Joan, xeriscaping and water saving gardening in general are great gardening topics! I've been thinking about my 2013 yard. It's going to need more water, this year. That's because of the trees I planted. We let the grass go brown. After planting trees, the first couple of years they need more water. I think after that I can slack off. They will have deeper roots, then. Also if they spread their branches, they will shade the ground. Also, of course, I use lots of mulch.
I think we should always keep water in mind, for planning our gardens and yards. It might not be truly xeriscaped. But conserving water is good. Also if it's a dry year, and the yard is already dry tolerant, it can mean the difference between being all brown, and being interesting and colorful.
Thanks again for posting these links on xeriscaping/gardening.
Beautiful scene! I have added herbs in some areas, which are dry tolerant.
My partner likes lavender, which is also a favorite of honey bees, so there will be much more of that this year. I think lavender can be grown from cuttings, so will give that a try. Also got some lavender seeds, which I read are quite slow growing. Rosemary does well here too, so I've been adding more of that. Summer-dormant plants like alliums and other spring blooming bulbs make it through well without irrigation.
Somewhere I read that in Italy, grapes are not irrigated. That their roots go very deep, and that has a role in their flavor. Something about the minerals in the deeper layers of soil. So I suppose a kitchen garden with deep-rooted grapes and fruit trees would be another water-saving method.
Lavender is so pretty. Mine have seedling under the mother plant each year but I have never tried to save them. I suppose it would be easy to do. I have never tried cuttings.
Rosemary! My favorite and I cannot grow it inside as so many people can, and of course our winters are too harsh. It makes so many things taste better.
I have this Bookmarked: http://www.veganpeace.com/recipe_pages/herbs/herbs.htm
Alliums, culinary and ornamental offer many wonderful features.
I didn't know that about grapes; it makes sense. I can almost imagine your fruit trees in bloom in spring' OH! you will have a lovely time ... every season!
I hope you share photos of your garden as it develops.
Xeriscaping is a good idea, even in the Midwest where we average 36" of rain a year. But, as you probably know, we had a pretty severe drought this past summer. My garden veggies were toasted, despite watering with two downspout rain barrels. Otherwise, I have to use well water. To water or not to water is a constant concern.
Spokane's average rainfall is 16" a year, and we have not seen serious drought although there are changes in patterns. We have less snow than in my childhood and more rain. Our forests have some changes taking place, with heavy die-off and beetle infestations. We will see some serious consequences when the forests dry out over time.
My daughter and her family live in a forest in northeast Washington state, very near the idaho border. All the adults in her family are volunteer fire fighters and they prepared their home and property for expected hot fires. They also work to educate the community about fire safety procedures.
The very first thing to go should be lawns. There are so many beautiful plants for xeriscaping, and potential for more beautiful landscapes. I have not one blade of mow-able grass on my place.
I will be interested to know how your rainfall changes from your average. Have you noticed difference in your water table?