Serving Homeowners & Professionals of New Mexico & West Texas
Thank You!

Many thanks to Ms. Chapman’s after school study group at Brenham Community Center in Texas!  Last fall, the group of 12-15 year-old students worked on a project about the environment and water conservation.  In their research, they used many of the resources posted on this website.

The group urged that we add the following to our resource selection: Water Conservation and the Possibilities,, as they found it quite useful to their project.  Based on their recommendation, we have added this resource under our Students k-12 resource listing.  It’s a great reference for students, but also for adults looking for a basic understanding of water conservation and the associated opportunities.

This website was always envisioned as a community resource, with user-suggested additions and updates. We provided a basic start, but we need user sharing to remain relevant. We welcome suggestions! You may forward suggested links or relevant topic areas to

Southwest Plant Selector for iPad and iPhone

Southwest Plant Selector mobile app was recently upgraded.   It now includes the ability for our industry users to work in scientific mode, adds El Paso County as a separate sub-region, enables sorts on bloom color, enables plant selections to be emailed, displays a large number of new, higher-resolution photos, and updates many plant descriptions and names. 

Southwest Plant Selector is free on iTunes.  It includes hundreds of water-wise landscape plant selections that are commonly-used and commercially-available in New Mexico and, with the upgrade, in El Paso too.

We still need to upgrade some of the images, but our tight budget requires that we seek donations.  If you have images you would like to share, let us know,  We properly cite the owners. 

Xeric and Xeriscape, defined

Xeric:  Characterized by, relating to, or requiring only a small amount of moisture, as in a xeric plant or a xeric landscape (Merriam-Webster).  References to “xeric” plants in the Southwest refer to plants that thrive under the normal climate conditions with little or no supplemental water needs.

Xeriscape:  A landscaping method that was developed especially for arid and semiarid climates.  A xeriscape utilizes water-conserving techniques including the use of drought-tolerant plants, mulch, and efficient irrigation (Merriam-Webster).  Detailed guidance for homeowners, which includes the seven principles of xeriscaping, can be found here,

New Landscaper Training

Cheri Vogel of CR Vogel Consultants now offers the Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) in New Mexico. If you are a landscaper interested in becoming certified or you want to sponsor a training session, contact Cheri at  See her website,

About the zones in your yard...
image Did you know you should have three fairly distinct watering zones in your yard? Understanding these zones will help you make good plant and design choices for a low-water, low-maintenance landscape. From our friends at the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico website comes the following commonly-practiced landscape design consideration:

"A good landscape and garden begins with a good design. Water conservation in the garden can be maximized if it is considered in the initial planning phase. Xeriscapes can be divided into zones with different water requirements. An 'oasis', a zone with the highest water use, is usually where people spend more time. The patio area and perhaps the entry area are candidates for the oasis. An oasis receives more water and, as a result, is cooler. This area also may require more maintenance and usually will be the landscape's most colorful area.

Beyond the oasis is a transition zone of moderate water use. The transition zone contains plants that require less frequent irrigation and usually requires less maintenance. Further away may be a low-water-use zone, which requires no supplemental water or very infrequent irrigation during prolonged dry periods. Designing the landscape with areas of differing water demands is called 'hydrozoning'.

'Found water' or 'harvested water' that runs off roofs and paving during storms can be used to reduce the need for supplemental irrigation. Roof runoff can be directed to the oasis or other areas, drastically reducing the need for supplemental irrigation in the moderate- and low-water-use zones. Because water harvesting requires grading to channel and detain runoff, it should be planned when the landscape is designed."

See more tips for creating a water-wise landscape at If you are in the Albuquerque area the weekend of February 25, check out the 2012 Xeriscape Expo at the Fairgrounds. Admittance is free; $5.00 parking. There will be exhibitors, speakers, and prize drawings throughout both days.

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Where to find us on the web...




iTunes: or

iTunesU:       Start here,; the series includes three more gardens, “Touring Demonstration Gardens in New Mexico and Texas”.