Get the low­down on xeriscap­ing, “the fu­ture of gar­den­ing”

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Xeriscap­ing of­fers a great so­lu­tion to gar­den­ers who are at their wits’ end about the drought cur­rently af­fect­ing large parts of South Africa. Here’s how it can help you to save wa­ter, time and money.

Your gar­den is re­spon­si­ble for up to 30% of your house­hold’s wa­ter us­age, but thanks to in­creas­ingly vari­able rain­fall and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties clos­ing the taps ever more tightly (and com­pletely ban­ning the wa­ter­ing of gar­dens), we all need to get cre­ative with gar­den de­sign. This is where xeriscap­ing en­ters the pic­ture.

What is xeriscap­ing?

Some de­scribe it as the fu­ture of gar­den­ing: in a nut­shell, it’s about es­tab­lish­ing water­wise gar­dens that need no ir­ri­ga­tion and lit­tle main­te­nance, and in­cor­po­rate many hard-land­scap­ing fea­tures and drought-re­sis­tant plants – specif­i­cally plants with wa­ter re­quire­ments that cor­re­spond with the rain­fall pat­terns of the area where you live.

Xeriscap­ing also uses plants to keep your house cooler in sum­mer and warmer in win­ter, to pro­tect it from the wind, and to con­serve wa­ter run-off.

The X in the name stands for xe­ro­phytes, hardy plants that need vir­tu­ally no wa­ter­ing once they’re

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