The word xeriscape is derived from the Greek word xeros, which means dry, and the English word scape, meaning a scene. Combining them, it means a dry scene. This form of gardening is often misunderstood for being a garden of desert flowers or just dry and arid gardening.
However, the basic principle of xeriscape gardening is conservation of water and soil improvement using drought tolerant plants and shrubs.
Planning and Design
Planning a garden is the most basic requirement of any form of a garden. In xeriscape gardening, one must pay attention to the type of soil and its water requirement. Plants with similar water needs should be grouped and planted in the same beds.
Designing should include reduction in the size of the turf area, and should be done keeping in mind the functionality and visual appeal of the garden.
Good drainage of water can be achieved by adding organic composite, and, if possible, changing the soil in some places. Clay and sand soil have properties that suit xeriscaping. Composite should not be added to areas dedicated for succulents and cacti.
Designing smaller lawns with various drought resistant ornamental grasses will add appeal to your garden and save a lot of water, as these grasses don't require frequent watering.
Plants should be adequately watered, and a system of drip-irrigation should be worked out to ensure no water wastage. A regular check for pests should be done, though most drought-resistant plants are natural pest and insect repellents.
As water becomes an expensive and scarce resource in most urban places of America, creating a garden based on xeriscape's most basic principle of water conservation makes more sense.