Selected Topic: Xeriscaping
Free Your Yard and the Rest Will Follow
Do you want to raise the value of your home? Is your area affected by drought? Are you concerned about the nation's water supply? What if I told you there was a way to improve your curb appeal, increase your home's worth, reduce your water usage and lower your yard's chemical dependence? Xeriscaping can do it all.
What is xeriscaping? It's the practice of conserving water by landscaping, or planting a drought-resistant, climate appropriate garden that requires little or no supplemental irrigation. This is often achieved by using plants that are native to an area, which has the added benefit of providing habitat for local wildlife and reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. Originally a solution for drought prone areas, a rising awareness of xeriscaping's economic and environmental benefits is driving the popularity of this growing trend.
As our population continues to grow, water supply has become a serious issue in many parts of the country. Over fifty per cent of the water used across North America goes to feeding our lawns and landscaping. Because xeriscaping techniques take advantage of rainwater and simple irrigation systems, with a little effort you can reduce the water used in your garden by sixty per cent or more.
Employing these concepts will help minimize your pollution: xeriscaped yards require less mowing (save on your gas bills) - and because native plants reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides, you will reduce the potentially harmful runoff of excess nitrogen, phosphorous, nitrates. Though your yard will still need occasional pruning and weeding, it'll need less time and effort to keep it looking good.
Xeriscaping also helps keep a regional flora/fauna balance - it reduces the chances of destructive invasive species being introduced, and you will probably see a whole lot more bees, butterflies and other local fauna enjoying their new habitat.
But this isn't just for environmentalists - xeriscaping makes good business sense. With good landscape design you can expect to raise the value of your home by up to fifteen per cent, and xeriscaping is not just good design - it acts as a kind of insurance. Drought proofing means your landscaping investment is protected: in times of water restrictions traditional gardens will be the first to go. For your xeriscaped yard, however, it's business as usual. In addition, with the lower water and maintenance requirements, you can expect to save up to sixty per cent of what you would normally spend in these areas.
So what are the drawbacks? Well, your new yard will require some planning, especially if you want colorful blooms throughout the season. Initially the beds might require a bit more work, and will need more water to get their root systems established. But once you've got it up and running, your xeriscaped yard will set you free.
If you've been looking to landscape or want to improve your property value, consider the benefits of a xeriscaped yard: this trend is growing, and you will love the results.
This article was written by the team at Maryland Homes and Property. Branden Schroeder is Maryland's first "EcoBroker" designated Realtor. For more information on Anne Arundel County real estate, or to search homes in the Maryland MLS visit Branden online at http://www.marylandhomesandproperty.com