Dry is Beautiful
Drought tolerant landscapes can take advantage of beautiful plants originating from all of the Mediterranean climates of the world. This means here in Southern California that we can enjoy our own unique and beautiful California native plants, amazing succulents from South Africa, great flowering shrubs from Australia and, of course, fragrant lavenders and other wonderful shrubs and herbs from the Mediterranean region. All of these climates have moist mild winters and dry hot summers so that the plants from all these regions have basically the same low water requirements and can tolerate quite a bit of drought stress. This makes them ideal to combine in our Southern California gardens to create year round beauty and interest from flowers, foliage, and fruit.
Drought tolerant gardens often get a bad rap when designers include too many summer dormant species that look ratty or species that become woody and rangy as they mature. This is particularly a problem with sages of all kinds, so they should be used sparingly in the garden where they can provide piquant fragrance or bold hummer attracting flowers. To achieve a garden that is highly attractive to most people, the designer has to be discerning about the plant palette they chose. And each client has different criteria for what is beautiful. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the individual client! Some individuals like succulents, others hate them. Some people like feathery foliage and a cottage garden look and others love the boldness of succulents played off other striking foliage plants.
I want to share with you some of the gardens I have designed recently. As you can see, there is no cookie cutter approach here. Each garden was designed for a particular client in mind, with their unique values and tastes in mind.
Double click on picture to enlarge...
Pasadena, Altadena, South Pasadena, Sierra Madre,
San Marino, Arcadia, CA