1.  Saves water:  We drip-irrigate and have not incurred a bill for the irrigation water we’ve used for over 16 years.

2. Saves time and labor:  There is no mowing, trimming, aeration or pest control. Bugs don’t eat rocks. And we don’t need to replace plants eaten by deer or grass killed by grubs.

3.  Saves energy:  It’s quick and easy to maintain. No need to run mowers, trimmers, blowers, edgers, aerators, chemical spreaders, etc.

4.  Saves money: It saves LOTS of money!  Lawn mowing in the US costs on average $800 to $1,000/year.  Add to that the water bill and servicing sprinklers. It costs more to put in but in the long run it's a real winner.

5.  Cuts air pollution:   We don’t need to run polluting power equipment.

6.  Cuts noise pollution:  We don’t need to run noisy power equipment.

7.  Cuts water and land pollution: We don’t need pest control chemicals, fertilizers or much in way of herbicides that can eventually end up in Utah Lake.

8.  Can look attractive:  Xeriscaping can add beauty, color, textures, shapes and levels to a lawn, and “curb appeal” to a home. It takes time to grow.

9.  Reduces waste:  There is reduced green waste to be buried or disposed of.

10.  Xeriscaping sets a good example of responsible stewardship of creation.

What is Xeriscape?   It’s low-water, or water-smart landscaping. Not zeroscape!

Xerimeans dry in Greek.

Why Xeriscape?   We live in an arid to semi-arid region where water is not plentiful.  Xeriscaping is smart landscaping and has many benefits ...

This is the design for our home.

The rest of our backyard is a hillsidewhich we leave natural.

If you'd like to view our xeriscape first hand,

you can reach me via email at 555canyon@gmail.com.

The Before

Web design and

© 2021 James Westwater

DESIGN YOUR OWN:   Some people think that landscapes which conserve water have to be composed of gravel, cactus, and other desert plants. This simply isn’t true. Water-efficient landscapes can be very diverse, colorful and functional. Water-efficient landscaping is actually a set of seven steps. Each step causes increased water savings in landscapes. Of course, you can hire a ladscape designer if you wish, or DYI.

1. Planning and Design

Planning comprehensively from the beginning allows homeowners to tailor their landscapes to their particular needs and interests. Consider whether there is a need for recreational areas, food production areas, or utility areas. During the design process, identify the sun and shade patterns in your landscape. Note whether there are views that you would like to block or views you want to preserve. Observe any drainage or other soil problems that need to be remedied before planting.

2. Soil Analysis

Soils high in clay absorb water very slowly and cause water waste when unabsorbed water runs off. Sandy soils are very porous and water moves past plant root zones too quickly. Improve the soil in your landscape by incorporating organic matter such as compost. This will improve the drainage and water penetration of clay soils and increase the water-holding capacity of sandy soils.

3. Plant Selection

Select plants that are appropriate for the climate and soil in our area. There are numerous colorful, attractive, water-efficient plants that require less water than traditional plants. Group plants with similar water needs in the same areas. Plants can be grouped into categories such as high water need (lawn areas), moderate, low, and very low, with irrigation planned to fit specific plant needs.  

4. Lawn Areas

Lawn has practical function for recreation areas because of its durability as a ground-cover. Remember to create lawn areas of practical size and locate them where they will be most used. Alternative grasses such as tall fescue that require less water than traditional bluegrass are becoming increasingly available.

5. Efficient Irrigation

Water infrequently and deeply to encourage plants to develop deep root systems. Consider using micro-sprays, drip lines, or bubblers for planting beds. These can reduce water loss from evaporation and wind. Remember to routinely check your sprinkler system for leaks, broken or tilted heads, etc. Adjust automatic sprinkler clocks as the weather changes.  

6. Use of Mulches

Spreading mulch in planting beds and under trees helps cool the soil and minimize evaporation. A thick layer of mulch (3 inches) will also help reduce the number of germinating weeds. Mulch material can be organic, such as wood chips or bark chips, or inorganic, such as river rock or gravel. Bugs, wind, rain, sun and time don’t affect rock mulch much. Mulch also adds a finished look to the landscape.

7. Proper Maintenance

All landscapes require regular maintenance. Pruning, correct watering and disease and pest monitoring will keep your plants healthy. Controlling weeds in you landscape is important because weeds typically have deep root systems and compete with landscape plants for water, nutrients, and space. Fertilize only the minimum amount needed. Excess fertilizer actually increases water consumption. Investigate the possible causes of yellowing plant leaves or other plant symptoms. People often assume a problem plant needs more water, when a symptomatic plant could just as easily be over-watered or suffering from a pest infestation.