Microclimates in Xeriscaping - Tiny Pockets of Life
The art of desert landscaping utilizes drought tolerant plants in a way that mimics or emulates a desert environment.
xeriscaping – landscaping without much water - and using other moisture
retaining tactics like landscaping with rocks and using mulching
techniques you can make your garden a desert oasis.
Landscaping with Rocks
Low Water Plants
Garden Design Ideas
How to grow Cold Hardy Cacti
The pockets of protection give plants in these sheltered spots an edge in dry gardens.
If you live in a desert climate, with dry air, cooler night temperatures
and excessive heat during the day, make the most of it by means of some
basic desert landscape designs.
See how nature does it; groups of plants form guilds, with taller
shrubs creating a tiny scrap of shade to protect seedlings of other
plants, which in turn shade the roots of the shrub. Each plant
contributes to the whole environment, aiding the survival of others.
Rock retaining walls enclose an area of pavement, clustering boulders make a sheltered nook, and a courtyard is a protected seating area.
Some native desert landscape plants in your palette can provide a backbone for fleshing out with other drought tolerant plants such as succulents with their excellent drought smart strategies.
Use as your basis any plants that are native to your area, so are well
adapted to the climate.
Choose plants that are evolved to grow well in
an area slightly drier than what you garden in, and also look at plants
which can adapt to changing conditions or seasonal inundation in their
Nature seems to know exactly which plants will look fantastic together...
In areas of colder winters, Saguaro cactus won’t grow, so it’s
important to find plants with similar features to use in the place of
some of the more tender plants.
To provide the same sense of
height and scale, look for trees or large shrubs that will occupy the
same niche as some of the larger cacti. These can be hardy native
shrubs, or exotic species that require the same conditions.
climate will require different shrubs or trees, so some research is
necessary. These will form the outline of your desert landscaping,
which will then be filled in with smaller shrubs or larger perennials;
these can be xeric plants
that have been tested over many generations in challenging conditions.
Surround these with drought tolerant ground covers. Some of my
favorite plants are succulents such as Sedum and Sempervivum to fill this role.
The important thing to remember with desert landscaping is to provide
sheltered spots for groupings of plants with similar requirements. The
art of leaving some areas un-planted and mulching with pebble mulch or lava rock is typical in this type of xeriscaping.
you view a desert as a dry desolate place, or as an ecosystem with an
array of plant material that can exist in such a challenging habitat,
you can adapt the lessons that deserts teach to form your own colourful
and textural desert landscaping.
Low Maintenance Landscaping