Xeriscaping is the term used for using plants that require only natural rainfall. It is also termed “waterless” gardens. In many parts of the world where water is scarce, this is an invaluable way to conserve moisture while providing beauty through flowers, shrubs and bushes.
Xeriscaping does not have to mean rocks, cacti and tumbleweeds. There is actually a wide variety of plants that are hearty enough to withstand drier conditions. The best way to know what would thrive in your part of the country would be to go out into nature and see what is thriving naturally. Take lavender for example. It is a flower that is found throughout the world and can make do with minimal tending. It is a cornerstone of many cultivated gardens just for its fragrance and beautiful purple blooms. Herbs, such as sage, are also great for waterless gardens. They thrive in direct sunlight and give off a wonderful fragrance.
There are several varieties of sage that do wonderfully in Xeriscape gardens. Russian Sage, May Night Sage or Curlicue Sage all makes excellent additions to the natural garden. Some obvious choices are plants in the cacti family such as Texas Red Yucca. The Yucca is pretty much like any other cactus except when it blooms. The flowers are on top and are a riot of flaming colours and blooms that last for several weeks.
The trick to Xeriscaping is early watering in order for the plant to become established. After a year, they can survive on water from rainfall and condensation. It is well worth the time and effort to establish these dry plants as the low maintenance in later years will be a boon.
Xeriscaping is the best answer for regions heavily affected by drought in the summer. It gives the landscape a wonderful appeal as well as helps with soil erosion due to flooding or wind. A waterless garden does not have to be sand, rock and prickly shrubbery. It can have all the gentleness of an English garden mixed with the heartiness of desert landscapes.