The ever-growing concern of climate change has already begun to impact the Earth’s most precious ecosystems, resources, and our daily lives. One of the most significant effects of climate change that we’ve seen to date is the increase in droughts and water scarcity. This isn’t just a problem for people in remote parts of the world. It’s already affecting the weather and water supply in our own backyards.
Fortunately, there’s a lot that governments, businesses, non-profits, and even individuals can do to combat climate change and adapt to its effects on our lives and landscapes. At Blessing Landscapes, we work with Portland homeowners to incorporate sustainable landscaping practices like xeriscaping into our designs and installations.
By xeriscaping your property and using other eco-friendly landscaping solutions, you can help protect our precious environment, conserve water, and enjoy a more robust, low-maintenance landscape that can withstand droughts and dry conditions.
What Is Xeriscaping?
Xeriscaping, derived from the Greek word “xero” (meaning “dry”), is a sustainable landscaping approach designed to reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation. In the past, xeriscaping has primarily been practiced in ultra-dry, drought-prone climates as a way to conserve essential water resources. However, xeriscaping offers a plethora of benefits for homeowners and ecosystems in a variety of regions, including the PNW.
Traditional landscaping relies heavily on irrigation to thrive, often requiring sprinklers and/or manual watering in conjunction with other systems. Xeriscaping adapts to the natural environment by shifting the focus away from large areas of grass and high-maintenance flora. Instead, it utilizes native plants and low-maintenance lawn alternatives to reduce waste and harmonize with local ecosystems.
Key Benefits of Xeriscaping
Let’s face it, staying on top of routine watering for grass and plants can be a major inconvenience for most homeowners. Many people don’t have the time or energy to determine how much and how often to water their plants. A xeriscape landscape can significantly limit – or even eliminate – water usage. This not only offers a more convenient, cost-effective approach to landscaping, but it also conserves essential water resources. That means you can save time and money while doing your part to combat the impact of climate change.
One of the most tragic aspects of climate change is the widespread habitat loss faced by native animals and insects. By xeriscaping your landscape, you can provide displaced wildlife with a new home and food source. Incorporating native plants into your landscape design attracts beautiful wildlife and pollinators like birds, butterflies, and bees.
Fewer Maintenance Requirements
By definition, xeriscaping reduces the amount of resources needed to maintain your landscape – including labor! Prioritizing low-maintenance plants and moving away from traditional, fast-growing lawns means you’ll save time and money by reducing the need for regular mowing, fertilization, and pest control.
At Blessing Landscapes, we offer comprehensive routine maintenance services to our residential and commercial clients in the Portland area. With us, you can enjoy your garden for years to come without having to worry about regular maintenance.
Soil Health and Erosion Control
Soil health is essential to any landscape, and xeriscaping is no exception. Luckily, xeriscaping and soil health go hand-in-hand. Healthy soil can be used as a beautiful lawn alternative, as it naturally retains moisture and nutrients, especially when combined with organic mulches. The soil conditions on your property can offer invaluable guidance in terms of what native plants will adapt and thrive in the natural environment.
Xeriscaping also helps to provide erosion control by offering natural drainage and preventing the moisture in your soil from running off the land. This keeps your landscape healthy, but it also prevents water from accumulating near your home and damaging its foundation.
Steps To Implement Xeriscaping in Your Yard
Making the decision to transition to sustainable landscaping is a wonderful first step. But how do you actually go about adapting your landscape to accommodate the changing climate conditions? How do you create outdoor spaces that require little to no irrigation while still maintaining their beauty and functionality for your family?
The best way to begin any significant landscaping project is to start with a thoughtful design. By working with a local design/build landscaping company in Portland like Blessing Landscapes, you can ensure your landscape is optimized for the local climate, soil conditions, and wildlife and that it’s truly sustainable.
We can help you design and install a beautiful and environmentally conscious xeriscape landscape by:
- Analyzing and planning for your specific site: Every lot has its own unique size, shape, elevation, temperature and sun/shade conditions, soil conditions, and other factors which should be considered during the landscape design process.
- Choosing the right drought-resistant plants: Our experts can help you select and arrange the perfect drought-tolerant plants for your outdoor spaces, ensuring your landscape looks beautiful and can withstand water-scarce conditions.
- Designing with water conservation in mind: Xeriscaping is all about reducing the need for irrigation; our talented designers will help you create a truly low-maintenance, water-conserving landscape that benefits your home and property while also protecting the environment.
- Mulching and soil-amendment techniques: The soil on your property supports your landscape in the same way your foundation supports your home; we’ll use strategic mulching and soil-amendment approaches to help minimize water evaporation and protect and nourish plant roots.
Embrace the Change
It’s no secret that the effects of climate change are impacting us in many ways. We rely heavily on our natural ecosystems to preserve the health of our planet and the beauty of the local environment. The best way for individuals to contribute to a greener and more sustainable planet is to start in our own backyards.
At Blessing Landscapes, we take pride in protecting the natural beauty and abundance of the PNW. As a local landscape design/build company, we’re committed to doing our part by creating landscape designs and installations that enhance our environment. If you live in the Portland area and you’re ready to create a more sustainable landscape design with xeriscaping, we’re here to help.