Color Your Garden Drought-Friendly!
Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
With California in the middle of a serious drought now is the time to start thinking about low water-usage plants for your garden.
You might be surprised to know that there’s a wide variety of drought-friendly flowers, shrubs, trees, and ground cover that can give your garden a splash of color.
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel learned that you can have a colorful, vibrant garden that’s low maintenance and beautiful at the same time. It just takes a combination of planning and planting.
The best way to start is by sectioning off a part of your garden and designating this for plants that require less water. By separating these drought-resistant plants from the others, you can ensure that both types of plants are watered properly.
SurfWriter Girl Patti’s husband Greg did this to part of their backyard...
and an area next to the driveway, replacing the grass with a variety of low-water usage plants.
Depending on your preferences and desired color palette, some drought-friendly plants to consider are:
Wild lilac, one of Sunny’s favorites.
California Poppy, a state classic
Western Redbud with bright purple-pink flowers
Island Snapdragon, rich, red flowers from the Channel Islands
San Diego Sunflower, a plant ready for any weather
Rockrose, evergreen shrubs with white, yellow, pink or purple flowers
Purple Smoke Tree, with stunning, dark purple leaves that change to scarlet in fall.
Citrus trees - orange, lemon, lime, and tangerine – add a burst of color with fragrant smells and delicious fruit to enjoy.
Coast Dudlyea succulents, known their coral color
Ice Plants – in yellow, orange, purple and red
When Surfrider Foundation Ocean Friendly Gardens specialist Greg Goran and his wife Sharon
decided to make their garden more water-efficient, they chose “several species of manzanitas, California fuschia, and a ton of drought tolerant succulents.”
One of the key features of the garden is that it is made up of about 80% native plants, including sages (clevlandii, black sage, and white sage), which are suited to a drier landscape.
Once you start planning your own garden, you’ll see that there are lots of options to choose from. For more ideas, contact the Surfrider Foundation and/or the California Native Plant Society.
By doing your research and adopting a phase-in/phase-out strategy that replaces water-thirsty plants with water-saving plants, you can have the colorful garden you want – one that’s beautiful for you...and beautiful for the environment.
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