Just as I’m taking such an interest in drought-tolerant landscaping, today’s news blast came through with what most of us have already observed–California Drought 2013!
These little ground covers don’t seem to mind…they’ve been chosen specifically to hold onto moisture! Notice the straw acting as mulch in the vegetable garden? Very resourceful!
It’s the driest winter in California since 1920, and the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides about one-third of the water used in the state as it melts and fills reservoirs and aquifers, has been disappointing.
Another disappointing note, without enough rain over the winter, the California Poppy is in short supply.
The plants normally germinate during March, but in many open places they didn’t make it through the recent stretch of heat. They’re “wild” after all…totally rain dependent!
The April 20th Lancaster California Poppy Festival is still on-deck, but the main event, the poppies, may be a bit disappointing.
But they were plentiful on the tour! I’m definitely planting these next year! Aren’t they sunshine?
Someday I’m going to spend a little more time talking about the Theodore Payne Foundation and the history behind its mission to preserve California native plants, seeds and wildflowers. The grounds of the accompanying nursery offer a lovely field trip. I’ll take you one day.
But today why don’t we just enjoy some photos from Saturday’s tour.
Be sure to notice the variety of colors and texture, the way the plants are massed making it possible for something to always be in bloom, and the particular attention to maximizing space. I’m sure you’ll take note of the wonderful way homeowners personalized their yards with items that bring character and personality…and peace.
These are just few, but if you’d really like to get more of a feel for how beautiful some of the gardens are, I suggest you click HERE and see the slide shows associated with all of the homes open on Saturday. I can guarantee you’ll enjoy the time you spend.
My favorite is Garden #11. You’ll want to linger over the photos. I didn’t want to leave the premises!
You’ll also find a plant list is available from each home. The Foundation is an abundant resource!
I’ll be curious to hear of your impressions. The plants make a very unique appearance that fits our arid Mediterranean climate, but homes fully dedicated to this kind of natural landscaping are still relatively unique.
I think that one reason more homeowners haven’t moved away from large green, water-loving lawns and embraced a more natural drought-tolerant choice in plants and grasses may in part be due to the fact that up until recently there have been so few examples of homes that showcase the diversity and beauty that is available.
This particular tour changed that for me! I walked away a true believer, and now I simply need to roll up my shirt sleeves and get busy. I’ll have to see if my current enthusiasm can carry me through a few years of hard work.
The gardens on the tour looked natural and effortless…but we know better, don’t we. All gardens need lots of love. But the time invested is so rewarding, isn’t it?