As climate patterns shift, xeriscaping is catching on in other areas and has been very popular here in Spain for the last few years. The term itself derives from the Greek word ‘xeros’, meaning dry, and the word ‘landscape’.
The idea behind Xeriscapes is to create gardens with a rational water use, to avoid any waste of water, especially in Mediterranean and warm temperate climates. Saving water however is not the only objective of Xeriscaping. It also intends to eliminate the amount of chemical fertilizers and pesticides as well as petrol-driven machinery to keep the garden in shape. Plus is saves you money and maintenance.
How does it work? When designing the landscape, plants whose natural requirements are appropriate to the local climate should be chosen. They don’t necessary have to be all local plants, but they should originate from the same climate. Furthermore, water loss through evaporation and run-off should be avoided.
Examples for common plants used in Western xeriscaping are agave, cactus, lavender, juniper, sedum and thyme, according to Wikipedia.
Xeriscape, the Art of Water Conserving Landscaping