When droughts come we all wish our yards used much less water. Why not plan ahead and re-create our yard’s spaces to be drought resistant yet beautiful. They say water is the next gold. If that is true than refashioning your yard may be like panning for gold! There are many side benefits as well. One is the fact that native plants provide food and shelter for our native Texas wildlife. Another advantage is that most of these plants do not need extensive and frequent trimming like old favorite non-native Wax Leaf ligustrum (Ligustrum japonicum) or Red Tip Photinias (Photinia fraseri).
Is Xeriscape a Zeroscape?
No,xeriscaping means simply a drought and heat resistant landscape but does not have to mean just looking at rocks and cactus. There are many plants that bloom and look beautiful all summer even in high heat with little water. Some Central Texas plants that bloom are Retama trees or Leguminosae Parkinsonia aculeata,which have a yellow bloom;lantana,or Lantana urticoides (L. horrida) comes in many colors including gold,white,lavender,red,orange and pinks;crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia species) include pink,lavender,red and white. Pride of Barbados or Caesalpinia pulcherrima has striking red and orange flowers. Blue plumbago or Plumbago auriculata has soft strikingly blue flowers on a green hedge. I am just so proud when I see my red lantana happily blooming away in high heat with no watering.
Low Water Use Lawns
If you want a lawn,do not use St. Augustine in the Austin,Texas area because it uses way too much water and is subject to chinch bugs (Blissus insularis),brown patch and iron chlorosis. Zoysia is a low water use grass that uses much less while providing an emerald green soft lawn. Bermuda grass also creates a beautiful,green low water use lawn. Buffalo Grass is a native grass that is highly drought tolerant and well suited to poor soil. Buffalo grass does not have to be mowed unless you have to have the short,manicured lawn look. Another alternative to heavy water use lawns like St. Augustine is to plant a flower meadow or wildflower “lawn”.
Even a water wise landscape is hard to establish in the middle of a hot Summer,especially if there is a drought. It is better to wait until Fall,the best time to plant. Just sit tight and wait. Spend the Summer enjoying cool Barton Springs or another favorite spot. Whether we call it smartscaping,wildscaping,conservation gardening,water-wise landscaping,gardening for wildlife or something else,it’s all good for our pocketbook,our environment,our water supply,our wildlife and our free time!
Low Water Use Landscape Design Home
This is a home just outside of Austin that has a professionally designed low water use landscape. The design includes a water efficient Zoysia lawn,Culinary Garden,trees and blooming flowers.
Suppliers for my Texas Natives
Hill Country Natives
308 Mesa Oaks
Leander, TX 78641
(512) 914-7519 www.HillCountryNatives.biz
Since 2002, Hill Country Natives has been helping further the fact that natives are best suited for the Hill Country Environment. They use no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or toxic pesticides.
East Austin Succulents
9502 South Chisolm Trail
Austin, TX 78748
(512) 947-6531 www.EastAustinSucculents.com
East Austin Succulents are proponents of Water Wise Landscaping and do custom installations and design as well as selling succulents and cacti and nice potted succulent arrangements for gifts.