Sunday, July 10, 2011

In Conclusion: Xeriscape Demo Garden Part Three

 This is the third and final part of our visit to the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden in Colorado Springs. In review and to keep things short this post will be primarily photos. 
The Seven Principles of Xeriscape : 1. Plan and Design  2. Soil Amendment  3. Efficient Irrigation 4. Appropriate plant and zone selection 5. Mulch  6. Alternative turf  7. Maintenance.

In Greek Xeri means dry or dry enviroment; Xeric means relating or adapted to an extremely dry habitat. Succulents such as cacti, aloes, and agaves are xeric plants.

Reviewing the many comments I've received there seems to be a little confusion on what xeriscape means to each reader. I believe we all use many of the same principles in our "non" xeriscape gardens. So I am going out on a limb and choose principle #4 : appropriate plant and zone selection as being the best definition of Xeriscape. By planting plants with the same light/irrigation zone needs, we create an area that is more efficient in water use. For example, if we plant a high water use plant like the Ajuga with a low water use plant like Yucca in the same bed we have to irrigate the bed heavily to keep the ajuga alive and thus over watering the yucca excessively. Thus using more water than necessary. I hope this explains the principle better.
Xeriscape Rock Garden
Solar Powered Water Garden
Sorry the focus is off.
No to Low Water Zone/Full Sun
No/Low Water Zone/Full Sun-Alternative Lawn Zone-Buffalo/Blue Grama Grass
Yucca and Penstemon
Low Water Zone
Had to add a photo of a project I completed when I lived in the Springs in 2002. Xeriscape principles were used and many existing plants were left such as Pinyon Pine and Juniper. Initially there were only rotted railroad ties and noxious weeds and no rock. Needless to say we moved a few tons of boulders.
My son and I say adios.


  1. Those are some gorgeous gardens. Goes to show what can be done even in the most extreme heat areas.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. Dry can be beautiful :-) Great pics!! And love the project with all of the boulders :-)
    Boulders make a landscape! Just wish they weren't so darned heavy!

  3. I agree with Toni. Landscaping like this is beautiful and not boring like so many think.

  4. So much of it is just common sense. I place my plants according to their needs, even at the sacrifice of design. It's all much easier that way. I'm trialing showy tick trefoil this year in a hot, dry shady spot that has been the death of many other plants. It's grouped with other plants that can take hot, dry clay in shade. Unfortunately, the list of plants to choose from is mighty small!

  5. Those are beautiful gardens you've created, here and previous posts. I envy your work. I love landscaping personally but i chose postharvest physiology in choosing major field in college, because it is so hot here outdoors, haha! At least in my chosen field i stay indoors doing my thesis, and can do landscaping as a hobby even if it's not professional.

  6. Wow - very beautiful...I can't imagine moving all those boulders! But the end result is great.

  7. You certainly know how to make the best of your garden, it is fantastic. Here in Scotland at the moment it is too cold and too wet, garden still looking not bad.

  8. Your photos explain the system well. Love the gravel garden pics as we have just started a gravel garden here.

  9. Here in Venice is too wet for growing a rock garden, but I really enjoyed reading your post and looking your beautiful photos.
    Ciao to you and your son!

  10. Great post! As water becomes more costly, it will help to know and adhere to these principles. I love using drought tolerant plants, but I need to place them better.

  11. Beautiful garden! I love the boulders. Our problem here is that we have lots of rain throughout the year, about 60 inches annually, but we also have periods of drought. So I need drought tolerant plants that also love water!

  12. Good point about plant selection and zones. When I think xeric plants my mind goes to desert plants that need little water but that wouldn't make sense in my zone 5 garden. I'm trying to bring in more native plants on my property as they are adapted to the climate and water conditions. That, for me, is xeriscaping for my climate.

  13. I have enjoyed this series of posts. What a great gardening adventure!


Thanks for leaving any comments, they are always welcomed. Sorry I had to add word verification as spam was becoming a huge problem. Greggo,