- Start with an efficient design - an efficient design in one that not only takes in to consideration the environment that you are designing in but is also drawn accurately. The more accurate your drawing is the easier it will be for the contractor to install your design. I am not just talking about having the names of all the plants that you want to use but also having accurate measurements for the all hardscape etc. elements. If you draw a walkway at 2' wide by mistake then it is not the contractors fault for building it that way. You can see my post on what does a landscape design entail.
- Plant selection - you can't just pick any old plant and put it in any place you like. You have to consider the needs of that plant. Does the plant need sun or shade? Is the area even big enough to accommodate the plants roots and growth habit? In xeriscaping you don't have to use just cacti and succulents. You can use any native plant that requires little to no water as long as it is designed right. Click here to see a list of California native plants and what situation they can be used in.
- Practical use of turf - some of you may not really need an area of lawn in your garden but others who have kids or dogs may want to have a little area for play. In that case if you must have lawn then design with a grass that is native to your area, thus using a plant that is already adapted to the local climate and requires much less water than the traditional lawns. Click here for a great California alternative to the typical lawn.
- Improve your soil - the best thing to add to your soil for improvement is organic matter such as compost. Improving the soil before you start planting is always a good idea because once you have planted it become harder to dig in the soil without the risk of harming some plants.
- Mulch and more mulch - mulching is a great way to retain soil moisture and keep the weeds from growing. Mulch can also prevent soil erosion.
- Efficient irrigation of the space - having an efficient irrigation system installed is key to the growth of your garden. The best type of system is a drip system that allows water to reach each specific plant rather than a large area. If designed right, you may not even need to irrigate but once in a blue moon, however having a system in place is a good idea just in case.
- Maintenance of your garden - maintenance keeps your plants healthy and beautiful. You could even pretend that your garden is the gym.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
7 PRINCIPLES OF XERISCAPING
Xeriscaping as defined in the dictionary is an environmental design of land using various methods for minimizing the need for water use. Xeriscape gardening involves using plants that require little to no water. These gardens can incorporate a variety of foliage colors, shapes and colorful flowers. Below are 7 principles of xeriscaping from the national xeriscape council, Inc in Colorado.