Xeriscaping With Other Landscape Design Aspects
Although hardscaping or paver assemblies like a patio might seem at odds with the term “Xeriscape” we believe they work quite well together. Pavers drain and allow the ground to transfer oxygen which allows water to percolate through rather than to run off or make mud, and erode, they can be repaired to near new condition if a brick or two are damaged and are rarely found looking worse than cracked concrete would look. Pavers, slate path’s or patio areas are a beautiful private sitting area when surrounded by native plantings and Xerigation.
A new Xeriscape will establish itself faster, stay healthier, use far less water and withstand droughts and pests better than most nursery or greenhouse raised ornamentals.
Xeriscaping Around The Water Garden
Xeriscaping around a small water garden’ using indigenous lava stone can look good with thick heavy plantings or minimal plantings as seen above. This perennial receives little to no extra landscape water and is quite happy in its second season. This particular water garden is on make up water, which does subtract from a true Xeriscape practice. About the only thing a professionally installed water feature will have problems with is evaporation that can be a lot in the heat of summer.
If a water feature were in use where the rest of the yard is Xeriscape we might try and nestle the water garden in with some shade so it’s not in direct sun. Also we might opt for a pondless water fountain where we minimize water surface contact.
By having the water reservoir where the pump is housed filled with material such as river rock and or other decorative stones. We have built several fine Basalt pillar water fountains with hidden vaults. For instance a 9 foot 3 ton basalt pillar can be drilled then placed vertically with plumbing feeding water out the top, the water runs down the side and disappears back into the underground vault.
Xeriscape – Dry River Bed
Another idea, which works very well especially in and around other lava stones, is a dry riverbed. With the use of different stone textures like rounded river rock mixed in with the native lava rock we create a very natural and functional drain area.
Consider a rise in grade in your landscape which always washes down the hill when it rains hard, there might already be a creek bed there:-) We can do some creative shovel work and create a natural looking run off or dry creek bed that actually works.
One customer last season begged me to get rid of her ugly aluminum downspouts and 3 inch black ADS drainage pipe which was running from her downspout all the way across her beautiful garden in Tumalo. After some thought we carved out a naturally curving creek-bed which snaked through her planting area and ended at her lawn edge, we lined it then used decorative gravel to fill it.
It was all naturally downhill so it worked out great! We also used some of her native lava and some flat stones which saved her materials cost and we used it for texture and variation in stone sizes, it works great and she loves it, no more bark chips on the lawn! What it really needs is a rainwater-harvesting tank but that’s another discussion.