Xeriscapes (low water) can add beauty and utility to your landscape


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If you really have a "project" of a yard (sandy soil, extreme temperatures or grade issues) consider one of the most beautiful, low maintanance additions to your space. I have always been a fan of most varieties of cactus, but have experimented and gotten positive feedback from adding them to a traditional yard and garden setting.

Cacti are easy to "start" from a segmant of the plant oftentimes and grow quickly. Add that many varieties flower (and even fruit) and you have a drought tolerant, beautiful and interesting base for any gardening theme. I also find that it seems if you take an otherwise arid lot that you have trouble starting any plants in, the cacti seem to acclimate the lot to life.

I started with a bare, sandy lot, that only bore the remnants of a few dried out weeds. Taking a few "ears" of a cactus I had admired at a friends rural ranch, I started the "greening" of my lot. I also had several levels to deal with, so I added terracing through rocks and railroad ties, added a strategic cactus or two, and eventually decided to try a garden on the lower level and add some grass on the top. The result, a mix of greenery in what was once an empty lot that now gives me and my guests quite a bit of joy.
 

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Although my plants are different because of climate/environment I throughly agree with using plants that don't require water once established. We have gotten rid of all our lawn in the front and side yards and planted plants that need no watering. Over a couple of years grass was replaced with heathers, herbs and hardy perennials and slowly leveled and layed pavers. Get lots of compliments on it.

I envy you your cactus. Those are gorgeous. Temperate rain forests aren't conducive for growing most succulents. I do have a small collection of sedums and semps that grow under glass tables outside. You have done a great job.
 
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Although my plants are different because of climate/environment I throughly agree with using plants that don't require water once established. We have gotten rid of all our lawn in the front and side yards and planted plants that need no watering. Over a couple of years grass was replaced with heathers, herbs and hardy perennials and slowly leveled and layed pavers. Get lots of compliments on it.

I envy you your cactus. Those are gorgeous. Temperate rain forests aren't conducive for growing most succulents. I do have a small collection of sedums and semps that grow under glass tables outside. You have done a great job.
Thanks jewell and welcome. You make a good point, if you love to garden, you can take advantage of that which works and still have a lovely effect for you and the neighbors to enjoy. I used to live in the midwest where cacti were relegated to containers and hauled in during the cold weather. I am such a cactus fanatic, I feel so lucky to have an area where they thrive year round. If you ever post pics, I would love to see what you have done.
 
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Here is an old photo of the front yard. There are several varieties of heathers and heaths so they are in bloom spring, summer and winter.
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Because of where I live sala, ferns, Oregon grape (all natives to this region)and the mini iris live in the same area. It is only the bird bath, and little water pond I have to keep filled in the summer. Here is a photo of the large plastic planter (no hole) sunk in the ground after being refilled so the water hasn't settled. I like having a little water feature for the birds. Hardy water lily in it.
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But not all birds are welcome all the time lol. The big pond had this visitor
image.jpg
. Beautiful birds, and goldfish are tempting. Cleaned out the big pond and then we had to fence it. Little ponds I don't care. Dragon fly larva take care of the mosquito larva.
image.jpg
 
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Here is an old photo of the front yard. There are several varieties of heathers and heaths so they are in bloom spring, summer and winter.View attachment 944 Because of where I live sala, ferns, Oregon grape (all natives to this region)and the mini iris live in the same area. It is only the bird bath, and little water pond I have to keep filled in the summer. Here is a photo of the large plastic planter (no hole) sunk in the ground after being refilled so the water hasn't settled. I like having a little water feature for the birds. Hardy water lily in it.View attachment 945 But not all birds are welcome all the time lol. The big pond had this visitorView attachment 946. Beautiful birds, and goldfish are tempting. Cleaned out the big pond and then we had to fence it. Little ponds I don't care. Dragon fly larva take care of the mosquito larva.View attachment 947
What a great effect. Thanks for the photos. I also have to say that is quite a handsome bird too!
 
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Yes, the great blue herons are stately, large and quit impressive. They really love an easy dinner of goldfish in a small pond. :p:p:p.

Gardening with native plants, and water features however small seem to attract more wildlife for sure.

You can see from the neighbor's yard, watering the lawn just doesn't happen in this region in many neighborhoods. If the rain doesn't do the watering it doesn't get watered. Natives or plants that can survive like natives keep a green yard with interest throughout the seasons. Your gorgeous big cactus are such a focal point.
 
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Yes, the great blue herons are stately, large and quit impressive. They really love an easy dinner of goldfish in a small pond. :p:p:p.

Gardening with native plants, and water features however small seem to attract more wildlife for sure.

You can see from the neighbor's yard, watering the lawn just doesn't happen in this region in many neighborhoods. If the rain doesn't do the watering it doesn't get watered. Natives or plants that can survive like natives keep a green yard with interest throughout the seasons. Your gorgeous big cactus are such a focal point.
Those heron are opportunists. I have sort of mixed the native plants with some I imported, the cactus in the center were actually the result of me poaching a few leaves that had fallen over a fence a few blocks away. The very large eated cactus was one I brought a cutting back from the high desert north of Palm springs. I think it loves the humidity down here and that is why they became such big fat happy boys!
 
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You see a lot more of that out here in California that you used to even ten years ago, native grasses and arid climate plants. I love it.
 
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You see a lot more of that out here in California that you used to even ten years ago, native grasses and arid climate plants. I love it.
I started thinking about it when there were first regulation on water usage. They are so beautiful I would never give them up and although it started as a practical measure it has now become a passion.
 

Pat

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We once lived in a townhouse that had a closed in court as the front yard, no grass in the front and a small court in the back. I liked that, it was a space I could have plants in containers and the kids had a space to play. Very good for a busy person with little time to care for a yard.
 

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