I was out for a Sunday morning bike ride around town yesterday with Mi Esposo and we passed a drought tolerant garden, with artichokes being the focal point. I love the silver and grey-green colors of the plants. I’m going to have to remember to go by when they are blooming. They will bloom as giant thistles, worth it for not harvesting!
Drought tolerant garden
Beautiful artichokes will become gigantic thistle if not harvested
I don’t have the room in my garden for growing something this size, but maybe in the future as I rearrange the garden. They are quite the show stopper.
Echiums - aka Pride of Madeira - are in bloom now and the other morning I stopped to look and admire this clump that grows a few blocks from my house. The light lavender color is unusual. The close-ups of the flowers are beautiful, aren’t they? Echiums can be considered invasive because they are not native, get very large, and reseed pretty easily. They are pretty plants, but do need a lot of space to grow into. I had one in my front yard for a couple of years, but I finally removed it because it was a monster, and it made me itch every time I rubbed into it. Fortunately, I can enjoy it in other yards, and down by the waterfront where they grow prolifically.
It was my birthday on Friday, so my friend, Amy, took me on an adventure day. After taste-testing donuts (she fancies herself a connoisseur!) we were cruising along to our next destination when we spotted this colorful garden shop on a busy corner in North County.
Located on the corner of Leucadia Blvd, just off Highway 5 to the west, Glorious Gardens is a very cool place! You can’t miss it because the bright colors painted on the fence and shop grab your eye, and then there is the classic old truck out front (which I failed to get a picture of – doh!) that is filled with succulents.
I loved the display ideas. This wall is artfully done using hose clamps to secure the pots to the wall.
This bottle shelf was interesting, and since I’m a glass lover, very appealing to me. Not sure how functional, but does that really have to matter?
I have never seen this succulent, Pepperomia graveolens, before. Pretty color and texture.
In this container, the blue glass top-dressing under the succulents looks like water. Pretty contrast, too.
The shop had a nice selection of succulents and drought tolerant plants. Great plants, imaginative staging, and a helpful shop owner. I’ll be back!
I am constantly amazed at the lasting power of succulent cuttings. I made a design out of succulents that I entered into the Coronado Flower Show last April. The cuttings were placed in rust-colored sand and I never watered the design – ever.
Fast forward to October and be amazed. Not quite as vibrant, probably because I’ve had the arrangement indoors for six months, but still looking pretty good after all that time.
Six months old and still going strong!
I took the arrangement apart and will be able to reuse these pieces in something else. Gooooo Succulents!!!!!
These pieces are ready for their next application. No water for over six months - Wow!
Living in Southern California to coastal central California, we reside in the coveted 2% of total land mass on earth that shares this idyllic Mediterranean climate.
All mediterranean climate areas in the world lie between about 30 degrees and 45 degrees of latitude, about halfway from the equator to the poles, and they are all near the coast on the western edge of continents. California is said to have the driest Mediterranean climate in the world.
Check out this Mediterranean Terrain Map.
On Tuesday at the monthly Master Gardener meeting, our guest speaker was former Master Gardener, Nan Sterman. Nan is now the weekly garden columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune as well as drought tolerant planting guru. I first heard Nan speak at a Master Gardener seminar many years back. I signed up for her class because I needed to fill my first class space and went in with no expectations. Turned out that Nan’s class was the highlight of my seminar day, and was a complete shift in thinking for me.
Nan’s talk yesterday was about Mediterranean gardens. She had a nice slide show that highlighted low water gardens around San Diego. She stressed that any style house can have a beautiful low-water garden that would be appropriate for the style of the house. Another statement she made which brought a wave of giggles around the room, but it SOOOO true, was “You only have a low-water yard if you don’t water!” Amen.
The biggest industry in California is the movement of water. Nan cited a statistic that really gnawed at me. Turning on your water spigot and letting the water run for 5 minutes is the equivalent of burning a 60W lightbulb for 12 hours. It took me a while to get my head around that. But think about all the entities involved to bring water to your house with the turn of a knob. It takes manpower, infrastructure and energy to move water.
Most of the water we use in California is for irrigating our landscapes. Still, we pay very little for something that is vital to live! It’s the best deal going. Unfortunately, we take it for granted, and we shouldn’t. It really irks me to have my neighbors, who rarely set foot in their front yard, running their sprinklers every morning just to keep the grass green. Their yard, and so many others, would be sooooo much interesting with interesting, less thirsty plants. I’d even plant it for them! (Yard Envy!) But first, a nice, cool glass of water.
I rarely water this Lion's Tail (Leonotis leonurus) and it is thriving!
I saw this in the December 2010 issue of Sunset and it is too good not to post. First of all, I love “before and after” scenarios, and secondly, this is SOOOOOO great!
Found Space: 5 fresh ways to turn a bleak lawn and driveway into a lush, livable garden