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Water-Wise Gardening

Category: Xeriscaping, Grow Lawnless, Butterfly and Habitat Gardens | Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:00 pm

I haven't watered my zone 5 gardens in over a year. I've briefly drip- irrigated my newly planted zone 8 xeriscaped front yard twice within the past 6 months. (another summer drought there, have to baby the new baby plants).

Previous landscaping and lawn were watered at least once weekly with gallons of water being wasted as it sprinkled into the air or onto the ground. I am thrilled that my zone 8 xeriscaped bird/butterfly/bee friendly, pesticide-free yard is a certified NWF Wildlife Habitat. Anyone, child or adult, can can create a wildlife-friendly environment around their home. You can be particular about your wildlife, too. i love butterflies and bees and birds, but i wage war on and discourage rabbits and squirrels from frequenting my yard.

Xeriscaping isn't tumbleweeds, scary cacti, rocks, sand, drab textures and different shades of brown and green. The method is the practice of landscaping that eliminates up to 80 percent of the watering needs of your yard and gardens.

Properly planned, a colorful, lush, fragrant garden can be created and guarantee a low-maintenance, eco-friendly environment. One that welcomes birds, butterflies, beneficial insects. And people. Instead of spending weekends cutting grass, killing insects and babying finicky specimen plants not suitable for your growing area, watering wide expanses of grass and high-maintenance ornamentals, you can enjoy the serenity of your space and share it with nature. You can use that front yard that used to be a "fishbowl" as a place to sit and reflect.

Xeriscaping reduces or eliminates altogether, the need for chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides and protects the water supply. The key to start a low-maintenance, waterwise garden and environment begins with what you plant. Native plants adapt immediately. Exotics struggle, but can be used for great effect as well. Permeous mulches, hardscaping- natural materials like crushed stone, decorative gravel, straw and many other materials creates a personal wildlife and eco-friendly environment, always threatened by over-development and removal of natural habitats.

The most difficult to landscape part of your yard is a great candidate for xeriscaping, and that previously bare spot can become a living work of art.

I will post information on the best plants for a xeriscape garden that i have used with success in zones 5 and 8, along with info on where to find that info for other zones. until then.... picture a wide expanse of manicured needy lawn replaced with butterflies, bees, and sweet smelling flowers and herbs.

I will be sharing my experiences with xeriscaping, using drought-resistant plants, permious and non-permeous hardscaping,butterfly, bird and habitat gardens as i find the time. i am creating a website at the same time, related to these subjects.

i am fortunate enough to be able to garden North and South, zones 5 and 8. One garden in a rural area, one in a suburban setting. Trying to use the same mind-set in designing gardens for 2 very different environments.

I will detail my experiences and experiments, successes and failures, in my desire to rid my environment of pesticides and lawn chemicals, eliminating wasteful and water-hungry lawns and replacing with low maintenance, water-wise, wildlife and human being-attracting landscape.

Last edited: Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:02 am

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Droopy wrote on Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:03 pm:

I'm looking forward to following your progress in both zones, with a special interest in zone 5. Your ventures sound exciting.

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