Gardening and Xeriscape
What Is Xeriscape, Anyway?
Xeriscape is gardening for dry climates. The idea is to use
primarily native plants and to worry a whole lot less about how
green your lawn is. One good reason for this is because all the
watering it takes to keep an unnaturally green lawn in desert
climes increases the mineral content by washing salt and other
elements into the soil through the use of sprinklers and hoses.
If we keep this up for very long, the soil will not support
native grasses, never mind bermuda grass and roses.
And anyway, it just makes sense to work with the environment
you have, and not try to make everyplace look just like
everyplace else. The native plants and the airy style required by
our arid climate have a beauty all their own. You just have to
slow down to appreciate it.
So here are a few links, and I hope they will grow. If you
know of a site on the Net that has good information about
gardening in dry West Texas and the arid southwest, please Email Me and let me know.
- Xeriscape Plants for Midland and Odessa, Texas
- Based on the list from the local county extension office, this list of
annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, vines, ornamental grasses and
groundcovers that have low water requirements and grow well in this area
include links (where found) to the plant database at Dave's Garden so you
can get more detail, often including photos, growing tips, and insights by
gardeners who've grown these plants.
Living Sourcebook: Xeriscape
- This site has a clear definition of xeriscape and
includes details on the seven basic steps to xeriscaping
along with other guiding principals. Though it is clearly
written for an Austin audience, it covers the subject
well enough for anyone to get a grasp.
- Texas A&M provides a thorough database of native trees including
images and information on habits, foliage, suitability, and flowers.
Includes a zone
map of Texas.
- Another Texas A&M resource includes information on the principles of
xeriscape as well as tables listing a variety of plants -- both natives
and non-natives (clearly delineated) -- for use by region within Texas.
Plants for Far West Texas (El Paso)
- Still with Texas A&M we have a set of pages focusing on plants
suitable for the El Paso area.
- Native Plant Society of Texas
- Includes contact information for local chapters of the society, links,
events, plant lists and more.
- Plants of
- My favorite supplier of seeds and plants for New Mexico
and the surrounding area. Their online catalog reflects
their printed catalog, providing not only lots of lovely
images and descriptive text, but a fistful of philosophy
as rich as well-cared-for soil. Note that their web
prices may be out of date; ask when you make an order.
Also tell them that you enjoyed their site on the web,
which will encourage them to add more and keep it
- Natives of Texas
- Specializing in native plants for the Hill Country, including the
magical Madrone tree (the one with the ever-changing bark).
- Native Sons
- This Knoxville Tennessee mail order nursery specializes in monocots (orchids, iris, lilies and their relatives) and ferns.
Pages for the individual plants have nice photos and details on care for
each plant. They carry one of my favorites, Blue-eyed
- High Country Gardens
- Another site with a fair selection of native plants.
- Toadshade Wildflower Farm
- Online ordering, plants shipped in pots, and a list sorted by species, common name, favored growing conditions, and resistance to browsing by deer.
- American Meadows
- A Vermont seed company but they have plants suitable for a wide variety
- You can order bulk quantities of grasses here, including many natives.
They even have a site dedicated to horse
- Native American Seed
- A very nice site encouraging the use of native plants.
Also a mail order catalog aimed primarily at Texans
(click on the "Wildflower and Native Grasses"
link), and a good start at doing some community building
in the "Native Gardener's Corner" section. Be
sure to read their "Who we are, what we're
about" section for a little philosophy and a lot of
telling information on the owner's evolution into the use
of native seed.
Prairie Friends: Native Plants Resources
- A list of Native Plant Societies organized by state,
along with several other resources.
- Sibley Nature
- Some information on native plants in West Texas can be
found here. Best of all, here you can find Burr Williams,
our resident xeriscape expert, and ask him questions.
- Kimas Tejas Nursery
- Does not have an online catalog, but has a nice description of various
forms of natural pest control, as well as a message board where you can
Copyright ©1999 Linda Blanchard All Rights
Reserved. Date Added: February 3, 1998. Last Update: January 07, 2009.