X is for Xeriscape

A couple years ago we ripped out the front yard and replaced it all with drought tolerant plants and a couple citrus trees, and a whole lot of mulch. And by ‘we’, I mean we hired someone to come in and design it and then do all the work, because as I have noted previously, yardwork is not our thing.

I freely admit that one of the primary reasons for doing this was sheer laziness. A grass-free front yard requires far less maintenance, and no more lawn meant we didn’t have to keep remembering to drag out the stupid sprinkler and keep the grass (or rather, the weeds) green primarily so the neighbors wouldn’t hate us for having a crappy yard. Now, with the blissful lack of lawn, and the drip system installed, mostly all the plants just sit there and do their thing and sometimes if we’re lucky we get some fruit out of the deal (although I suspect it will be a few more years before the citrus trees really start to produce). But the other reason we did it is because drought-tolerant yards require far less water and it has been clear for years now that water is one of those things we really needed to find ways to conserve.

Should you not already be aware, California is currently in a serious drought. The annual rainfall has been dwindling for years, the reservoirs are scarily low, and whoever thought it was a good idea to encourage everyone to have water-greedy lawns in the middle of a desert climate was an idiot in the first place. So it has been encouraging to see that slowly, more and more people are ripping out their front lawns and replacing them with far more drought tolerant landscaping. It is nice to see, as I travel around my city doing errands or heading to work, that new little patches of native plants are starting to spring up.

I know we have a long way to go, yet. There are far too many people who cling stubbornly to their lush green lawns (because denial is a powerful, powerful thing, unfortunately). But it is happening. And it is nice to see that more and more people are finally catching on that xeriscaping can be a beautiful, wonderful thing, and that water is not an infinite resource.

The letter X is brought to you by the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

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