Xeriscaping does not require using only native plants and plants from similar climates.
Xeric plants typically need some irrigation while they establish their root systems. After they are established, some
of these plants will need little or no supplemental irrigation. Others will be more attractive, from a landscape use perspective, and produce more flowers, if irrigated modestly during the growing season.
Too much irrigation will stress xeric plants. This will result either in their early death, or allow them to become too large,
or become an invasive within your landscape, your neighbors’ landscapes, and local open spaces.
Xeric landscapes can include grass. Less lawn not lawn-less is the better description. You can do away with all grass,
but practical grass areas can be part of the package such as for play areas for children and pets.
Don’t overlook ornamental grasses — some of the most spectacular plants in the xeric landscape. They are
available in a variety of sizes and colors. They are attractive year round and especially for their effect in the winter landscape. Their seeds attract birds. Many are low water users and most can be employed in a landscape to great effect.
“Hardscape” features (large rocks, timbers, stones, gravels and similar materials) can be an integral part of
the xeric landscape. They provide contrast to plant materials, making for a more effective display. They can create elevations, can be used to separate areas of a yard, and often are attractive in their own right. Garden art can provide focal points and serve in a similar capacity.
Properly designed and constructed water features can be part of a xeric landscape. They will attract birds, beneficial
insects and other wildlife, depending on the part of the city in which you live.