Anyone into Xeriscaping?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by ElephantNest, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. ElephantNest

    ElephantNest LawnSite Bronze Member
    from La.
    Posts: 1,878

    Thinking of getting into it here, not for the water restriction part, as we aren't under any. But for the selling point of such low maintenance, low water usage over the years, and the minimal effort the homeowner( or maintenance contractor) would have to invest to keep his landscape looking good and healthy.

    Are any of you dabbling in this already? Thinking of it? Heard of it? lol

    ~Nest
     
  2. twwlawn

    twwlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    Been doing Xeriscaping here in Colorado for years due to the drought, and the watering restrictions. Great seller and the customers enjoy the plants that stay alive that are drought resistance/tolerance. Also, the customer or myself don't need to maintain as much as other plants. Got a book with all the plants for this to help when I started. I go back to it quite often, can't remember all of them.
     
  3. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Yes Nest .... one of our clients actually won an award for their (our design-build) front lawn this summer.
     
  4. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    I don't know dude. From what I read, these are the basic principles of a xeriscape:


    1 Planning and design
    2 Soil analysis
    3 Practical turf areas
    4 Appropriate plant selection
    5 Efficient irrigation
    6 Use of mulches
    7 Appropriate maintenance

    Shouldn't that all be done automatically when designing any landscape for a particular area? Is there something else that I am missing? :confused:
     
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Yes Papointe in many ways the principles are just overall good gardening practice.

    In our case we wern't trying for any award ...just complying with the customers wishes ...

    completely stripped the front yard of turf ...small patio... pathway of small Alberta rainbow rock...combination of rock and mulch shrub beds.

    The customer entered the contest ...and won.
     
  6. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    Nice Kris, congrats. Feels good to be acknowledged for your talents and hard work once and a while.

    Not trying to be a wise guy, but like you said the whole concept sounds like good gardening. These things should be looked at by any professional when planting and designing landscapes. Honestly it's the first I have heard of it, but after reading it sounds like general knowledge for someone in our field. :cool:
     
  7. DALMlawn&landscaping

    DALMlawn&landscaping LawnSite Member
    from TX
    Posts: 186

    its actually hard to get a bunch of rock, mulch, and cactus to look good, especially down in the south/western states. sure, it sounds easy but xeriscaping takes a talented eye. i personally think it looks ugly no matter what, but down here in texas, water is always on restriction, so you see it every once in a while. steps 1 through 7 should be used all the time, but its applying those to decide whether or not to use some sort of xeriscaping that makes it a little more complicated, pay attention to steps 2-6 and you'll find that it takes a lot more thinking than for regular designs. its not hard to design a front yard of grass with beds and ground cover/plants on the edges, etc... but try having a front yard of nothing but mulch, dirt, and rocks... i guess its something that new yorkers will just have to visit arizona to figure out... IMO
     
  8. desertrat

    desertrat LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    Zeriscape is big here is Tucson, and basically it means drip irrigation and "natural" vegitation. I use lots of deco rock, boulders, and cactus. I stay away from the boring cactus and sell specimin cactus that can bring in big bucks. Here people pay $100 a foot for Saguaros. I pay $35 a foot and do not touch it. I sub it out. I charge a premium to plant cactus as it has lots of thorns. Actually, done right a yard can have lot of green, and flowers with not much water. Some cactus can create some amazing flowers. The small Argintinian Saguaro has a flower that is almost as big as the cactus. I have one that is 6" and a flower that shoots out 5" and has a 4" diameter. Pretty amazing. I love cactus, something about finding beauty in what most people consider gray, brown and ugly. It is easy to see beauty in the Rocky Mountains, but to see beauty in the desert takes effort, and time.
     
  9. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Unfortunately, many of the choice native and drought tolerant plants used for xeriscaping in this area are also extremely flammable. All it took were a few fires to roar through some housing areas and then people began to think differently about what they should have growing around their homes.
     
  10. kbenvironmental

    kbenvironmental LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    Hey desert rat, haven't seen you post lately. I agree, a well designd & installed desert landscape can look beautiful! Here where it's ... shall we say, dry and warm ;) we realy have to pay close attention to plant selection, bloom periods and scale to make a good presentation. Sonoran growth cycles are so slow so balance is crucial.
     

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