Although they originated in the United States, xerogardens are increasingly widespread due to the significant saving that they offer of something as vital as water. Find out about this technique in order to convert your garden into an example of sustainability and efficiency.
This term was coined in the 1980s on the other side of the Atlantic, specifically in the west of the US. It was a period of drought when maintaining gardens was very costly and difficult. For this reason, the different options for creating green spaces, which are always necessary in cities, were studied, focussing upon lower water consumption . As such, the Greek word ‘xero’ means drier.
Gardens are necessary in all cities because in addition to improving the atmosphere, they act as a lung by absorbing the carbon dioxide produced by the traffic and other everyday urban activities. This type of garden is much more sustainable and efficient although this does not mean that it is incompatible with bright colours and ornamentation. Their advantages are not limited to saving water, they also require less maintenance, fewer pesticides and less machinery use.
Many advantages, which is why in order to create a xerogarden a series of factors must be taken into consideration:
- You can start with an existing garden, as such it is not necessary to engage in major work, a slight redesign will be sufficient
- It is important to consider the soil type and seek out those which retain water, avoiding those which do not drain, such as clay, or sand, which quickly filter the water. If it is not possible to avoid it you can always correct it by following certain techniques.
- It is recommendable to reduce the surface allocated to the lawn, the garden will not lose charm because of this, since there are many alternatives.
- You must look for plants which do not need much watering. In the case of the Mediterranean area, olive trees and shrubs such as rosemary and thyme work well. However, it is essential to use local plants, which are better suited to the difficulties of the environment, and organise them into areas depending on their need for water.
- Likewise, it is advisable to create some height in order to place plants that require less water in the higher part and those which need more in the lower area. It is also sensible to make use of permeable windbreaks such as bushes, trees and shrubs in order to avoid dryness.
- Use resources for covering the earth such as sand, pine bark, stones or gravel, components which play a valuable role in reducing water escaping through evaporation and preventing the growth of weeds.
- Finally, although the xerogarden does not require the same amount of water, when it comes to watering this must be done efficiently, always knowing what every plant needs and choosing the best time of day to make the most of every drop. In this area, use can also be made of technology with rain and humidity sensors, or drip-feed watering systems can be installed, which enable greater control.