The landscaping of a community is one of the most important responsibilities that HOA board members handle every day. The image of vast, lush green lawns and a plethora of multi-colored coordinating blooms enveloping the community in easy elegance is often the vision homeowners have for their community landscaping.
Without question, those stereotypical images are beautiful. However, they also require a great deal of maintenance and water. In this day and age of environmental awareness and tightening HOA budgets, those types of landscaping plans may not be what your community needs. There is an alternative to be found in xeriscaping.
Keep reading to learn more about this alternative option for landscaping and find out how it may be a good choice for your community.
What is Xeriscaping?
Xeriscaping is a method of landscaping that designs and creates landscapes that minimize the need for irrigation while still creating a tapestry of aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly landscaping. This method works on the theory that if you utilize natural materials and native plants, they will require less upkeep and less water.
Xeriscaping requires a natural climate, as all the items being used are native to the area. This type of landscaping has grown increasingly popular in the drier areas of the United States, such as the Southwest. That being said, as eco-friendly landscaping becomes increasingly popular in response to growing environmental concerns, many areas of our nation are implementing xeriscaping. For example, areas with excessive rainfall may plant no-mow grasses and flowers that encourage local pollinators.
How Does Xeriscaping Benefit Your HOA
Many benefits xeriscaping offers your community, from saving money to saving time and everything in between. Xeriscaping can be the answer to your landscaping questions. Some of the benefits of xeriscaping include the following:
Xeriscaping is naturally beautiful
Xeriscaping, with its native plants combined with other natural materials such as rocks, have a natural beauty that can be equally, if not more, beautiful than the traditional green lawn and flowering bushes.
Many wildflowers, flowering succulents, and different types of grasses all fall into the realm of xeriscaping and provide color as well as a unique charm that fits with the local environment. As a bonus, local plants and grasses are a draw for pollinators which includes bees and other insects, but also butterflies and hummingbirds, which also adds to the color and aesthetics of your community.
Xeriscaping is low maintenance
Those lush lawns and perfectly manicured flowering trees and bushes all look pretty. However, they are extremely high maintenance. They require an astonishing amount of water, trimming, fertilizing, feeding, and attention. Xeriscaping provides your HOA with an option that allows your community to be lovely to look at but doesn't require a team of landscapers to consistently maintain.
The plants and materials involved with xeriscaping allow for more of a design that is planted and set up, then left to thrive and grow in its natural environment. Very little water, trimming, or attention is required for xeriscaping plants and materials, making this method of landscaping a positive possibility for your association.
Xeriscaping helps save money and water
Every community association works tirelessly to balance its budget and manage its water usage. Xeriscaping offers associations the opportunity to save both money and water at the same time. As was previously mentioned, the plants and materials that xeriscaping utilizes do not require much water or maintenance. This results in less water being used, dropping the overall water usage of the community, as well as lowering the water bill.
Moreover, a lower water bill and lower landscaping bill, due to less upkeep and minimal time that the landscapers must be on site, can result in money being saved and the budget becoming easier to put together and implement.
Things to Consider About Xeriscaping
There are some things board members may want to keep in mind when considering xeriscaping. For one, while the landscaping itself is low maintenance, the initial installation can be quite a challenge. The removal of old landscaping and laying of landscaping fabric can be labor intensive and also create somewhat of a mess initially. The process of design, layout, and planting may seem daunting to some.
In addition, natural landscaping is not for everyone. Some people may find xeriscaping to not hold the same charm of a lush lawn and full, flowering bushes and plants. That being said, the implementation of xeriscaping is a long-term project that can ultimately help your community if it is something that will work with the culture of your neighborhood.
Xeriscaping is a method of landscaping that utilizes native plants and materials to create a design that requires the minimum amount of water and upkeep. Xeriscaping offers your board an alternative to traditional landscaping that allows your board to save money and water while creating an eco-friendly community.