From: don i arkin (shardon5juno.com)
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 15:51:01 -0600 (MDT)
Hi,  Tucson is one of the leaders in xeriscaping and one of the harsher
climactic tests as well.  Although organic mulches are excellent, rock
mulches are good as well.  A thick rock or gravel cover works just like
an adobe wall for a house, in other words, as a thermal storage blanket. 
Certainly the surface of the rocks heat up, but underneath it stays cool.
        The overall cooling effect of any landscaped area has to do with
the total amount of plants, not the kind of mulch.  Either kind of mulch
will reduce the need for water by similar amounts.  The quote about
xeriscaping resulting in increased water use and air-conditioning sounds
to me like the false facts about environmental issues that those right
wing think tanks are constantly sneaking into press releases. 
        Don Arkin, from Sonora Cohousing whose xeriscaping looks like the
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