Xeriscaping an evironmentally friendly way to a great yard

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 21, 2008

Dr. Betty Middleton
Rowan Public Library
The statistics about the impact of global warming on our planet are very alarming. According to all local forecasts, Rowan County is in for another hot, dry summer. That leaves all of us who love to plant and enjoy flowers in a dilemma because it will be impossible to maintain these lovely flower gardens if we have water restrictions placed upon us again.
Xeriscaping may be our solution. Originally developed for drought-afflicted areas, xeriscaping has become increasingly popular as a way to conserve water through creative landscaping. The principles of xeriscaping can be used in any yard, in any geographic region of North America.
The secret, of course, is proper soil preparation, attention to the layout of the garden and adhering to the proper planting times for your location. Choosing indigenous plants, plants native to other regions with the same climate, will require less fertilization and less pest control measures.
There are many books available to help you establish a new look for your garden while dealing with the global warming factor. Publishers Weekly points out that “Xeriscape Gardening: Water Conservation for the American Landscape,” written by Lockhart Ellefson, Thomas L. Stephens and Doug Welsh, explains how to conceive, design and install a xeriscape home landscape anywhere in the country.
Also for gardening in this new, unpredictable climate, Jennifer Bennett discusses water conservation measures and lists plants suitable for low water landscapes in her book, “Dryland Gardening: Plants That Survive and Thrive in Tough Conditions.” She includes all-time favorites and color photographs from botanical gardens in North America.
It is not necessary to live in a Mediterranean town to enjoy the book “Gardening the Mediterranean Way: How to Create a Waterwise, Drought-Tolerant Garden” by Heide Gildemeister. Gildemeister, a founder of the Mediterranean Garden Society, discusses a wide variety of topics, from choosing native species, labor-saving methods and places for fruits and vegetables. The book is well illustrated with color photographs.
If you would like to add some drought-tolerant plants to your garden this year, it is well worth looking at the many books available at your local branch of the Rowan Public Library.
Holiday closing: Headquarters, East and South branches will be closed for the Easter Holiday today.
Let’s Talk About It: The book discussion program on Southern fiction will continue Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Hurley Room at headquarters. The remaining title is “Song of Solomon.”
Computer classes: South branch ó Basic Word, Thursday, April 10, 7 p.m.; Basic Windows Thursday, April 24, 11 a.m.
Children’s programs: Call 704-216-8256 for headquarter programs; 704-216-7839 for East branch; and 704-216-7727 for South Regional programs.
Tuesday movies: Shown at headquarters, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., “Treasure of Sierra Madre.” Free refreshments.
Displays: March Through History by Pam Nance, corridor by meeting rooms. Headquarters ó clothing and accessories by Maia Smith. East ó horses by Ann Furr. South ó Dolls by Rowan Doll Club.Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.
Web site: For a listing of all library programs at all library locations, www.rowanpublic library.org.