Dear readers, there are such places, but I have never been to any of them. Well, I was within 20 miles of one such place once, but I have no photos.
So, for X day in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, I am not going to blog about a place, but rather a practice that more and more residents of the United States are being forced to learn, due to continuing droughts in part of our country. As my theme is America the Beautiful, I think this word is appropriate:
So, what is xeriscaping? Put simply, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, xeriscaping is:
"a landscaping method developed especially for arid and semiarid climates that utilizes water-conserving techniques (as the use of drought-tolerant plants, mulch, and efficient irrigation)."The word "xeriscape" comes from the Greek word xeros, meaning "dry" and - well, landscape. It was most probably first used in this modern sense by a special task force of the Denver Water Department in 1978, following a drought in 1977. Now, with a major drought in California, where a lot of food consumed in the United States comes from, water conservation is a must on farms, and in residential and commercial landscaping.
It is said that some 50% of household water is used to maintain landscaping. We can no longer afford to use water wastefully for that purpose.
Years ago, I lived in Wichita, Kansas. Our first friends were a couple originally from West Virginia. This man had tried, and tried, and tried, to grow the bluegrass he loved in his native West Virginia.
Here's a tip: don't try to grow a bluegrass lawn in Wichita, Kansas, a city that gets less than average rainfall, and gets hot in the summer.
The purpose of xeriscaping is NOT to create a landscape full of white rock. No, far from it! Rather, the purpose is to create a landscape that has water conservation as its major priority. It is a landscape with plants that are grown in harmony with the environment. You don't have to give up lawns, but you minimize lawn grass, and use clumping grasses that don't need lots of water. You grow plants that do well in your area, instead of growing a landscape full of "exotics". You use mulches effectively. Pruning and weeding are still needed - this is not a "plant it and forget it" method.
Many plants we are familiar with are suitable for the xeriscape: juniper, lilacs, lavender, butterfly bush, catalpa, day lilies, iris, sedum, creeping phlox, daffodils, lily of the valley, sweet woodruff, hyssop, gazania, alyssum, sage, grapes, hens and chickens and potentilla. There are lists online for specific climates, including those intended for California. (If only I could grow rosemary as a perennial. Sigh...)
Yes, we can keep America beautiful, while conserving water.
grow plants on our roofs, and I actually have a picture of one here in Binghamton. Yes, this is also a form of xeriscaping. Imagine, one day, growing food on your roof? Or even sedums?
Are you in one of the drought affected areas? How are you coping?
Tomorrow, for the letter Y, I return to Florida, and some man made beauty.