An Introduction to Xeriscape Gardening

by Joe Alvarez

Originally presented on February 16, 2022

Xeriscaping is a word originally coined in 1978 to describe landscaping with water conservation as a major objective. The term is derived from the words “xeros,” meaning dry and landscape creating the practice of xeriscaping. Xeriscaping offers an opportunity to select plants compatible with local conditions. Xeriscapes can have color, blooms, lushness and possibly turf. The Seven Principles of Xeriscaping will help establish a garden that will reduce dependency on water and maintenance. 

Joe has a BS Biology Degree with a minor in Environmental Science from Stockton University. Joe is currently a professor at Rowan College of South Jersey, Cumberland Campus Ag-Hort Program and a Co-Chair of the Hort-Aide Committee for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society 2021Philadelphia Flower Show.

With over 40 years experience with the landscape and nursery industry, Joe is a former president of the Native Plant Society of NJ and Master Gardener Instructor and former Agricultural Program Assistant for the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County. 

With over fourteen years experience as an educator, he is currently a lecturer for the Cape May County Library’s Adult Education Series on Horticulture and Gardening. Combining experience as a beekeeper and a horticulturalist gives him a unique perspective when it comes to pollinators forage sources for both native and ornamental species.