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Xeriscaping is defined by as “a style of landscape design requiring little or no irrigation or other maintenance, used in arid regions.”

Many believe this form of landscaping is ugly, not good for Lubbock, and only for desert climates in the southwest United States.

My thought is Lubbock is an arid region. As you can see from the climate map below courtesy of, our climate is much more similar to New Mexico and other parts of the Southwest than places like Dallas or Austin where you are more likely to find green lawns.

So the bad news –  because we are an arid region, because we are in a drought, and because we need to protect our water resources I think we need to come to the realization that expansive lush green lawns in Lubbock, TX are just not responsible or wise.

The good news – there are some really neat ways we can landscape that are more water-wise, cheaper/easier to maintain, and make Lubbock just look nicer, not uglier.

Some businesses and residents, whether because of water restrictions, the cost of water, or giving in to the arid conditions in the region, have let their yards and business fronts go into a mess of weeds and dirt.

I’ll admit xeriscaping may be seen by some as weeds and dirt and red lava rocks are not very attractive. But I think manicured and neat native grasses and hardscaping look way much better than the overgrown weeds, unkempt grass, and tired lawns around town.

I like the look of a little grass mixed in with some xeriscaping. This would be a great option for a backyard, so you could still have a little grass to play in but not a whole yard. Here is an example at a local office building:

Some very nice xeriscaping at another local office building:

A nice monument sign with native grasses at a local bank:

And doesn’t this look better than a little patch of brown grass at a local shopping center?

Tell us what you think about xeriscaping? Good, bad, or ugly?

3 Responses to Xeriscaping?

  1. Sharon

    Katie, That was a nice informative article. Not living there, it is a reasonable solution for the arid zone. And all of your examples look nice.

  2. Melissa

    We actually went with this type of landscaping with our new home. We had Nash & Assoc help us with the planning, as we were not sure what plants would look/work best, and we did NOT want our landscaping to look like Arizona, with yucca & cacti. We ate very excited about the choice of water-wise plants, which we will soon be planting ourselves this fall.

    In addition, our landscaper put down a better breed of brumuda turf- Celebrity. It’s a beautiful blue-green, and stays that way without tons of watering.

    So you see, it is possible to have both a green yard to run & play in, as well as water-wise landscaping.

  3. ellowendeeowen

    I desperately wish they would select this option for Tech campus! It is RIDICULOUS to see puddles and pools of water destroying what little roots systems already exist, and spilling over onto the concrete – what a waste.

    Just about every fourth week they re-plant the gardens in the front of my college – why? They inevitably die and turn to dust in a week or two.

    Re-planting with cacti, or xeriscaping as described in this article, would be such a great way for Tech to show how committed they are to (reality) the sustainability of Lubbock.

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