More Than Just Cactus – A Sustainable Landscape

Some of the most unique, innovative and attractive landscapes are those that are designed to take advantage of their natural surroundings. Still, even those interested in having a sustainable garden or landscape design are sometimes a little unclear on just what is involved. There are a few aspects to creating gardens that will not only save money, but will entice the eye. After all, gardens should be places of magic and beauty, whether they in areas with an overabundance of moisture, or in dry, desert-like conditions.

delicate, low-water flowers

Creating a Desert Look – Or Not

When many people think of xeriscaping, the first thing that comes to mind is a garden full of cactus plants. This can be a daunting (and painful!) vision for homeowners with young children or rambunctious pets. The good thing is, cactus is not a required plant for this type of landscape design, though it is a popular one because of it's ability to withstand dryness. The even better thing is, there are about 2000 species of cactus in existence today, and not all of them harbor painful spikes to hook the unwary. Some are delicate flowers, or flowing tendrils that add sustainable, low-water beauty to any garden.

A Well-Planned Irrigation System

One of the main keys to designing any landscape, but particularly one with a focus on sustainability, is irrigation system design. All plants need some water, it's just that some plants need less water than others. Those who live in areas with less moisture can find themselves saddled with huge water bills in an effort to maintain a traditional garden. Efficiently planned xeriscaped gardens, on the other hand, use low-water plants and strategic placement to help a little bit of water go a long way. This method of landscaping saves money, but it also helps sustain the environment by not wasting water and other resources.

An Amazing Variety to Choose From

People are sometimes amazed when they realize just what choices they have available in native plant, flower and grass species. A xeriscaped garden is often a garden full of surprises. A plant that may seem lowly and subdued during some seasons will suddenly burst into splendid color just when it's least expected. Or, with some other plants, they change colors and even shapes as the seasons go by… never dying off, just adapting to their surroundings. Sustainable gardens can be full of lush color and life, requiring little maintenance but producing spectacular returns.

A Partner in Beauty and Magic

Some garden owners want nothing more than to wander their gardens and enjoy its fruits. The actual care and work in the garden, they leave to someone else. Others love it most when they can dig their own hands into the dirt and feel the earth under their fingers. There is nothing wrong with either type, or something in between. A garden should be an escape, a place to revitalize, to experience the magic of the design–not a burden.