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Posts Tagged ‘Xeriscape’

Xeriscape LogoThe 16th annual Xeriscape Garden Tour sponsored by the Sierra Club Big Bear group is set to take place on Saturday, July 21st. Participants can begin the FREE self-guided tour anytime between 9 am and noon starting at Eminger’s Mountain Nursery, located at 41223 Big Bear Blvd. in Big Bear Lake, across the street from the Denny’s Restaurant.  Once registered, participants will have until 4:00 pm to complete the driving tour of the homes in Big Bear Valley.

A tour booklet, which includes the locations of the 8 stops, a map and helpful information on gardening in the mountains, will be handed out at the starting location. Experts will be on hand at each of the homes on the tour to explain the ins and outs of creating a beautiful landscape and conserving water at the same time. Several of the tour sponsors will be on hand at the Eminger’s starting location to answer questions about topics such as composting, tree care and artificial turf. Drought-tolerant plants will be on sale at Eminger’s throughout the day.Xeriscape house

Once again the tour will feature a special FireWise home where the homeowner married defensible space with drought tolerant and native plants. Attendees will be able to pick up information on which native plants should be planted within 15 feet of the home and which should be planted outside a 15 foot circle. You CAN have a beautiful, natural yard and be FireWise, too.

Native plants will also be on sale mid-way through the tour at Hunters Nursery with native plant expert, Orchid Black on hand to answer your questions.   For additional information on the Sierra Club’s Xeriscape Garden Tour contact Christie Walker at 909-547-2237.

Location: Check-in Emingers Mountain Nursery at 41223 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

Contact: Tel: (909) 547-2237 Website: www.sierraclubbigbeargroup.com

Info from BigBear.com

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BigBearXeriscapeWater. The most important element in all of life. No living thing can survive very long without it and yet in many parts of the world, including here in Big Bear, drought is an ongoing concern. As humans, we use water without thought; to wash our bodies, to cook and drink, to clean our clothes, wash our cars, and to irrigate our yards. We take it for granted because it is always there when we turn the faucet. Although we often hear about conservation and water shortages, it is hard to change our habits and believe that the situation is as serious as we are told.

While there are many areas of our lives where we can use water more wisely, one of the best ways to conserve is to change the way we think about our landscaping. Now, I will admit that I love a nice, lush lawn. Grass is beautiful and nice to play on and picnic on, and it certainly has its place in backyards and parks, but I believe that there is a lot of beauty in natural landscaping as well, when done right. I am not talking about just letting the weeds take over your yard. 🙂 There is a way to use native, drought-tolerant plants and materials to create a landscape that is beautiful, interesting and water smart. It is called “Xeriscaping”.

“Xeriscaping was a term coined back in 1970s in Denver, CO, to mean water wise or water efficient landscaping. The term xeriscape is derived from the Greek word xeros, which means dry. Don’t let that mislead you into thinking we’re talking about deserts and cactus or even a drought plagued, barren landscape. Xeriscaping is a method of gardening that involves choosing plants that are appropriate to their site and creating a landscape that can be maintained with little supplemental watering.

Xeriscaping is not a style or category of garden design. It is basically some common sense guides to gardening in harmony with your site and can actually be applied to any type of garden design.” (About.com)

Seven Principles of Xeriscaping

  1. Planning and Design – Have a Plan. Take a look at your garden’s topography, exposure and soil. Don’t try to fight your site. Create planting zones and group your plants by their needs. For example, groups tough, drought tolerant plants in areas exposed to full day sun, give less tolerant plants some partial shade and keep the more delicate or demanding plants for a spot near your water source.
  2. Choose Appropriate Plant Material – You may choose to incorporate a few plants that will need to be coddled, but for the most part, selecting plants that thrive in your area during low water conditions will give you the best results. This often includes native plants that we so often take for granted. The choice of plants will vary by region, even within a single yard. You may also be surprised to see how many plants are considered xeric, once they have established themselves and when properly cared for.
  3. Soil Improvement – The old adage that if you take care of the soil, the soil will take care of the plants, is very true here. The key, as always, is incorporating generous amounts of organic matter. This will improve water penetration and retention in any type of soil. Rich, loose, water holding soil will encourage good root development and lessen the plant’s need for supplemental water. It is best to amend your soil before planting and to regularly use organic mulch, as mentioned in Step 4.
  4. Mulch – Mulching is a naturally occurring process, but as gardeners we tend to want things tidy and we rake away all the leaves and debris that coat and decay into the soil. So we have to bring in more aesthetically pleasing mulch, such as shredded bark and compost.However it gets there, mulch adds a great deal to your garden. It moderates soil temperature, holds moisture, slows erosion and suppresses weeds that would compete with your plants for food and water. It also gradually decomposes and feeds the soil. Apply about 4 inches of mulch at the initial planting and check it each season to see if it needs to be replenished.
  5. Practical and Appropriate Turf Areas – Most of us still want some areas of lawn in our landscape and many of us want way too much lawn. Think about how much water, fertilizer and gasoline it takes to keep your lawn green throughout the summer.Where to place the lawn should be part of your initial design plan, taking into consideration what you plan to use your lawn for. If you are using grass as a ground cover, there are other options that would be less labor and water intensive.Choose an appropriate grass seed for the lawn’s exposure. Different seeds do well in different regions. Kentucky Blue grass is beautiful, but it can also be a water hog where it’s not happy.
  6. Efficient Watering – Not all plants need the same amount of water and those needs may change with the seasons. If you’ve followed the steps above, you have your plants grouped by their water needs, including your lawn, and can water only where it’s needed.Drip irrigation systems are often recommended for efficient watering. These systems allow you to control when and how much water a plant gets and to direct the water only to the plants that need it.Base your watering schedule on the needs of the plants and not on an arbitrary schedule. All plants will require more supplemental watering for the first year or two that they are becoming established. However after they have acclimated and developed a good root system, supplemental watering should become much less frequent.
  7. Appropriate Maintenance – Yes, even a xeriscape garden will require some maintenance. Watering, weeding, pruning, deadheading and sensible pest management will all factor into the quality of your garden.

