Simplified: The City of Brandon is testing out a special type of landscaping designed to save water. Here's what you need to know about "xeriscaping."

Why it matters

  • Xeriscaping is a type of landscaping that requires little to no irrigation because it uses plants that thrive in an area's natural ecosystem. That's especially helpful in Brandon, which has sandy soil that requires a lot of irrigation to keep turf grass looking nice, City Engingeer Tami Jansma said.
  • The City of Brandon, at the advice of the local water conservation committee, is testing out xeriscaping along Holly Boulevard this summer to see if it's something that could be more widely used in the future.
  • Both Oakridge Nursery and Impact Landscaping Design worked to xeriscape different sections of Holly Boulevard as part of this $80,000 pilot program. They're using things like no-mow grass, native plants and crab trees.
"We're just replacing that turf grass and putting in some native plants that still look nice and don't require irrigation," Jansma said. "They don't need harsh chemicals or fertilizers either."

What happens next?

The hope is that the project is a success and inspires Brandon property owners to follow the city's lead, Development Director Patrick Andrews said.

"Not only could it knock off a good chuck of their water bill," he added, "but we hope the less maintenance component would save they time and effort on that end."

The city is also considering an incentive program to encourage residents to replace some turf grass with these native plants.