Dry Garden

Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)June 14, 2013

Hi all, I'm not a regular poster here, but I do enjoy peeking through every once in a while. With summer in full swing, I wanted to share some photos of my dry garden with you all. I began transitioning to drought tolerant plants about 5 years ago, and it's still a work in process, but this is the first year that many of my plants can be considered "established" and can withstand the dry conditions. I water once a week, and in some places, once every two weeks. I'm truly amazed at what you can achieve with so little water. I hope you enjoy! I apologize for the low quality photos ahead of time! I took these with my phone.

Native Oenothera from seed collected in the hillsides around our home

Salvia Canariensis is so dramatic! I love it paired with our native artemisia

Our native Datura Wrightii also grown from seed collected in the hillsides around our home.

Native clarkia also from seeds from around the hills here

Native Dudleya Pulverulenta from the coastal hills just west of us. This one requires some shade in our inland location.

Echeverias are colorful as always

I'm not sure what plant this is, but it started off as a small cutting last year. The blooms are so beautiful!

Some more mixed drought tolerant plants.

a Native penstemon from the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Yosemite (just east of us)

Native Zephyranthes bulbs blooming!

Some Agastache

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That is terrific. I admire your garden and the hard work it took to get it started.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 10:34AM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

The photos are good, don't apologize...and the garden is wonderful. It's totally the direction I'll be going on our next property. Think of the extra money we'll have when we're not paying for excessive amounts of water....

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 2:28PM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

Congratulations- it's beautiful! Just what i am trying to do here. When you water, is it dripped or sprinkled or just hand-watered here and there? Min

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 6:05PM
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That's very pretty,so many pretty plants.Really love that white datura.I grew clarkia one year from seed and had hoped it would come back,but it didn't .

You did a wonderful job with your garden and should be proud.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 8:46PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Your garden is gorgeous. That salvia's color is just perfect with the silver foliage. I'm so glad to have these pictures so that I can copy your ideas!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 1:20AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Your mystery blooming succulent is a Cotyledon orbiculata var longifolia. The Zephranthes isn't actually native to California, and I suspect the Clarkia is an escaped garden hybrid as well. Nice looking garden...

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 1:27AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

stunning. I enjoyed experiencing your dry garden very much. It's a wonderful inspirational example of what can be done with very little water. lovey compositions.

thank you for the tour.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 4:22PM
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I like that,and I like the horticultural propagational zest!
Are those King palms in back? Are those the little King palms of 4-5 years ago? And hows the Majesty in the front yard?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 6:49PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

Thank you all for the compliments! I wish I could dedicate a little more time to the maintenance of it and the clearing of weeds but work keeps me busy! haha

Min, I water by hand here and there as I see needed. There is a large queen palm that was in place when we moved in and so I try to keep the palm well watered. I have created somewhat of a dry creek bed that pools at the base of the palm. About every two weeks, I turn on an irrigation line that lets water flow down the dry creekbed and ultimately waters the palm and all the plants that are along the edges of the streambed. The Oenothera pictured above, as well as Mimulus Cardinalis live along the streambed.

Kathi, for being a native, clarkia isn't as pestiferous as one would imagine. They're beautiful plants though!

Hosenemesis, (I love the handle name btw!) I have absolutely fallen in love with the silver and purple of that salvia! I've really taken a liking with using grey-toned plants and adding little spots of eye catching, bright colors here and there.

Bahia, Thanks for the ID! I will write that down! The comment means a lot coming from you. I've seen the kind of garden's you've designed. I'm a huge fan! haha

Stan! You have a good eye! And great memory! the 4th and 10th pictures show a whiteish trunk in the background. They are both of the same Aloe Hercules. Picture 13 shows two queen palm trunks (pre-existing), and fronds of that same Majesty from several years ago as well as fronds from a Butia. I can post a picture of that Majesty in a few minutes.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 1:53AM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

Stan, here is the photo of the Majesty palm. I planted it out in 2008 sometime, so it has been in this spot for 5 years now. It seems to take cold better now than when it was smaller, but it definitely looks stunted in it's growth. It began as a houseplant, then, when it became to big, I decided to use it outside. I never thought it would survive the winter, but it did, and now it's putting on a trunk. You can see some winter damage on the right-most frond there.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 2:30AM
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The palm looks fine. Prune off that one frond,and its like any palm in Florida..green new fronds all. Just keep doing whatever you're doing. Its working.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 11:16AM
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Great post--I've been looking for more ideas on what to put in my dry garden, (beyond my current succulent collection) and there are some great ideas here. You even provided all the info I was wondering about, like where you got the datura and the primrose.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 1:18AM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

PettyPease, thanks! both my primrose and datura are setting seed. I can send you some later in the season if you send me an email. I also just started a named cultivar of the same primrose called "Sunset." It has orange blooms instead of the typical yellow.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:16AM
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Very nice!

I'm in the process of planting a xeric garden in my back yard. It`s going to be the entire yard and it`s a large yard. It`s all dead grass back there because it`s too expensive to try to keep it green. I have installed chaparral shrubs this year. I will fill it in more in fall.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 1:44PM
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DJSquire Designs


Working on finding good lists and photos of Native Plants with a lush and lovely quality.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 8:03PM
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greenwitch(Sz19 SoCal)

Really beautiful! Good for you keeping that Penstemon newberryii alive, it's not easy. I have the Oenothera hookeri too and you have inspired me to grow the orange 'Sunset.'
Some of my favorites are the native bunchgrasses, Sporobolis airoides, sporobolis wrightii, Bouteloua 'Blonde Ambition,' and Deergrass. I also love Purple 3-Awn but I have dogs and don't think the foxtail-like seeds are safe for them (or my socks!) - the grasses I listed look like little fountains or fireworks that move with any slight breeze and catch morning or evening light.

Native sunflowers when pampered will get about 8' tall & wide and look plenty lush, I have orange form and pale yellow 'Claremont' and birds come to eat the seeds.

California fuchsia, Zauschneria/Epilobium are good ones too that love periodic water, they have screaming red tubular flowers hummingbirds love.

I am training native grapes to cover my fences with walls of green and in the fall the foliage turns yellow on Vitis girdiana and red on 'Roger's Red.'

There is also a hybrid between Fremontodendron and a Mexican relative, Monkey Paw that takes garden water in summer, has big, upturned orange cupped flowers with sweet nectar - it looks pretty lush. Left on it's own it gets really big but I'm keeping mine pruned back and trained against a wall (tall, commercial bldg next door).

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 10:11AM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

greenwitch! Please post a photo of your Chiranthofremontia! I found a nursery in the Bay Area that sells it but I haven't had a chance to get out there. I will be traveling there for work in the fall so I'll try to snag one while I'm there.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 7:55PM
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melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)

Love your dry garden! I would adore to have a garden like that in our front yard. My attempt at a dry garden is not nearly as lovely, and it's not really a dry garden, either, as I have to water a couple times/month.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 2:21PM
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