Learn How to Xeriscape
Understanding its principles is essential to learn how to xeriscape, which, when applied, will improve the sustainability of your landscape. Xeriscaping is developing a quality landscape that conserves water and protects the environment. The science and practice of xeriscape landscaping started out west, where rainfall is much less than in Northeast Florida. Our climate can support a more diverse variety of plantings, but it still benefits us to use water-wise practices. Xeriscaping is not simply choosing plants that can survive with your natural rainfall and seasonal distribution, although this is significant. These additional practices are also involved in creating this landscape: planning and design, soil analysis and improvements to structure and chemistry, identifying practical and accent turf areas, mulching, developing efficient irrigation, and engaging in appropriate maintenance. Even the shape of a lawn area can affect water usage. In place of ‘Xeriscaping’, Florida governmental agencies have adopted ‘Florida Friendly Landscaping’ as an alternative term, which expands on this idea of conserving all natural resources through environmentally responsible and sustainable management practices.
A xeriscaped yard takes its cues from the natural world and reflects that region’s sense of the environment. A Colorado maintain landscape would not look right on the beach and perform poorly in the typical Florida landscape. A xeriscape plant in one country region may not be a xeriscape plant in another area because of other pressures. It encourages us to pay attention to subtle environmental details. A fundamental xeriscape guideline developed in drier climates has been to design small but high-impact areas of more highly irrigated plantings near entries and buildings, using less-demanding plants elsewhere. This practice is unadvisable in the south, where humidity reigns due to moisture and the potential for fungal damage. It would be better to plan low-water-use plantings near homes and buildings here.
A xeriscaped landscape design can be adapted to any garden style, from a rustic meadow to a groomed formal garden. When properly developed, it can be a beautiful, lush landscape. It may look no different from other landscapes on the block, but if well-executed, it will likely be even more beautiful with uncommon and interesting plants and flowers.
The basic recommendations for developing a xeriscape yard, whether you are starting from scratch or just making a few changes, would be to:
– Consult with a Rockaway landscape architect or designer.
– Perform a soil test and follow their recommendations. UF/IFAS Analytical Services Laboratory. Free soil sample testing is available through the Duval County UF/IFAS Extension Office.
– Note lists of appropriate plant material.
– Have an inspection of your irrigation system done, which is a service available at Rockaway.
– Group plants with similar water requirements.
– Mulch appropriately to increase water retention in the soil around the plantings.
– Provide appropriate maintenance, a service available through Rockaway’s Maintenance division.
When developing your landscape plan, it is wise to consider potential drought periods and the occasional year that is wetter than usual. Some plants will stand up to both conditions. Plants need to be cited correctly and given time to establish. A general rule of thumb is to look for plants that are described as drought-tolerant. Rockaway landscape architects and design professionals can work with you to create and implement your xeriscape landscape design with our installation team.
Rockaway Inc proudly serves clients throughout Northeast Florida, including Jacksonville, St Augustine, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra, Nocatee, and Fernandina Beach.
Count on Rockaway Inc for all your landscape architecture and design needs, including walls, pavers, driveways, walkways, patios, water features, ponds, landscape maintenance, irrigation, drainage, outdoor lighting and audio, lawn and shrub fertilization, pest, and weed control. Furthermore, contact Rockaway Inc for all your custom outdoor living carpentry needs, including decks, pergolas, fences, pool houses, and outdoor kitchens.