June 24, 2017

What Is Xeriscaping, Anyway—And How Can Hardscapes Help?

As summer temperatures climb, water becomes a drain, so to speak, on our wallets. We’ve got to water, if our lawns and plants are going to survive. But increased water usage means we’re spending more hard-earned money, and depleting a precious natural resource.

Fortunately, xeriscaping can make a big difference in keeping our yards and gardens green, while reducing our water bills. In fact, when you xeriscape, you may save between 30 and 50 percent of your water costs.[1] But exactly what is xeriscaping?

The term comes from the Greek word xeros, for dry, but xeriscaping doesn’t mean you have to have an arid, hot landscape. Instead, it’s about using efficient techniques to save water, so you can still enjoy attractive, even lush, landscapes.

It’s easy to get started. For example, you might replace a large area of thirsty lawn with a beautiful patio for entertaining, using stones, bricks, or pavers. You might also use native plants in your landscape, which typically require less water than exotics or hybrds.

That’s just the beginning. Check out our tips below to start xeriscaping in your landscape today:

1. Mulch. Mulch helps keep the soil around your plants stay cooler, and helps retain moisture. Here at Vining Stone in Sharpsburg, we carry a variety of decorative mulches that will enhance the beauty of your yard and help save water. Call 770-252-6336, or drop by to see the colors and types of mulch we have available. We’ll give you a free estimate of how much you’ll need for your landscape.

2. Irrigate. Water evaporates fast in the hot summer air, so it’s more efficient to water your plants close to their roots, with a drip irrigation system, than with a garden hose. See this article from the extension service at Texas A&M University for more information about using drip irrigation: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/drought/drought4.html.

3. Contour your landscape, if possible, to take advantage of natural rainfall. You’ll want to plan carefully, so water drains away from your home or other structures, but consider using a retaining wall made of stones, rocks, or bricks from Vining Stone, to direct rain to your plants, rather than letting it run off uselessly.

4. Plant drought-resistant plants. Don’t worry—we don’t mean thorny, desert-type plants. This article from HGTV.com lists plants don’t require constant watering. Also, check with your local county extension service for information about low-maintenance flowers, shrubs, trees, and natives that are recommended for your area.

Vining Stone has a wide variety of materials to help xeriscape your landscape, from mulches, to pavers, stones, decorative rocks, gravel, and bricks. Estimates are free, and we provide good, old-fashioned, one-on-one customer service. Call us at 770-252-6336 or come by our location at 211 Stewart Road in Sharpsburg. We’re help to you design the perfect xeriscape!