I told you about the xeriscaped yard on Memphis Avenue in Lubbock that I have always admired, “The Xeriscape on Memphis Avenue,” May 19, 2024. I passed that house many times before finally stopping and visiting with Rhea Boepple about how cool her yard is.

This time, sometime after that and quite by chance, I drove down 28th Street in Lubbock  and all of a sudden, here was this textbook example of a xeriscaped yard! With a lovely front door/porch that matched the style of the landscaping perfectly.

So, on my next trip to Lubbock I took the camera and drove to 28th Street on purpose. I walked up to that inviting entry, rang the bell, and got no answer. I decided I would take pictures anyway and ask forgiveness and permission later. And as I am taking pictures, I look across the street and there’s another xeriscaped yard!

So I went to that front door, rang the bell, and had the same result. And took more pictures.

Later that day, I went back and tried the first house again. No answer. Went across the street, rang that bell, and the owner was home. I introduced myself to Sylvia McPherson, explained that I was working on a powerpoint presentation about xeriscape landscaping and would she be agreeable to her house being in the program? She graciously agreed. I asked about the house across the street, and she said that was her Airbnb! Then she also mentioned that the family’s winery downtown is landscaped in the same fashion. Well! I had hit paydirt. So, here we go.

First, the Airbnb. Sylvia said she and her husband Kim bought the house, a rent house, because they got tired of all the constant moving in and out and sometimes noise by renters. They gutted the house and redid it along with the yard, about two years ago, looking at low maintenance and low water use as the key objectives. Sylvia, who studied interior and architectural design at Texas Tech, designed the landscape, chose the plants, and Environmental Landscape Solutions in Lubbock did the planting. Here’s a look at the results.

I really like the dry creek bed with the variety of sizes of river rock and the flat flagstone used for detail in the creek bed. Those of you who might not be familiar with the idea of a dry creek bed might be looking for running water, but it’s the formation that ‘s important, not actual water. If and when it rains, water will collect in it, but don’t expect water all the time.

They chose to use a few large plants for impact and added some raised sections here and there for variety. And in true xeriscape fashion, no lawn but gravel or crushed rock instead of grass.

Now, the house on the other side of the street is xeriscaped, but in a different style, a little softer perhaps, more drought-tolerant flowers adding a bit of color, ornamental grass, a gravel yard, large specimen plants.  It requires a bit more maintenance, but is still low on water needs.

The winery on Texas Avenue used to be the Coca-Cola plant in Lubbock in the 1930s. Dr. Clinton “Doc’ McPherson is considered the founder and pioneer in the modern Texas wine industry and founded and owned the Llano Estado winery here in Lubbock, first planting his own vineyard in the 1960s. His son Kim, who also studied the art of winemaking, and Sylvia bought the Coca-Cola building seventeen years ago, keeping as much of the original building as possible. They added on and turned it into the McPherson Winery. Kim and Sylvia collected plants and added the landscaping with the same low maintenance and low water goals. These specimens are spectacular!

The agaves along the front of the building on Texas Avenue are replaced as they bloom and die, which is what agaves do.

So, we have two very different takes on xeriscape at homes and one example of xeriscape at a business; all three effective in landscaping that is drought-tolerant and low maintenance. The Airbnb and the winery landscaping focuses on hardscape and individual large plants, all cold-hardy. The McPherson home’s landscape is softer, with more colors and perennial flowers that are drought-tolerant and also cold-hardy, along with other single large plants and hardscape.  I also showed you how we used xeriscape in front of our house, “Xeriscape Done Right,” April 20, 2024. And if you also consider the home on Memphis Avenue I talked about earlier, which incorporates a little bit of both styles, you can see lots of ideas to use in your own yard in our high and dry climate.

Myriad cold-hardy drought-tolerant plants are popular to use in xeriscape, and I dare not try to list them all here. What I would suggest is that if you are leaning in that direction is to google drought-tolerant plants, xeriscape, or perhaps go to the link at the bottom of the page.

Maybe you can find something that would work for you and your yard.

Thanks to Sylvia McPherson for sharing her landscapes with me. 

Xeriscape Landscaping: A Complete Guide to a Drought Tolerant Yard