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Looking for a Lush Landscape?

Mention xeriscape and many homeowners imagine scorched gravel and cactus. It may not be the Gardens of Versailles, but South Texas isn’t a desert either! You too can have a lush landscape without turf.

A landscape adhering to the seven principles of xeriscape should be both tough and green, without constant high maintenance that breaks our backs, budgets and aquifers. For inspiration, check out these local xeriscapes that use little or no supplemental irrigation:

  • Phil Hardberger Park – A shady green space for outdoor living and enjoyment with nary a sprinklerhead in sight. Visitors hike and bike through patches of renewed savannah, brush and live oak woodlands, showcasing the junction of our three eco-regions.
  • Mitchell Lake Audubon Center – The Leeper House cottage garden of native and Mexican plants explodes with living color in the form of flowers, hummingbirds and butterflies. And, it’s all watered by hand with a hose.
  • San Antonio Botanical Garden – The Cactus Garden elevates the classic formula with breezy, contemplative shade provided by mesquite, acacia and other carefree natives. Your guests will enjoy it, too: with the air gently stirred and no irrigation, mosquitoes are at a minimum.

You, too, can pull the plug on your in-ground irrigation and set your landscape and your back free. It doesn’t have to be wet to be lush.

Brad Wier
Brad Wier
Brad Wier is a SAWS conservation planner. Years in South Texas landscaping and public horticulture gave him a lasting enthusiasm for native plants that don’t die when sprinklers -- and gardeners -- break down. He’d rather save time and water for kayaking and tubing. He is a former kilt model, and hears hummingbirds.
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