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Xeriscaping – Eco-friendly Landscaping With A Difference

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By Author: Samantha Dale
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Xeriscaping is one of the many environmentally-friendly landscaping ideas that are being increasingly embraced by landscapers worldwide. It is a landscaping method, in which additional irrigation water consumption is markedly reduced or dispensed with altogether. This water conserving landscaping practice is especially useful in arid regions where water is not available in abundance. However, it is gaining widespread popularity amidst the persistent threat of a changing climate.

Xeriscaping has many advantages, the biggest one beingitsobvious effectiveness in reducing the overall water requirements for landscaping and maintenance. In particular, it drastically lessens the amount of ground water needed, which is extremely relevant given the global phenomenon of receding ground water tables. When employed in dry places (like Middle Eastern countries), which face acute water shortages, this type of landscaping can actually make more water available for the benefit of the community and the environment.

Another advantage of xeriscaping - it is one of the most low-maintenance landscaping ideas employed today. It requires ...
... effortless gardening techniques and minimal lawn mowing, making it a fairly stress-free ordeal.

Plants used in xeriscaping, when planted appropriately and graded and mulched properly, can absorb and retain maximum rainwater, thereby being able to thrive in dry regions. Even when ordinary landscaping ideas are used, water restrictions are sometimes imposed during a water crunch. This can occur even in areas where water normally abounds. During such episodes, xeriscape-friendly plants tend to survive better than their ornamental counterparts.

Usually indigenous plants are used in xeriscaping. As such, pesticides and fertilizers are not required. This keeps the plants and soil healthy on the whole. Also, gas-based lawn mowers are not required, and turf mowers usually suffice. This eliminates the consumption of fossil fuels, making it one of the most pollution-free landscaping ideas today. It is also wildlife-friendly, since the utilization of local plants and trees provide indigenous wildlife with a new habitat.

One would naturally wonder how xeriscaping works, given the nature of the plants needed. Having many landscaped gardens with many kinds of cacti may not be visually soothing. However, there are a wide variety of plants other than cacti, which thrive in low-water environments. Flowering plants such as Delphinium, Echinacea, Red Valerian, Purple Coneflower and Gaillardia; shrubs like Smoke Tree, Honeysuckle, Washington Hawthorne, Witch Hazel, Heather and California Lilac; and trees such as Acacia, Gray Birch, European Hackberry, Juniper and Eucalyptus are commonly used. However, bear in mind that these are North American species, indigenous to that region. Talk to your local florist/gardener to find out which species are native to your area, before you embark on the project.

The first xeriscape garden in the world was crafted at the Denver Botanic Gardens, more than twenty years ago. It was designed on the basis of the seven principles of xeriscaping.These basic seven principles now apply to all such project and involve: planning and designing (by orienting the plot, understanding the natural contours of the land and positioning the larger plants and trees), improving the soil, creating delimited turf regions, utilizing the best drought-resistant indigenous plants native to that place, covering the soil with mulch such as leaves, pine needles, compost and gravel, irrigating the soil while preventing excessive watering and lastly, maintaining the landscape as best as possible.

Xeriscaping can be a personally satisfying experience and do a whole lot of good to the environment at the same time. If you are a do-it-yourself enthusiast, you might want to check out some easy-to-operate landscape design software for yourproject. Also, make sure you fully understand your local annual precipitation levels as well as local laws and restrictions, before you embark on the project. Good Luck!

There are lots of different landscaping styles. The best thing is to make sure your landscaping ideas suit your space.http://www.outdoorcreations.com.au

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