California’s limited supply of water, subject to ever increasing demands, is just one resource saved by xeriscaping. This results in immediate cost savings through lower water bills. Xeriscaping can also reduce the amount of plant trimmings which must be disposed of or otherwise managed, thereby helping your community, and ultimately you, to save resources. A reduction in plant trimmings can reduce the amount of labor needed to maintain a given landscape.
A landscape can be designed from the beginning to reduce the amount of resources needed to maintain it and the amount of waste it produces. By designing a landscape that matches our region’s soil type, temperature ranges, and lighting, selecting compatible plants, and installing efficient irrigation systems, a balance can be achieved that fits both the aesthetic needs of the landowner, and the resource availability of North San Diego County.
Pronounced as if it began with the letter z, the word xeriscaping comes from a combination of two other words: “xeri” derived from the Greek word “xeros” for dry; and “scape”, meaning a kind of view or scene. While xeriscape translates to mean “dry scene,” in practice xeriscaping means simply landscaping with slow-growing, drought tolerant plants to conserve water and reduce yard trimmings.
Xeriscape landscaping can take many forms.
A major premise of xeriscape landscaping is that the traditional lawn should be eliminated or greatly reduced (because it is a water-guzzler). Not all xeriscape landscaping totally eliminates lawns. Some switch to types of lawn grass that demand less water. Others cut back on the expanse of lawn, relegating it to an accent on the landscape rather than maintaining the lawn in its traditional position as the dominant element.
What, you may ask, fills the void in xeriscape landscaping left by the receding lawn? To some degree, the answer to that will depend on your taste. Here in San Diego County, a popular choice is an extended patio that takes-up the space where lawn grass would otherwise be planted. Alternately, the answer may lie in ground covers, shrubs, and mulches.