Xeriscapes are landscapes (designs which integrate quality landscaping) that conserve water and protect the natural environment.
Definition: Xeriscape landscaping, by definition, is landscaping designed specifically for areas that are susceptible to drought or for properties where water conservation is practiced. Derived from the Greek xeros meaning “dry,” the term, Xeriscape means literally “dry landscape.”
Note that “Xeriscape” is pronounced as if it began with the letter, Z. This sometimes leads to the misspelling, “zeroscape.” But xeriscape landscaping techniques needn’t result in a “big zero” for landscape design aesthetics. In fact, as most people employ the term, xeriscape landscaping needn’t be limited to desert plants, such as cacti. Rather, a xeriscape landscaping policy allows you to use the plants you want, but insists on common-sense measures that will help conserve water, such as grouping plants with similar water requirements together.* (Taken from: Xeriscape Landscaping by David Beaulieu, About.com)
These are not just cactus and rock gardens. They also can be cool, green landscapes full of beautiful plants allowing efficient use of water resources. These Texas-style landscapes incorporate the basic principles of proper planning and design, soil analysis and improvement, appropriate plant selection, practical turf areas, efficient irrigation, use of mulches, and appropriate maintenance.