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About Jim Locksley

One day when I was walking around my college campus, I saw a group of people with these yellow tripods. At first I thought they might be photographers, but they sure looked like strange ones! I went up and asked them what they were doing, and it turns out they were a group of students from a construction class who were surveying the land for a project. I was fascinated. I was able to sign up for the class the next semester, and while it didn't stick or change my professional trajectory, it did create a new hobby for me! Ever since then, I've been interested in construction, from surveying to management to the actual building. I figured running a blog about it would give me a nice excuse to keep up my interests!

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3 Fresh Ideas for Xeriscaping Your Yard

by Mike Brewer

At the heart of things, xeriscaping is about creating a sustainable landscape. While some homeowners take that to mean doing no landscaping at all, this isn't always the most beneficial method for managing you yard. Wind and water can create erosion if you don't lock down your topsoil. Instead, create a beautiful landscape that doesn't require much supplemental water.

Scatter Wildflower Seeds

Perhaps the easiest method for creating a pretty xeriscape yard is to scatter wildflower seeds. Packets of wildflower seeds often contain both annuals and perennials in various colors. For example, they might include daisies, baby's breath, blue flax, and poppies. The big benefit is that wildflowers are typically hardy plants that easily grow in the wild, meaning they don't require much, if any, watering. Consider creating a rustic path out of flat stones in the middle of your wildflower meadow so you can enjoy their lifecycle up close.

Plant an Ornamental Grass Garden

Prairie grass is another hardy plant that originally grew wild. Ornamental grasses come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and textures. What's more, these grasses help capture water before it runs off even better than lawn grass. You can use ornamental grasses in a strip as a sidewalk or foundation garden. You can also plant them on a slope to help stop erosion. Either way, look for different heights and colors to make your landscaping more visually interesting. Alternatively, consider mixing them with your wildflowers. For example, use tall ornamental grasses as a frame for your field of wildflowers or plant lower grasses as a subtle border for your path.

Install a Dry Streambed

Speaking of runoff, this can be a problem if you don't landscape your yard. Depending on the weather patterns in your area, even planting wildflowers and ornamental grasses might not be enough—you'll know because of all that precious water escaping to the street. Better Homes and Gardens suggests installing a dry streambed. This involves relatively simple construction. Space some large river rocks along the length of the riverbed and fill the gaps with small river rocks. Border the streambed with large rocks that keep the water in place. A dry streambed allows excess water enough time to sink back into the soil. For added beauty, consider planting lush plants around the streambed—they'll take the benefit of the extra water seeping into the soil.

Essentially, xeriscaping allows native plants to thrive mostly just with the water nature provides. Create a xeriscape yard that's as pretty as it is sustainable. For more help, visit sites such as http://bourgetbros.com to find professionals near you.

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