OK, maybe you say and spell xeriscaping correctly, but you might be in the minority if you pronounce, much less understand, the term as it’s intended. I’ve heard people from all walks of life, including professional garden communicators, say the word with the big ZERO in it. The best example was the landscaping company that placed a flyer on my door last summer offering “zeroscape” services. You just can’t beg mispronunciation at that point.
What’s most disconcerting is that the landscaper likely got a few takers, because my Albuquerque neighborhood was ripe with homeowners switching from lawns to gravel-covered “zero” scapes. People misunderstand the fundamental concept of xeriscaping. “Xeros” is the Greek word for dry, not for barren, brown, desolate, nothingness, or zero.
I’ll talk more about what xeriscaping means in a future post, along with its absolutely positive side. For now, it feels so good to get that off my chest.
It’s possible to enjoy gardening — and to plant and water responsibly — in a drought. The same goes for any dry climate, or for any gardener concerned about water conservation.
I plan to use this blog to start a discussion about gardening in the desert Southwest, xeriscaping, and native planting. I’ve also got a few things to say about taking it to the extreme — in either direction.