Forget about xeriscapes

One of the predominant new and fashionable styles is the clear-cut landscape. From those who favor this approach and who have been willing to answer a question or two, I’ve learned that some of the reasons advanced for ridding a landscape of all trees and shrubs are: (1) they just plain need to go, (2) leaves fall from them, (3) they shade the lawn, (4) where they are is where more lawn needs to go, (5) they’d drop debris into that new swimming pool that’s going to take up the entire yard out back, (6) we like to keep our SUV clean, (7) we need room to expand [usually triple] our living area, and (8) it’s time to subdivide and build in the side yard. But, wait! A new double-wide paved driveway requires no water to maintain it. Presto! It’s a xeriscape. We came home for supper to find eighty years of landscape and habitat next door on their way to utter destruction. We’re given to understand that very little of what’s living and perpendicular is to be left standing. Some of those trees were tall enough and expansive enough to offer shade to neighbors in every direction at one time of the day or another. They had withstood all storms, including last night’s. The druid in me feels very, very sad.

5 Comments so far

  1. Patrick (unregistered) on April 25th, 2007 @ 10:59 pm

    Ugh. These will be the same people complaining of how hot their vehicles are after this summer. Trees, you know, block the sun…

    I love the trees, flowers, and shrubbery (Ni!) in my lawn. 1) Shades the driveway and home. 2) Attracts nice songbirds to the property. 3) Breaks the lawn up into something smaller that my push-mower is perfect for.

    My grandmother lives in the Oklahoma Panhandle. She’d kill for more trees in that flat expanse of space.

  2. rad (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 9:19 am

    Don’t misplace the word Xeriscape in your writings. Xeriscaping is not raping the landscape, nor is it the promotion of impervious cover in the form of a swimming pool or paved driveway. Xeriscaping is about water conservation and the propogation of self-sustaining plants. It also looks great if you know what you’re doing.

    I feel sorry for the situation you’re going through with the loss of shade from an ignorant neighbor, but please refrain from using the word xeriscape to describe his actions. This is a word that needs to be promoted – not watered down – in landscape vernacular.

  3. Tim (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 10:04 am

    Yeah, that’s horrible. I’m moving into a new neighborhood soon that’s full of trees, and I just know that a lot of people are going to take them down to have lawns.

    You do know that they’re required to replant equivalently trees elsewhere in town if they’re big enough correct?

  4. Jess (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 10:32 am

    I think the original poster’s use of the word xeriscaping was meant to be ironic.

  5. Rantor (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

    The City seldom bothers to enforce its “protected tree” provisions, even when complaints are lodged. And, yes; the clear-cut landscape has made the xeriscape outdoor-fashion history, certainly not superseding xeriscaping on the virtues of the clear-cut style (or on what are in truth its horrors). It’s a neighborhood’s new-comers, often those fresh in from the ‘burbs, who seem to delight in the convenience of the clear-cut style. These are often the same people who like to illuminate their properties the entire night through so that they look like prison yards and by light spill afford the same brilliance to their neighbors’ properties as well.

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