This coming weekend, our local “Sierra Club” will be hosting its annual Xeriscape Garden Tour of Big Bear Valley. You will get information about Xeriscape Gardening and will tour local yards where it has been put into practice. This event is FREE and I will share the details in tomorrow’s post.

If you are looking for something different to do this weekend, why not join us in Big Bear? The Xeriscape Tour is only one of several special events happening around town and it will give you a chance to get away and beat the heat! Head on over to RS Vacations.net and take advantage of our 3 for 2 special. Book your Big Bear Cabin today!

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To finish off this week’s topic of Xeriscape, here are 7 informative facts about this water-conserving method of landscaping:

  • Approximately 50 percent of annual water production is used for landscape irrigation.
  • By following the “7 Principles of Xeriscape,” between 50 and 75 percent of the water used in traditional landscapes can be conserved.Xeriscape house
  • By grouping plants by water need, plants are healthier, easier to maintain and less susceptible to disease, requiring less use of pesticides and fertilizers.
  • A good xeriscape not only will save water, it also will increase your property value by as much as 15 percent.
  • There are different styles of xeriscape – natural, cottage, alternative turf, mountain and informal.
  • A typical community could increase its total vegetated area while simultaneously reducing water use significantly, primarily by replacing turf areas with trees and ground cover.
  • Many xeriscape designs include plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

If you are in Big Bear Lake this weekend, be sure to take the FREE Xeriscape Garden Tour. You will get tons of information and be able to see several examples of Xeriscape in action.

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Xeriscape LogoThe 12th annual Xeriscape Garden Tour sponsored by the Sierra Club Big Bear group is set to take place on Saturday, July 19th. Participants can begin the FREE self-guided tour anytime between 9 am and noon starting at Eminger’s Mountain Nursery, located at 41223 Big Bear Blvd. in Big Bear Lake, across the street from the Denny’s Restaurant.  Once registered, participants will have until 4:00 pm to complete the driving tour of the homes in Big Bear Valley.

A tour booklet, which includes the locations of the 8 stops, a map and helpful information on gardening in the mountains, will be handed out at the starting location. Experts will be on hand at each of the homes on the tour to explain the ins and outs of creating a beautiful landscape and conserving water at the same time. Several of the tour sponsors will be on hand at the Eminger’s starting location to answer questions about topics such as composting, tree care and artificial turf. Drought-tolerant plants will be on sale at Eminger’s throughout the day.

Once again the tour will feature a special FireWise home where the homeowner married defensible space with drought tolerant and native plants. Attendees will be able to pick up information on which native plants should be planted within 15 feet of the home and which should be planted outside a 15 foot circle. You CAN have a beautiful, natural yard and be FireWise, too.

Native plants will also be on sale mid-way through the tour at Hunters Nursery with native plant expert, Orchid Black on hand to answer your questions.   For additional information on the Sierra Club’s Xeriscape Garden Tour contact Christie Walker at 909-547-2237.

Location: Check-in Emingers Mountain Nursery at 41223 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

Contact: Tel: (909) 547-2237 Website: www.sierraclubbigbeargroup.com

Info from BigBear.com

Read Full Post »

BigBearXeriscapeWater. The most important element in all of life. No living thing can survive very long without it and yet in many parts of the world, including here in Big Bear, drought is an ongoing concern. As humans, we use water without thought; to wash our bodies, to cook and drink, to clean our clothes, wash our cars, and to irrigate our yards. We take it for granted because it is always there when we turn the faucet. Although we often hear about conservation and water shortages, it is hard to change our habits and believe that the situation is as serious as we are told.

