Xeriscape Garden

 

Located at S National & Linwood, just south of the Springfield Art Museum
open from dawn to dusk for public strolling
(view map below)

The Xeriscape Demonstration Garden was established in 1992 primarily to demonstrate the efficient use of water in landscaping, while at the same time providing an interesting and attractive area for strolling and relaxing in an urban setting.

 The Xeriscape is divided into three zones:

  • high water use zone which depends on frequent irrigation
  • moderate water zone which utilizes less irrigation
  • low water use zone which receives no supplemental irrigation

Plants are chosen for each zone based on their water needs; shade/sun requirements, height, color, and blooming season also influence plant selection. Visit here for a list of plants and shrubs on display in Xeriscape Garden, along with their water requirements.

Our Watering Policy

The Xeriscape Garden has been designed to demonstrate wise water use. Some plants simply require lots of water, like roses and hibiscus, and gardeners need to be aware of this when designing their gardens. Plants like these are included in beds that receive at least one inch of rain per week.

Other plants, such as lilacs and phlox, enjoy a “normal” amount of water and are placed in beds that receive approximately half an inch of rain per week. Still other, such as digitalis and heuchera, enjoy “normal” water but can do with significantly less if they are planted in some afternoon shade and also mulched.

Plants in the dry, xeric beds are selected because they can survive with little or no watering beyond what they receive from normal rainfall. Even these plants need to become established, however, before they develop the deep roots and structure that allow them to withstand drought.

We water newly-planted specimens several times during their first summer in order to get them established. We have very occasionally watered the perennials in the xeric beds when the temperatures topped 100 degrees and there had been no rainfall for many weeks.

The trees, large shrubs and established grasses have not received supplemental watering.

Trees and Shrubs:

Cersis [Redbud]
Crapemyrtle
Juniperus coniferata “Blue Pacific”
Nandina Physocarpus [Ninebark]
Potentilla
Rhus typhina ‘Tiger Eyes’ [sumac]
Viburnum carlesii [Korean spice viburnum]
Vitex agnus-castus [Chaste tree]
Yew

Grasses:

Calamagrostis [Feather reed grass]
Festuca glauca [Blue Fescue]
Miscanthus sinensis
Pennisetum alopecuroides [Fountain grass]
Schizachyrium scoparium [Little Bluestem]
Sporobolus heterolepsis [Prairie Dropseed]

Succulents:

Opuntia vulgaris [Prickly Pear]
Sedum
Sempervivum [House Leeks, eg. Autumn Joy]
Yucca filamentosa and Yucca glauca <b>Perennials:</b> Agastache ‘Ava’
Acanthus mollis [Bear’s Breeches]
Acuba japonica*
Agastache foeniculum
Anthemis
Callirhoe
Centaurea Montana
Centranthus ruber
Cytisus [Broom]
Dianthus
Digitalis*
Echinops
Eryngium
Euphorbia amygdaloides
Gaura
Heuchera*
Iberis sempervirens [Candytuft]
Lavender
Liatris Limonium [Sea Lavender]
Liriope
Mirabilis [Desert Four-O’-Clock]
Nepeta
Oenothera
Origanum
Penstemon
Perovskia
Phlomis
Salvia
Solidago [Goldenrod]
Stachys
Zinnia grandiflora
* Survives but needs the help of afternoon shade

Resources:

Plants for Dry Gardens: Beating the drought
by Jane Taylor, published by Frances Lincoln Limited, 1993.

Dry-land Gardening: A Xeriscaping Guide for Dry-Summer, Cold-Winter Climates
by Jennifer Bennett, published by Firefly Books, 1998.

 Our Xeriscape Garden has a Registered Monarch Waystation

The Monarch is truly an amazing butterfly… Each season, four generations are born. The first three generations live about two to four weeks, but the 4th generation migrates to warmer climates in Mexico and California and then returns to North America in the spring, living a total of six to eight months and traveling close to 2500 miles!
The monarch migration is one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, yet it is threatened by habitat loss in North America – at the overwintering sites and throughout the spring and summer breeding range as well. Monarch Watch, founded in 1992, is an organization whose mission is to create, conserve, and protect monarch habitats through public awareness, education and research. Through this organization, “Monarch Waystations” (or habitats) have been certified in more than 5000 home gardens, schoolyards, parks and commercial landscaping.
These gardens focus on Monarch conservation by providing a much-needed habitat for feeding, mating and rearing young. Without milkweeds and nectar sources throughout their spring and summer breeding areas in North America, Monarchs would not be able to produce the successive generations that gather for the migration each fall.
Our Xeriscape garden (and the Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House) are registered as Monarch Waystations through the Monarch Watch organization. The requirements for certification, in addition to providing milkweed plants, include garden size, location, nectar sources and a commitment to manage and sustain the site to ensure Monarch conservation and protection. For more information on how you can register your own garden, visit this link: Monarch Waystations.
 Rebecca Nickols, Class of 2007
(who created the Monarch Waystation in our Xeriscape Garden)

For a list of “Tough Plants From the Summer of 2011” click here.

 

Get Directions to the Xeriscape Garden:


View Xeriscape Demonstration Garden in a larger map