When you plan for a garden, you have to consider the watering realities of the climate you live in. Few things are worse for a gardener than lovingly nursing your garden only to be clapped with watering restrictions that force you to watch all your hard work whither and die. On the other hand, if you populate your garden with plants that are already acclimatized to the conditions in your area, you can help your garden weather even the harshest restrictions.
While xeriscaping may have originated in the Southwest, you do not have to use desert plants to have a xeriscape. The reason for using cacti and other drought-tolerant plants in Southwestern gardens is because those are the plants typical to that area, not necessarily because they require very little watering. Thus, if you want a xeriscape in your yard, you should not feel like you are boxed-in to using only desert plants. Instead, the best plants for your garden will be plants that are native to your area. Once established, these plants should thrive with very little interference on your part. If you do like the desert-look of xeriscaping, consider succulents like sedum. If you are worried about not having enough color in your garden, consider plants like smokebush and canna.
Benefits of a Xeriscape
The obvious benefit of xeriscaping is that it reduces your need to water your garden. This is beneficial to a gardener in two ways: (1) Your garden should be able to cope with watering restrictions. (2) You should not be a slave to your watering schedule.
While a having a largely self-sustaining garden is a real boon for a gardener, a xeriscape can have other important benefits. Because you are using native plants, the bees, butterflies, and/or hummingbirds responsible for pollenating plants in your area should have no problem visiting your garden. Not only will frequent visits from insects and birds add to the beauty of your garden, but they will also promote the health of your garden.
Xeriscaping is not for everyone. While the plants native to your area might be best adapted for survival in your area, they may not be the beautiful plants that you dream of having in your garden. If this is your case, you should consider planting a limited quantity of the thirsty plants you want close to your home and then xeriscaping the rest of your yard. Zoning your watering needs in this way will help you to have the key plants you really want while still limiting your water use. With a little planning, you should be able to find a way to make xeriscaping work for you. Talk with a place like Design Scapes of Manasota Inc for more tips.