Changes may be coming to our garden. We are in the 4th year of a severe drought. Many, who study such things, say this has happened before. I remember! Having lived in SoCal all but 2 years of my entire life I can remember carefully cutting back on water usage indoors so that I felt less guilt watering my garden.
I have a neighbor who has taken advantage of our water district’s rebate plan. If you remove grass and replace it with drought tolerant plants, they will reimburse a certain amount of money per square foot. Our water bill is calculated using a tiered plan. If you go over the amount of water usage they have calculated for your lot, you are charged a premium, each tier (overage) raising your rates higher.
Below is a recent pic I took of my neighbor’s yard. There seems to be several plants in bloom each month of the year. The plan she’s installed is thriving and looks good.
Here’s my issue. I don’t think I’ll be happy with xeriscape, and budget constraints insist I stay the course. I simply need to think “drought tolerant” when I buy new or replacement items. I’ve started a list of plants that will be happy in my garden and crave less water. This is only the beginning…I hope to learn more throughout this season and into Fall. I’ll keep you posted.
For a starter list I visited the Sunset Magazine hit list of drought tolerant plants. I was surprised and pleased to see that for my particular zone ZONE 24: Marine influence along the Southern California coast [as the crow flies we are about 6 miles from the ocean, but there is a ridge of hills blocking us from the full blown coastal influence], I can grow some of the same plants I currently have, in some cases certain varieties are stronger against drought than others, but it’s an easy fix. Such as: Lavandula multifida [a variety of lavender, common name ‘Spanish Eyes’] that will grow 3′ wide.
This was growing in and among the roses last year. I unsuccessfully transplanted it, so I will have to buy another few for the garden this year.
Another plant that caught my eye off the Sunset list: Salvia Clevelandii [common name ‘Winifred Gilman’] This beauty really doesn’t want it’s feet to be wet so it must be planted in well drained soil or even on an embankment (we don’t have an embankment, but we do have one sunny spot in the back yard that drains very quickly). You can order this plant from Annie’s Annuals.
There seems to be a recurring theme of purple…I guess I’ll have to search out alternate colors to mix things up a bit. Next on my watch list is: Agastache rugosa [there are a wide array of plants in the species and in a variety of colors] The plant is know for attracting hummingbirds. All good by me! 🙂
Since this post is already longer than most, I’ll share one more plant that looked promising: Nassella tenuissima [common name ‘Mexican Feathergrass’] This grass seems to blend beautifully with other blooming plants and I may need to try some proven winners in this drought condition.
If you would like to check out Sunset’s list visit HERE. Otherwise, maybe I’ll just do this:
I’d try showering less time each day, but I don’t think that would be nearly as much fun as the Champagne idea!