While there are many areas of our lives where we can use water more wisely, one of the best ways to conserve is to change the way we think about our landscaping. Now, I will admit that I love a nice, lush lawn. Grass is beautiful and nice to play on and picnic on, and it certainly has its place in backyards and parks, but I believe that there is a lot of beauty in natural landscaping as well, when done right. I am not talking about just letting the weeds take over your yard. 🙂 There is a way to use native, drought-tolerant plants and materials to create a landscape that is beautiful, interesting and water smart. It is called “Xeriscaping”.

“Xeriscaping was a term coined back in 1970s in Denver, CO, to mean water wise or water efficient landscaping. The term xeriscape is derived from the Greek word xeros, which means dry. Don’t let that mislead you into thinking we’re talking about deserts and cactus or even a drought plagued, barren landscape. Xeriscaping is a method of gardening that involves choosing plants that are appropriate to their site and creating a landscape that can be maintained with little supplemental watering.

Xeriscaping is not a style or category of garden design. It is basically some common sense guides to gardening in harmony with your site and can actually be applied to any type of garden design.” (About.com)

Seven Principles of Xeriscaping

  1. Planning and Design – Have a Plan. Take a look at your garden’s topography, exposure and soil. Don’t try to fight your site. Create planting zones and group your plants by their needs. For example, groups tough, drought tolerant plants in areas exposed to full day sun, give less tolerant plants some partial shade and keep the more delicate or demanding plants for a spot near your water source. 
  2. Choose Appropriate Plant Material – You may choose to incorporate a few plants that will need to be coddled, but for the most part, selecting plants that thrive in your area during low water conditions will give you the best results. This often includes native plants that we so often take for granted. The choice of plants will vary by region, even within a single yard. You may also be surprised to see how many plants are considered xeric, once they have established themselves and when properly cared for. 
  3. Soil Improvement – The old adage that if you take care of the soil, the soil will take care of the plants, is very true here. The key, as always, is incorporating generous amounts of organic matter. This will improve water penetration and retention in any type of soil. Rich, loose, water holding soil will encourage good root development and lessen the plant’s need for supplemental water. It is best to amend your soil before planting and to regularly use organic mulch, as mentioned in Step 4. 
  4. Mulch – Mulching is a naturally occurring process, but as gardeners we tend to want things tidy and we rake away all the leaves and debris that coat and decay into the soil. So we have to bring in more aesthetically pleasing mulch, such as shredded bark and compost.However it gets there, mulch adds a great deal to your garden. It moderates soil temperature, holds moisture, slows erosion and suppresses weeds that would compete with your plants for food and water. It also gradually decomposes and feeds the soil. Apply about 4 inches of mulch at the initial planting and check it each season to see if it needs to be replenished.
  5. Practical and Appropriate Turf Areas – Most of us still want some areas of lawn in our landscape and many of us want way too much lawn. Think about how much water, fertilizer and gasoline it takes to keep your lawn green throughout the summer.Where to place the lawn should be part of your initial design plan, taking into consideration what you plan to use your lawn for. If you are using grass as a ground cover, there are other options that would be less labor and water intensive.

    Choose an appropriate grass seed for the lawn’s exposure. Different seeds do well in different regions. Kentucky Blue grass is beautiful, but it can also be a water hog where it’s not happy.

  6. Efficient Watering – Not all plants need the same amount of water and those needs may change with the seasons. If you’ve followed the steps above, you have your plants grouped by their water needs, including your lawn, and can water only where it’s needed.Drip irrigation systems are often recommended for efficient watering. These systems allow you to control when and how much water a plant gets and to direct the water only to the plants that need it.

    Base your watering schedule on the needs of the plants and not on an arbitrary schedule. All plants will require more supplemental watering for the first year or two that they are becoming established. However after they have acclimated and developed a good root system, supplemental watering should become much less frequent.

  7. Appropriate Maintenance – Yes, even a xeriscape garden will require some maintenance. Watering, weeding, pruning, deadheading and sensible pest management will all factor into the quality of your garden.

This coming weekend, our local “Sierra Club” will be hosting its annual Xeriscape Garden Tour of Big Bear Valley. You will get information about Xeriscape Gardening and will tour local yards where it has been put into practice. This event is FREE and I will share the details in tomorrow’s post.

If you are looking for something different to do this weekend, why not join us in Big Bear? The Xeriscape Tour is only one of several special events happening around town and it will give you a chance to get away and beat the heat! Head on over to RS Vacations.net and take advantage of our last-minute special. Book your Big Bear Cabin today!

Read Full Post »