When you have a pleasant view outside your window screen, it inspires you to keep your blinds and curtains open. There is beauty to be seen on a daily basis. The possibilities of letting in fresh air are also things many people don’t take advantage of. But having effective modern window and door screens can bring the pleasures of your xeriscaped property closer to you on a daily basis.
What is Xeriscaping?
In areas where there is scant rainfall to maintain plants, a type of landscaping has developed called xeriscaping. Drought-tolerant landscaping can provide an enticing view outside your patio screen doors. With the concerns in Southern California about water conservation, many residents wonder how to maintain an appealing looking yard. Effective xeriscaping involves both plant selection and the arrangements of the plants in order to limit run-off and evaporation.
Planning involves more than just taking out all the water-consuming plants and putting in gravel or mulch. One object should be to shape the surface of the yard a bit, so that it will retain any water run-off and absorb it into the ground. Secondly, it will involve selecting those plants that can thrive in low-water conditions and yet have a visual appeal to you. You might also consider plants that give off a natural fragrance – they need not be flowering plants per se, just have aromatic qualities to them.
Types of Plants
When someone decides to join the environmentally conscious residents and put drought resistant plants into their yard, they have to consider what it is they want to find when they step outside through their sliding screen doors. The resident is not going to find that lush green carpet fringed by plump water-fed blossoms. Instead, the plants will have different visual features. But “different” does not mean they will be “unattractive.”
Many of these plants have leaves that will reflect the heat of the sun, preventing them from losing water through the leaves and so drying out. A few such plants would be gray santolina, lavender, and lamb’s-ears. These are interesting looking and can thrive with only a little bit of watering.
If your heart is set on having some rose blooms, you should be careful. Most strains of roses do not do well without plenty of water. If you want the beauty and scent of roses outside your window screen, consider using varieties such as Wood’s Rose, Sweetbriar, or Father Hugo’s Rose. These can grow with less water than other varieties of roses, but you will need to surround them with about 3 inches of mulch to protect the plant, and then make sure they get the additional water needed to stay vital and vibrant.
Juniper is known to do fairly well in xeriscaped conditions. You can complement this evergreen with various grasses and shrubs that will be suited to this type of environment. Such shrubs could be Peking cotoneaster, beauty bush, Lilac, Apache plume and blue mist spiraea. Contact your local nursery or garden center for advice in the selection of your plants.
Improving Your Home Setting
Preparing your home and yard for xeriscaping and being environmentally conscious requires some planning. It isn’t something that can be done in a single day. But in addition to adapting your yard to the drought-laden conditions of Southern California, remember to pay attention to your home as well. Your door window may be leaking air conditioning to the out-of-doors. So have a window expert check that for the best fittings. For those occasions when you want to let in the outside air, especially when it is cooler in the evening or morning, make sure your patio screen fixtures are in good repair and will keep the insects out.
Making your home better suited to the Southern California conditions make take a little planning. But contacting a local nursery can help you make your decisions about the plants you keep in your yard. And checking with a window-fixtures expert like Peninsula Screens will give you the benefit of years of expertise in choosing the best screens for your home.