Drought tolerant plants

From our neighbor Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times writer

Halm 2400-2

“Many years ago, with memories of the late 1980s drought fresh in my mind, I asked Susan, a horticulturist friend whose Santa Monica company is called Suzie’s Scapes, to help me design a “drought-tolerant” front garden, with native California grasses, flowering plants and bushes.

“We ended up not with a xeriscape garden per se but with a Mediterranean-style garden, appropriate for a “dry summer subtropical climate.”

“I watered regularly until the plants took hold. Since then, I seldom think about watering except in the extreme heat of August or September.

“Among plants that I love having in the garden and that seem to thrive are: Mexican sage, kangaroo paws, flax, agave plants, manzanita, Australian woolly bush (Adenanthos sericeus), California iris and California rock rose (Helianthemum scoparium). I’m eagerly awaiting the day when my Matilija poppy bursts forth with its large white blossoms with yellow centers that look like eggs sunny side up.

“Caveats: I had hoped that having a Mediterranean-style garden would save money.  In the end I’m not sure it has. The garden must often be tweaked, and I apply special mulch three or four times a year (where does all that mulch go?).  Who knows how much I’m saving on water costs, though.  I know I am saving there.

“And I love coming home to this garden. I’m happy to see other front gardens popping up throughout the neighborhood.” –  Martha Groves

Photo by Elisa Leonelli

See more easy-care, lawn-free gardens from Sunset Magazine

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