AFTER another hot, largely dry, summer more and more home-owners are turning to Xeriscaping, the art of designing and constructing gardens that require the minimum of moisture other than the occasional rainfall and the dampening effects of low clouds, sea and river mists, and dew.
It can be done. Just look at the banks alongside the motorways, the verges of country roads, the sides of mountains and mountain-tops. In your garden you will need to:
A. Replicate the soil structures of such places.
B. Plant trees, shrubs and plants that seem to survive and even thrive under such conditions. See the plant lists in the book ‘HOW TO USE LESS WATER IN YOUR GARDEN’ which is most easily obtained via Amazon Books.
C. Plant roots so that they are under rocks where moisture is the last to dry out.
D. Create semi-shaded positions or areas that are only in full sun for part of the day,
E. Contour the garden so that any rain is channelled to where required and not lost into nonplanted areas or to neighbouring properties.
F. Take out the thirstiest plants in the garden.
G. Create interest in the garden by the use of rocks, coloured chippings or sands, interestingly surfaced paths and terraces, ornaments and pots.
H. Install a natural pool that fills with rainwater,
I. Construct a large rockery – the one in the l’Abarda garden in the La Sella urbanisation located between La Xara and Pedreguer is worth visiting – it is open on most days for personal and guided tours.
J. Use solid plastic sheeting under the surface finish to move water from one part of the garden to another during rainfall – this is an easy substitute for the large slabs of solid rock that do this in nature,
K. Reduce water evaporation in the same way and by surrounding all plants with natural mulches of small or medium sized rocks or stones, volcanic larva chippings, pebbles, stone chippings, etc. © Dick Handscombe www.gardenspain.com