What is Xeriscaping?

  • Xeriscape pioneers (from left) Donald Godi and Ken Ball, landscape architects; Larry Keesen, an irrigation specialist; and Gene Eyerly, an arborist. The xeric garden is at a townhome complex in Denver's Cherry Creek

    Paul Bousquet

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story, "The Lure of the Lawn."

Twenty-five years ago, Ken Ball and his Denver Water colleagues developed the seven basic principles of Xeriscaping. Those commandments are still in use today.

Plan and design the landscape for water conservation and beauty from the start.

Create practical turf areas of manageable sizes, shapes and appropriate grasses.

Select low-water plants and group plants of similar water needs together.

Use soil amendments like compost or manure as needed by the site and the type of plants.

Use mulches such as woodchips to reduce evaporation and keep the soil cool.

Irrigate efficiently with properly designed systems and by applying the right amount of water at the right time.

Maintain the landscape by mowing, weeding, pruning and fertilizing properly.

Source: Xeriscape Colorado, www.xeriscape.org.