Xeriscaping is the practice of designing landscapes to reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation. Some places may be getting too much water, but many areas are not getting enough water. For those of you having to cut back on watering your gardens, here are some ways to change out your thirsty plants for things that don’t even like to be watered much. Look to the Mediterranean for good examples from which to choose.
Most herbs do not require much water such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and tarragon and you can use them for your cooking needs. If you are only gardening on a balcony, these do well in pots or planter boxes.
Once established, any of the Penstemon family do fine and provide colorful flowers. So do Salvias. They also attract bees and hummingbirds for an extra benefit. The same can be said for any of the kinds of Lavender which provide you with flowers and scent. They can be dried and used in drawers or pillowcases in little sachet bags.
There are a number of ornamental grasses that flourish with little water and even less care. They vary from low growing to fairly tall. Use those which are native to your area. Smaller varieties can be grown in pots. Tall ones can fill large spaces in a garden.
And of course, there are numerous varieties of cactus and succulents. Some provide color and texture and even flowers in early spring. Take a look at what your nursery has to offer. You might like very spiky looking plants or prefer ones that look like pebbles or green peas. There is a lot to choose from. They won’t even like it if you water too much. These do well in small pots or in combinations in large pots. Large sections of gardens look beautiful with mixtures of different kinds.
A landscaper or architect can help you redesign your garden using a combination of some of the previously mentioned plants along with various kinds of hardscaping such as crushed granite, mulches, pea gravel, or pavers. If you just can’t live without the look of a lawn, then shop for the most real looking artificial turf for a replacement.
NOTE: Though all of these have low water requirements, they may need some watering when first planted until established.