If you’ve recently purchased one of the new homes in Antelope Valley you may be looking for some water-wise landscaping ideas. For anyone living in the Mojave Desert, planning a yard that is careful about water consumption is a must. With drought and hot days an ever present reality, determining how to maintain curb appeal while being conservation minded might sound like a difficult task. But by utilizing a gardening method called “xeriscaping” you can have a beautiful yard without using much water at all.
What is Xeriscaping?
The term “xeriscape” is derived from the Greek word “xeros” which means dry, and “scape”, a scene or particular view. The term “xeriscape” literally means “a dry scene”. Xeriscaping has become popular in areas of the country where water costs are at a premium and the need to conserve water is at an all-time high. The basics of xeriscaping are three-fold:
- Native, drought-resistant plants
- Limited turf areas
- Rock and stone features
With just a little bit of planning you can have a beautiful yard that celebrates the beauty of the Mojave Desert and saves you money on your water bill.
Planning is essential for any good xeriscaped yard. Instead of a lawn with native plant edges, plan instead to create a lawn “walkway” through the native plantings, or skip the lawn entirely. Mix and match stones and pea gravel of different colors to create a “rock-scape” in your yard for visual interest. Consider planting trees that will need little to no watering once they are well-established.
Using a piece of graph paper, sketch out the size and placement of your home on your property. Pencil in your driveway and other yard elements that can’t be changed. Once the definite items are marked down make copies of your paper and begin playing around with color schemes and textures. You can even cut pictures of potential plants out of magazines and put them on your graph to help you decide what will look best where.
Once your xeriscape plan is set you’ll need to install any drip irrigation system you need. If you must water your plants, and you will need to water until your new plants are well-established, drip-irrigation is the most water conscious way to irrigate. Once your irrigation is in place begin placing your plants in their new locations. Be sure that you understand the plant care guidelines for each of your plants and group them accordingly. You may have plants that require partial shade, or full sun, or full shade.
If you are uncertain which plants will do well in a xeriscaping garden, here is a short list of some popular varieties that do very well with little or no water.
Alkali Mariposa Lily
Mojave Sun Cup