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Xeriscaping becoming popular High Desert alternative to lawns

Bend landscaping supplier sees 35% increase in xeriscaping customers

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- No lawn mowing, weed whacking and little irrigation maintenance. Xeriscaping can be a more cost efficient and eco-friendly alternative to grass lawns.

John Serres bought about 1,000 pounds of desert stone gravel on Friday. He plans on creating a more native landscape at his house.

"It's easier," Serres said. "It's cost-efficient, and it looks nice."

Serres told NewsChannel 21 the potential for lower maintenance costs and a more natural landscape made him interested in xeriscaped landscape.

"We have irrigation rights, but water is gold around here," Serres said. "There is so much natural beauty in the High Desert."

Instant Landscaping in Bend supplies homeowners and landscapers with several types of gravel used for xeriscaping. Ben Simpson, the office manager, said his business receives about three truckloads of gravel every few days -- and within about a day or two, it's gone.

"We can hardly keep it on the ground," Simpson said.

Simpson said he's seen a 35% jump in xeriscaping customers. It's become so popular, he's had to limit customers to three cubic yards of gravel per day.

"Since I've worked here 12 years, it's been extremely common that we are seeing a down flow in grass and an up flow in rock material and xeriscaping, just because it's more maintenance-free," Simpson said.

Less maintenance can mean more savings, but for Serres, it's not only about money.

"Quite honestly, though, it's less about saving money and more about embracing the native landscape," he said.

Bend / Business / Central Oregon / Environment / Top Stories
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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.



  1. I own EFU land just outside Bend city limits.
    Back in the late recent day I was offered the exact same tax discount for farming or not farming my land.
    We chose to farm and ranch.

    Our non-used land is fallow and supports local game and other animals etc.
    We use xeriscape everywhere water isn’t needed.
    Big fan of not watering junipers by lawn and other means, big waste of water for weeds.

  2. I agree with Serres. Xeriscape is a new adventure for me and fun to learn. There are many plants I didn’t know about that are interesting and require very little care and water.

      1. When I click on KTVZ Homepage, i get “” and it takes me here, but to the day the thunderstorm story was up. It says my comments are awaiting moderation still, lol. I’ve logged out, and refreshed the page and had to resort to typing “z21” in the search bar. I can send you a screenshot of you want. I can still get to stories, but I have to google z21, then click on a headline, then scroll down to recent or related stories. I know… it’s weird. I’ve never seen any “flywheel” anything before the last few days. It’s a pain in the neck. Like owen pain in the neck

  3. Thanks for focusing on a more sensible & sustainable way to landscape your home in our region. One correction however, please…Xeriscaping is pronounced “Zeera-scaping” not “Zero-scaping” 🙂 There is nothing Zero about it but everything about sucessfully co-existing in a dry enviroment. I would encourage anyone who wants to know more about planting native and hardy ornamental plants to check out the Plant Select program out of Colorado… There is only one retail nursery listed for Oregon, and that nursery is located in Central Oregon! (Listed under ‘Where to Buy’ on the website.)

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