What is Xeriscaping?

Xeriscaping is quickly growing as a landscaping technique that you’ll see in people’s gardens and in local spaces. If you’re not familiar, xeriscaping is the movement of gardening with slow-growing, drought-tolerant plants that conserve water.

Why is it growing in popularity?

Environmental concerns are growing in the public eye as more and more tell-tale signs of climate change begin to show their faces, followed closely by peer reviewed scientific studies. Our water use is now as prudent as our fossil fuel and our electricity usage. This is particularly prevalent in places like the US where, for parts of the year, rainfall is non-existent at best and water usage is highly metered in places. This is where Xeriscaping is taking off as a way for even low rainfall areas to have gardens and landscapes that are aesthetically pleasing and not browning out by the end of the dry season.

The Benefits of Xeriscaping

One of the primary reasons why xeriscaping is beginning to take off is the low water consumption nature of the landscape. A drought can come and go, and due to the arid loving plants that are used in the landscape, the garden’s life and aesthetics will continue on. This non-selfish use of water, has a knock-on-effect of leaving water for uses that are arguably more important. With less water being used by local plants, water is saved for local wildlife, more important vegetation and domestic uses. Increasingly, homeowners are becoming busier and busier and looking for every way possible to reduce their day to day ‘chores’. Just look at the rise in popularity of fake grass lawns and automatic sprinkler systems. Plants used in xeriscapes naturally grow much slower than water thirsty plants, which results in less trimming and pruning during weekends off. Additionally, the majority of xeriscapes don’t have lawns, removing the seemingly perpetual mowing that they require. On top of xeriscapes being much simpler to maintain for a busy lifestyle, they are also much cheaper, both to implement and to maintain. Xeriscape plants are generally cost effective, grow slowly so require less fertiliser and save money through simple maintenance (and reduced water usage).

Why the UK should care

Is this relevant to the UK? The UK hasn’t faced a hosepipe ban in years, and droughts and heat waves are mild enough for us to simply power on through. You’d be correct for thinking this. The UK is relatively drought free and our winters are wet enough to allow us to recover – there wouldn’t be much return on investment. However, the UK tends to look towards the US for styles to imitate. It doesn’t Bryonyer if the origins of the style don’t apply to us over here in the UK; the fact that it’s a style being adopted in the US is enough for UK residents to take note and want a little piece for themselves. Simply look at the UK’s adoption of pick-up trucks, American football and side-by-side fridge freezers with ice dispensers in the front. And Regardless of whether we NEED xeriscaping in the UK or not, the benefits of the practice are still there for us to reap the benefits of.