XERISCAPE, a timely term for all year
Xeriscape (Pronounced zee-ra-scape) is water-efficient gardening. It is a way of
creating a beautiful landscape by working with, not fighting against, our natural
environment. Many of the seven basic principles of xeriscape have already been
described in this handbook because they are also the basics of successful gardening
in our area.
Think about views you want to maintain--or block--and how you like to
use your yard. Pay attention to microclimates.
- Limit amount of turf and consider alternatives. Rethink how much lawn you need and
where you need it. Slopes; small, hard-to-mow patches; shady spots; and hot, dry areas may
be easier to maintain with shrubs or ground covers. Buffalograss
and blue grama grass are less-thirsty alternatives to Kentucky bluegrass.
- Mulch. Mulches cover the soil and cool it, minimizing evaporation, slowing erosion,
and reducing weed growth.
Organic amendments help the soil get water, air, and nutrients to
- Group together plants with similar water needs and select more drought-tolerant plants. Zoning
plants according to water needs allows more efficient watering. It can also mean healthier
plants because they receive exactly the right amount of water. Many local garden centers
now have xeriscape plant sections, and you may be surprised at the number and variety of
flowers, trees, and shrubs with low water needs. CSU
Fact sheets 7.228, 7.229, 7.230, 7.231, 7.234.
- Irrigate Efficiently. Water lawn separately. Trees, shrubs, and other ornamental
plants generally require much less frequent watering than lawns; and,can be watered
efficiently with drip-emitters or soaker hoses.
- Maintain properly. A well-planned xeriscape require less maintenance once it is
established. Follow the suggestions for lawn and garden maintenance in Down to Earth
in Denver all through the year.
Xeriscape Colorado is an
excellent source of Xeriscape information. Denver Waters Xeriscape Demonstration
Garden at 1600 West 12th Avenue is a good place to see xeriscape principles in
action; Denver Botanic Gardens xeriscape garden, just south of the conservatory building,
For more information see Xeriscape
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