Conservation in the Landscape

Conservation in the landscape does not have to mean desertscaping or ‘zero-scaping’ as it is frequently and improperly called.  You can have a lush, green Outdoor Living Space and still have the space be very sustainable.

The original term ‘Xeriscape’ was coined in Denver in 1978 after the drought in 1977.  Broadly defined, ‘xeriscaping’ means to group plants of like water needs and use more plants with low water needs and fewer plants with high water needs.  This is the simplest form of conservation.

uyuni_road_cactiUnfortunately, conservation in the landscape has soured many people towards responsible landscaping because the term ‘Xeriscape’ has been ignorantly interpreted as ‘Zeroscape.’

‘Zeroscaping’ or ‘Desertscaping’ which is the more correct term for an all rocks, hardscape and cactus landscape, is unappealing to many people, and therefore, people tend to think that you can not conserve in the landscape unless you use all rocks and cactus.

Ironically, though an all rocks, hardscape and cactus landscape uses less water, it also increases the heating and cooling requirements of the structure it surrounds because the micro-climate around the structure is drastically changed.

There are many factors, like heating and cooling, other than water conservation that play a major role in conservation in the landscape.  I have come up with a list of seven categories that I will cover in this series of posts and podcasts that will help to give ideas to conserve in the landscape.

These seven categories are: Water, Electricity, Time, Function, Recycling/Pollution, Organice Applications and Energy.

I will include the links to all the posts in this series here at the bottom of this post, but I would recommend starting with the three part watering series called “Three Things You Are Doing to Kill Your Lawn” on the Gardening and Maintenance page.  You can also access these posts from the link below “How Do I Set My Sprinkler Clock?”.

Introduction to Conservation in the Landscape Podcast


How Do I Set My Sprinkler Clock?

Your Concrete Just Won’t Grow

Watering with a Firehose

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