Last July, on the High Desert Garden Tour in Bend, I was happy to see a place to pause in a xeriscaped garden. What is xeriscaping, you may ask. Here’s the dictionary definition:
a landscaping method developed especially for arid and semiarid climates that utilizes water-conserving techniques (such as the use of drought-tolerant plants, mulch, and efficient irrigation)Merriam-Webster dictionary
Are xeriscaped gardens boring? No! This garden was designed by Rick Martinson, formerly of Wintercreek Restoration and Nursery. He’s now the executive director of the Worthy Garden Club. Rick has been encouraging people to use plants that require little water for years.
Can xeriscaping help make your house a home and impress your guests? Yes! Look at this comfortable bench bordered by penstemon and buckwheat blossoms.
Are there very many types of flowers that grow in low water gardening? Yes! You can plant a wide variety of flowering plants including various types of lupine, penstemon, columbine, phlox, globemallow, yarrow, and monkey flower.
Here’s a link to an illustrated catalog of plants available at Wintercreek.
The picture below shows a sticky geranium, Geranium vicosisssimum.
What about trees? Can you only grow sagebrush in this type of landscaping? No!
This garden included the following trees: birch, hemlock, incense cedar, and vine maple.
It also included the following shrubs: sagebrush, golden currant, desert sweet, four wing saltbush, desert peach, mountain mahogany, chokecherry, serviceberry, silver buffaloberry, elderberry, and mountain ash.
The picture below shows an oak-leaf sumac, Rhus trilobata, growing in their yard.
As drought conditions continue to affect more places, some are requiring homeowners to use landscaping that requires less water.
I enjoy taking a pause in a xeriscaped garden in my own yard and my wildlife neighbors enjoy it too. 😀
6 thoughts on “Pause in a xeriscaped garden: Pull up a seat”
So informative and interesting. I have had some assumptions about plants that require little water that I now realize are completely wrong. Thank you for the info and links. 😊
You are welcome! Lots of great plants out there requiring little watering.
I think gardens are always more interesting than lawns. In our area we let lawns go brown in the summer (you can tell new comers to the area because they water the grass!). A lot of people are putting in these types of gardens now. They are also good for the native pollinators.
Yes, I agree! We tore out most of our lawn but left a little patch in the backyard. It’s always brown by the end of the summer. And yes, the pollinators love these plants.
Thanks for introducing me to a new word and apparently a growing (smart) trend. It would be interesting to see how the plants in this category do in regards to local wildlife – particularly are they more desired by say deer (noticed the hemlock in your post which is less desirable by deer). We have to be pretty conscious of the different critter palates (learned the hard way in our first year in the woods ha)
You’re welcome, Brian! Our local Coop Extension Unit puts out a plant guide that indicates “deer-resistant” plants but notes they are not “deer proof.” It also lists plants that attract butterflies, birds, & pollinators. Check out an Extension Unit near you. 😀