are also disadvantages to xeriscaping. More start-up work is needed for planting then simply laying sod and planting most traditional plants. Though less maintenance is needed than with traditional gardens, it can be more costly to maintain. Weeds and trash may be a bigger problem . Some homeowners’ associations may object to non-traditional plants. However, some states such as Florida and Arizona have regulations that prevent homeowners’ associations from prohibiting the property owner from utilizing xeriscaping and xerogardening on his or her land.