Re: Xeriscaping
From: Cheryl A. Charis-Graves (
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 09:19:01 -0600 (MDT)
As I understand it, the principle that applies is to NOT use rock 
(which does heat up) but to use a deep layer of organic mulch (like 
shredded tree bark and clippings) around plants that tolerate dry 
conditions. Drought-resistant trees and shrubs can be used to create 
some shading for houses, to reduce the ambient temperature. My front 
yard is planted in strawberries, which the comm'ty kids like to harvest 
throughout the summer. No mowing, little water (trees provide some 
shade), and it stays very green.

The recent drought here in Colorado (from which we have not fully 
recovered) has created a greater awareness of how to plant and apply 
water more thoughtfully. Ongoing studies and research among gardeners 
and horticulturists are producing lists of ever-more hardy and non-
thirsty plants. It changes the look of landscaping and lawns, but is 
certainly more sustainable.

Personally, it was deeply distressing for me to read about farmers and 
ranchers who were losing land and livestock which had been in their 
family for several generations. As a result, I feel a certain zeal 
about wise-water use. Here in semi-arid Colorado, it seems almost 
criminal to put in water-hungry turf when other options do exist.

Imagine that, a cohouser zealot!

Harmony Village in Golden, CO
(where I'm sure my master-gardener neighbor and gardening author, Dave, 
is chuckling about my "defense" of xeriscaping)

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