With California’s drought entering its fourth year of record-breaking dry weather many people are looking to apply drought tolerant landscaping techniques to their garden landscapes. But what exactly is a drought tolerant landscape?
Misconception #1: Drought tolerant = rocks, cactus and dried up animal skulls
Xeric is Greek for “requiring little water.” The most common misconception is that Xeriscaping, another term for drought tolerant landscaping techniques is just “Zero” scaping, or removing all lawn and plants and laying down gravel, rocks and some cactus or succulents. In fact, many California native plants and flowers can withstand dry conditions, need much less water and can still provide a lush, green drought tolerant garden landscape. We have even produced outstanding drought tolerant landscaping designs from a mix of artificial grass and drought tolerant plants which looks just as natural and green as your typical thirsty green lawn and garden.
Drought tolerant landscaping by Sierra Pacific Design with low water plants and artificial grass
Misconception #2: Water Conserving Landscapes Are Sterile and Lifeless
Many California native plants have long lasting blooms and lush green foliage while using much less water. When planting, it is important to take into consideration the plant’s size at maturity. Layer your plants by height and bloom time for a pleasing design and constant color.
You can further conserve soil moisture by adding compost, mulch and shredded leaves to your garden regularly. Compost not only adds beneficial nutrients and microbes to the soil, it helps retain moisture. Another tip is to use a soaker hose for watering. Sprinklers and overhead watering is fine for lawns, but a soaker hose can be more efficient for drought tolerant gardens. The best drought tolerant landscape strategies begin with proper plant selection and the first phase of your garden plan should be to group plants with the same water requirements in the same watering zone, which will help provide efficient watering.
Misconception #3: Drought Tolerant Gardens Require No Maintenance
While your new drought-tolerant landscape may require less water, it will still require some periodic low maintenance. Be sure to prune your plants properly, following the natural shape of the plant. Regular weeding will also be necessary and removing pest infested or diseased plants is a must.
Drought Tolerant Landscaping Tips:
- Determine north, south, east and west
- Take note of sunny and shady spots
- Create and use shade for plants that may need more moisture
- Identify slopes and drainage patterns to help funnel water through the garden
- Use compost or mulch to maintain soil temperature, improve water retention, prevent runoff and control weed growth
Be patient with your new drought tolerant landscape design. Many gardeners actually live for this kind of challenge. Install your new drought tolerant garden in stages if you wish and be as creative as you want. Remember, those lush, green and colorful blooms are out there waiting for you.
We Create Drought Tolerant Landscapes That Are Natural and Inviting
Do you really want a colorless field of rocks and pebbles with some sparse succulents? Or are you ready to imagine a beautiful sustainable garden featuring drought tolerant plants, a rainwater catchment system and a flowing natural waterfall that is truly inviting to the eye?
If you are thinking about transforming your lawn with drought tolerant landscaping, contact us today for a complimentary consultation. We are the experts in bringing the beauty of southwest native plants and the tranquil sounds of flowing water to transform thirsty lawns into beautiful drought tolerant garden landscapes.