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Xeriscaping in the Philippines - Brown Is the New Green

The Philippines is rich in natural resources. It has fertile, arable lands, and diverse flora and fauna. It also boasts of wide tracts of lush, green forests. In fact, almost half of the country's total land area is forested.

In the case of landscape design, the development of new trends that would showcase Filipino culture in the landscape is encouraged. An attempt to create a "Filipino Garden" using plants and embellishments that can be associated with the Filipino culture such as the lush green tropical plants or the native nipa huts which are small houses made of bamboo surrounded by fresh tropical greens are being worked out.

Another undertaking, which is still at its infancy in the Philippines is the advancement of environment friendly landscaping, one these is Xeriscaping, water efficient landscapes that look fantastic and save water are an idea whose time has come. This "green" technique has spread throughout the Philippines as drought conditions have affected water supplies and water restrictions have been put into effect in recent years.

The term xeriscape comes from the Greek word "xeros" meaning dry, combined with scape, meaning picture or view or a contraction for the word landscape. The resulting word means a dry landscape -- i.e. a landscape that does not require water. While there are few landscapes that need no water, xeriscapes require far less than traditional landscapes.

Xeriscaping is slowly becoming a trend in the Philippines. People are starting to be more concern about efficient water consumption rather than making their gardens lush green all year round.

In the past, People often have a preconceived and negative view of xeriscaping. Xeriscapes often bring to mind hot and hostile landscapes. However, xeriscaping does not necessarily mean a desert scene, a sparse rock strewn, although Xeriscape is not as lush green and the plants are not as exquisite as the usual landscapes that you can find in Philippine gardens.

There are tangible benefits for all garden lovers in choosing to xeriscape. For sustainability minded individuals the reasons can be even more compelling.

Xeriscapes for Efficient Energy Consumption

With all the price increase of almost all of the common energy sources in the Philippines, Xeriscaping gets even more ideal, with xeriscaping there is little or no lawn mowing, since one of your goals is to reduce lawn area. You don't have to use trimmers, power hedge clippers and other electrical or gas driven tools for landscape maintenance, since there is less maintenance overall.

Xeriscaping is a great way to sustainably plan your landscape's future

Sometimes there is a misconception that lots of precipitation in rainy seasons in a Tropical Country like the Philippines, guarantees adequate water supplies in the summer. Unfortunately, when consumption is not reduced water restrictions can still go into effect. Sustainability means making sure there is enough for now, and for later, and xeriscaping does just that.

Xeriscapes Require less Water

For most of the Philippines, over 50% of residential water used is applied to landscape and lawns. Xeriscape can reduce landscape water use by 50 - 75%. Xeriscape plants along with proper bed design tends to take full advantage of rainfall. Xeriscapes is Environment Friendly

Small turf areas can easily be maintained without gasoline powered machines. Eliminating fossil fuel powered lawn equipment reduces air pollution, noise pollution, non-point source pollution, and an expenditure of 2,000 to 3,000 pesos per month for a 500 square meter lawn.

2011 is indeed a great year for xeriscaping in the Philippines. Though Landscapes are not as lush green as they usually are, the response from people has been very positive this year, and as the global awareness for living green for the environment arises, brown will start to reign as the new "green" in the country.

All official correspondence should be sent via postal mail to: Lae Garden and Landscapes Farmlae Garden Bazaar, 4033 Bay, Laguna, Philippines or e-mail at info@laegarden.com www.laegarden.com

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