Some general questions

leeprSeptember 8, 2005

Hi guys,

I'm just about to buy a house in Santa Fe, NM, where we have a scarce supply of water. I thought it was called "zeroscaping", but now I see it's called "xeriscaping". Can anyone point me in the direction of some good URLs/literature? I'd like to gather a few ideas for what my garden may look like.

I originally thought xeriscaping was defined as landscaping using only rock, but now I understand it means to use local plants / plants that don't require a lot of water. Is there a name for lanscape gardening using only rocks?

My garden will obviously not have a lawn, but I'd like to get some good ideas from books/sites on how to create a nice garden none the less.

I'm originally from Scotland - lawns and rainfall aren't too scarce there.

Thank you very much in advance for your help.


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Hi Lee. Welcome to the Land of Enchantment. Here are a couple of suggestions...


"Plants for Dry Climates" by Mary Rose Duffield and Warren D. Jones.
"Southwestern Landscaping with Native Plants" by Judith Phillips
"Best Plants for New Mexico Gardens and Landscapes" by Baker H. Morrow

Since you're in Santa Fe, I would also recommend going to High Country Gardens on Rufina St. They're also on-line. They have a huge selection of native and xeric plants. Good luck.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 5:06PM
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You won't find High Country Gardens in the phone book in Santa Fe, their retail outlet is called Santa Fe Greenhouses. They have both a xeriscape garden and a southwest cottage garden on display so you can see what will grow and how it can look. Check out the web site, they are currently touting autumn as the planting time for xeric gardens. In case you are REALLY new to the area, you should know that July and August are usually the rainy season here, and that is a good time to start a new garden, rather than during the dry spring weather. This year the rainy season has extended into September, but that is unusual. Albuquerque, OTOH, usually has some rain during Sept (State Fair) and October (Baloon Fiesta) as well. ;-)

Also try Plants of the Southwest on Agua Fria.

BTW, if your new home doesn't already have it, you should install a rain barrel, or even one barrel under each outfall from your roof. That cache of water can really help get new plantings through dry periods. Also, greywater recycling has recently been made legal here in NM (outlaws have used greywater in their landscape for years, though). The ecoversity on Agua Fria has some interesting courses on water harvesting, as well as sustainable living in Santa Fe ( I think Santa Fe Community College offers some xeriscaping courses occasionally, too.

Hope some of that helps.


Here is a link that might be useful: Santa Fe Greenhouses

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 12:55PM
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