WSJ discusses xeric landscaping

Denise McConnell got tired of the lawn that surrounded her Las Vegas home. The grass needed watering almost every day, mowing every week and a seasonal schedule of fertilizer and weed-control applications. To top it all off, it looked dull. “It was pretty nondescript,” the 62-year-old accountant says. “And my water bill was averaging about $100 a month.”
Giving Up On Grass

Homeowners are trading in putting-green turf and clipped hedges for landscaping that is much closer to what might have been there in the first place.

Inspired by the gardens she saw on a trip to Italy’s Tuscan countryside, Ms. McConnell worked hard and gradually transformed her yard into an oasis of heat-tolerant and water-efficient plants. Today, she is surrounded by beds of flowering perennials, herbs and fragrant vines. Her garden offers maximum privacy, and her monthly water bill? Cut in half, to about $50.

Garden-design strategies that encourage minimal watering, called “xeriscaping”—based on the Greek word for ‘dry’—first emerged in the West, where water resources are thin. Employees of Denver’s water department are widely believed to have coined the term in the early 1980s—and now it is spreading in other regions among conservation-minded homeowners who want to grow beautiful gardens. Read more “Gardening with out a sprinkler and be sure to check out the slide show with the article