Xeriscape Principles

It may sound like futuristic gardening, but xeriscape is being used all over the province. The term is generally applied to gardening in drier climates but the principles that define the method are just good gardening practices no matter the conditions.

The term “xeriscape” is most often applied to garden landscapes in the drier areas of the province, however the seven principles that define this method are just good gardening practices and can be applied to any garden.

Planning and design

The most important step in creating a successful xeriscape is careful planning. A good plan will save you time and money.


Sometimes we forget about the importance of soil. A good soil supports healthy plant life and conserves moisture.

Plant selection

Selecting the right plant for the right spot depends on the following: water requirements, cold hardiness, exposure, landscape value and maintenance.

Practical turf areas

Lawns can add to the enjoyment of our yards. However, most lawns are much larger than required and consume high volumes of water in comparison to other plantings.


In nature, plants drop leaves, twigs and branches onto the soil below them. This layer of matter protects plant roots from heat, cold and drought. It also enriches the soil and controls weeds. If we mimic nature and apply a layer of mulch to the surface of the soil, our landscapes can benefit in the same way.


Maintenance in xeriscape, as in any landscape, includes weeding, mowing, pruning, fertilizing, pest control and watering. Although xeriscape can reduce maintenance, no landscape is completely maintenance free. However, a xeriscape landscape will require less maintenance over time. For more information on xeriscape landscaping: www.kamloops.ca; info@ kamloops.ca. Kamloops is a partner with BCLNA in establishing PlantHealthBC.