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  • Writer's pictureLyssa Baldwin

Xeriscaping: Sustainable Beauty With The Future In Mind

Updated: Feb 6

In a world where water conservation and sustainability are paramount, xeriscaping emerges as a revolutionary approach to landscaping.

Zion Builders are located in the Reno/Sparks NV area. Nevada is officially considered the driest state! We often face hot, long summers, and brutal, dry winters. Xeriscaping is a wonderful way to conserve water, while still having a beautiful garden.

Derived from the Greek word 'xeros,' meaning dry, xeriscaping is a water-wise gardening technique that goes beyond traditional landscaping. In this blog post, we'll explore the principles, benefits, and creative possibilities of xeriscaping, inviting you to join the movement towards a lush and sustainable outdoor environment.

What is it?

At its core, xeriscaping is a landscaping philosophy that aims to create vibrant and visually appealing outdoor spaces while minimizing water usage.

Xeriscaping is not just about water conservation; it's also a canvas for creative design. Explore the artistic possibilities of combining textures, colors, and shapes in a water-efficient landscape.

The Principles of Xeriscaping

#1 Planning and Design

A plan provides direction and guidance and will ensure that water-saving techniques are implemented in the landscape. Consider the current landscape design of your backyard, and then think about how you want to use your new Xeriscape.

Tip: Consider using plants native to your area. These plants are already adapted to the surrounding climate and may be an easy choice.

#2 Soil Improvements

Consider the soil that already exists in your backyard. Think about how any new plants you add to your landscape will do with the current soil you have. Including plants that are not native to your state may require soil amendments. However, using plants that are native to your area might not require these amendments.

#3 Efficient Irrigation

A Xeriscape may be irrigated efficiently by hand, or it might be best to include an automatic sprinkler system. Do research on the irrigation method that waters each plant most effectively. For example, grass does best with low-pressure, low-angle sprinklers. On the other hand, drip, spray, or bubbler emitters may be most efficient for watering trees, shrubs, flowers, and ground covers.

#4 Plant Zones

Be aware that different areas of your yard may receive different amounts of light, wind, and moisture. Be thoughtful in grouping together plants with similar light and water requirements, to minimize water waste and maximize the efficiency of your watering system.

Tip: Planting a variety of plants with different heights, color and textures creates interest and beauty.

#5 Mulches

Mulch is a versatile material that offers a multitude of benefits to both plants and soil. This protective layer - typically composed of organic materials such as shredded bark, wood chips, or straw - serves as a natural insulator, regulating soil temperature and retaining moisture, especially in times of drought. Additionally, mulch also protects against soil erosion.

#6 Turf Alternatives

Ditching the traditional lawn and exploring turf alternatives opens up a world of creativity and eco-friendliness in landscaping. Many alternatives not only reduce water consumption but also demand less maintenance, offering a practical solution for those seeking a lush, green landscape without the hassle of constant mowing. Do research on turf alternatives that will thrive in your area's climate! In Nevada, look into Buffalo Grass, Kurapia, Dwarf Fescue varieties, or other non-traditional ground cover plants.

#7 Maintenance

Always consider the maintenance needs for your landscape choices. You can specifically choose plants that are low maintenance, if that is your goal. For other no-maintenance options for your landscape, you may be interested in Hardscaping.

The Benefits!

Xeriscaping offers a wealth of benefits, making it a wise and environmentally conscious choice for landscaping. First and foremost, xeriscaping significantly reduces water consumption, promoting water conservation in regions, such as Nevada, where water scarcity is a concern. By carefully selecting drought-tolerant plants, implementing efficient irrigation methods, and enhancing soil moisture retention through mulching, xeriscape designs can thrive with minimal water input.

Beyond the environmental advantages, xeriscaping also translates to substantial cost savings for homeowners, as reduced water usage leads to lower utility bills. The low-maintenance nature of xeriscaped gardens further contributes to time and effort savings, as these landscapes typically require less mowing, pruning, and chemical applications.

Additionally, xeriscaping fosters biodiversity by utilizing native plants that support local ecosystems, creating resilient and sustainable outdoor spaces that harmonize with the natural environment. Overall, the benefits of xeriscaping extend far beyond water conservation, offering a holistic and practical approach to landscaping that aligns with the principles of sustainability.

How Can We Help?

Golden deck, light brown deck
This Deck Built by Zion Builders, Inc.

The deck built above conserves space and creates usable area without the need for grass. It adds beauty and functionality while conserving water usage. The deck above was built by Zion Builders!

One easy way to add interest and beauty to a xeriscape design is to add a deck. Zion Builders, Inc. is a licensed carpentry and general contractor that specializes in framing, decks, and patio covers!

Adding a deck to your backyard can take the place of large patches of grass - grass that requires frequent watering a mowing. In addition, the hardscape nature of a deck minimizes the need for extensive plantings and creates a harmonious blend of functional space and eco-friendly landscaping.

Ultimately, having a deck in your backyard can be a key element in achieving a balanced, low-maintenance, and water-wise outdoor environment in line with xeriscaping practices.

Contact us for more information and explore our website!


As we navigate an era where sustainability is a shared responsibility, xeriscaping stands out as a beacon of environmental consciousness in landscaping. Embrace the beauty and practicality of xeriscaping and join the movement towards water-wise gardening.

Transform your outdoor space into a thriving oasis that not only enhances your quality of life but also contributes to a greener and more sustainable planet. Let us help you with it! Adding a deck to your backyard could be the right step in a direction leading to sustainability.

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