Many parts of the country have hot, dry climates, and even more areas are experiencing more frequent droughts and hotter weather. As a result, you may see water restrictions in your community, or your lawn and garden suffering from lack of water. Fortunately, water conservation doesn't mean that you can't enjoy gardening. This is why we xeriscape! Designing your gardenscape with water conservation in mind will result in a beautiful, blooming, waterwise garden. As an added benefit, you can cut back on watering and maintenance chores, while also supporting pollinators, birds, and wildlife. It's a win-win!
Garden Planning and Design with Water-Use Zones
Understanding your landscape's water zones can help you create a water-efficient garden. Water-Use Zones allow you to focus water use where it is most beneficial for the beauty of your home's outdoor living environment.
Zone One: The Oasis Zone
The oasis zone is the area up close to the house. Here the landscape is most visible and accessible to the home's interior and entryways. Since these areas are also closest to your home, they're more accessible to water. You can use a hose, or passive water retention strategies to harvest rainwater, to irrigate these areas.
We also recommend planting waterwise perennial groundcovers, ornamental grasses, and small trees or shrubs to give your garden curb appeal and structure that lasts throughout the year.
You can also plant annuals and container gardens near your home for added interest.
Consider fragrant or low-growing plants along walkways to enhance the entrance to your home.
Zone Two: The Transition Zone
The transition zones are areas that occupy the middle ground of the property, especially along walkways, driveways, fences and other areas that are visible as you approach the house. You'll want to use plants that are waterwise and require less maintenance in these areas. You may also add areas of sustainable lawn for walking and playing.
'Prairie Gold' Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a beautiful golden-yellow form of this popular native wildflower. This selection is grown from seed collected from a wild population in its Indiana habitat. Grow this special native cultivar to add unexpected color and an interesting conversation starter to your pollinator garden. A 2021 High Country Gardens Introduction.
Red Jupiter's Beard is an everblooming Old World wildflower with clusters of tiny dark red flowers held over deep green foliage. A tough, durable plant, it thrives with minimal water and care once established. Great Butterfly plant.
Nepeta Walker's Low (Walker's Low Catmint) is a robust variety with dark lavender-blue flowers in late spring and aromatic gray-green foliage. Thriving in harsh conditions, this durable, rabbit and deer resistant perennial plant is an indispensable for use in xeriscapes. Drought resistant/drought tolerant perennial plant (xeric).
Delosperma Fire Spinner® has vibrant tri-colored flowers of orange, red and lavender that are unique in the world of perennial flowers. Outstandingly colorful. An evergreen groundcover, this ice plant blooms in late spring. A 2011 Plant Select winner. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
Hachita Blue Grama Grass Plugs (Bouteloua gracilis) is the most vigorous selection of this beautiful native grass from the western Great Plains. Beloved for its "eyelash" seed heads, it can also be mowed once a month to create a soft, inviting lawn. Quite xeric, 'Hachita' Blue Grama thrives in both sandy soils and clay! You can also interplant plugs with wildflowers to grow a colorful, low-care short grass prairie. For a turf type lawn, plant plugs 6" apart. 4" tall (15" with seed heads).
Dog Tuff™ Grass (Cynodon ‘PWIN04S’) is an amazing, highly drought-resistant lawn grass perfect for high traffic and play areas. It has excellent durability in yards with dogs and is resistant to yellowing from dog urine. Once established, this warm-season grass is highly weed resistant, deep-rooted and provides a soft, cushioned feel for bare feet. It only grows 2 ½-4 inches high, so you need not mow it unless you prefer a manicured look. 2015 Green Thumb Award Winner. Questions? Download our Dog Tuff ™ Grass Planting Guide.
Legacy Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides Legacy) is a premium-quality native turf grass variety bred by University of Nebraska agronomists to be a drought tolerant, low care turf grass with the lush look of traditional bluegrass or fescue lawns.
Prestige Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides Prestige) is moisture and humidity tolerant, and outperforms all other varieties of buffalo grass in the southern and southeastern United States. Prestige Buffalo Grass has fine soft blades with a stunning green color. Prestige Buffalo Grass is considered drought tolerant, has extremely deep roots, and requires very little supplemental water once established. It grows to a height of 4-6 inches, so mowing is optional, and dependent on the look desired. It has exceptional disease and insect resistance and a very low pollen rating.