Friday, April 27, 2012

• "X" is for Xeriscape

Riding Vegas near Prescott, Az., in a natural landscape
Is there anyone doing the A to Z Challenge who didn't have to look in the dictionary for a word beginning with the letter "x"?

Xeriscaping and pet sitting. How in the heck can I make that connection?

I pet sit in Northern Virginia and plan to move to the Southwest, which, for the most part, is dry, dry, dry. So "lawns" are Xeriscaped, a method of landscaping used to conserve water in arid or semi-arid climates.

For the past 40 years I've done no landscaping, as I've lived in apartments. You could write a book on what I don't know about Xeriscaping. But what I've seen, I liked. I won't need to mow. It shouldn't need much water.

When I move to the Southwest, I want to get a dog. I'll need to teach it to stay away from cacti and rattlesnakes. And I'm thinking of running a doggy daycare. Would I need to teach all the dogs to stay away from cacti and rattlesnakes, or would their owners? (I know I'd be the one driving them to the vet with a nose full of spines.)

Coco, whom I pet sat in Prescott, Az., in a Xeriscaped yard
I've lived in Virginia all my life. I know a little about the grasses, trees, plants, and flowers that grow here, and how rain and bugs and insecticides affect them. I have a felt sense of what kind of upkeep a yard might need.

As for Xeriscaping? I'm clueless. Maybe it's like pet sitting. Eight years ago, when a friend asked me to keep her dog company when she and her husband went on vacation, I had no clue that live-in pet sitting would become my occupation. I had little idea of what the profession entailed. With each job and each bout of continuing education, I learn. I can learn Xeriscaping.

Southwestern folks, clue me in! What else besides open blue skies and great salsa awaits me and my dog and horse? Scorpions? Lower vet bills? Chupacabras?


  1. Well tied it all together rather nicely...I hope you get to Xeriscape very soon!

  2. Thanks so much this is really a great insight, by the way your blog is really nice.

    Pet sitting | Pet sitter