Beyond Cactus — the wonderfully varied world of drought-tolerant landscaping

Species commonly known as Kangaroo Paw can bring the color and whimsy of a Dr. Seuss book to your own backyard.

Drought tolerant plantings and low maintenance yards are a trend that shows no signs of quitting — and for good reason. It pays to be water conscious in your landscaping, both when looking at your environmental footprint and looking at your water bills.

Moving your yard to a low-water use design can seem daunting, but remember, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Finding ways and parts of your yard to bring in more drought-tolerant plantings will still have an impact. And if you want help coming up with a plan, ezhome’s landscape design services can help.

The range of species and looks is greater than many people realize. Here are some points to consider.

Embrace Stark Beauty

Cacti and other succulents are what comes to mind for most people when they think about low-water plants. A bold agave plant claims space with authority! The variety of shapes, colors and sizes make this category a favorite.

Soften the Edges

Not all low water plants are compact or prickly. Ornamental grasses (like Festuca glauca, Muhlenbergia rigens and Miscanthus sinensis) add textural variety. Red fescue (Festuca rubra) creates a “lawn” that looks like windswept waves of grass.


Get All the Color You Want

Trailing African daisies are drought-hardy but look delicate.

Kangaroo paw describes a number of species from Western Australia that produce flowers that look straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. To incorporate colorful groundcover with evergreen qualities, try trailing African daisies (Osteospermum fruticosum) or California lilac (Ceanothus ‘Centennial’) with tight clusters of purple-blue flowers. And don’t forget fragrant and flowering species that you can bring into the kitchen or bath, like lavender and rosemary.


Go Global

Lavender varieties bring the Mediterranean into your garden, kitchen and bath.

The American West isn’t the only place on Earth that needs to be water conscious. California native species are great, but you can also look to the Mediterranean and Australia for inspiration, opening more looks to choose from.

“While invasive plants are a concern to take seriously,” says ezhome landscape designer Samantha Bella, “just because it isn’t native doesn’t mean it’s causing damage. A professional landscape designer will be well-informed on what’s a good choice and what isn’t.”


Don’t Forget Trees

Most trees, once established, don’t require much watering. Big winners are Marina Strawberry trees (Arbutus marina) and crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia) with its beautiful clusters of blossoms in multiple colors.  Or choose fruit bearing trees like citrus and olive to create a Mediterranean idyll in your own backyard.


Stone is a Garden Tool

To build in areas for activities and entertaining, consider a bocce ball court or a decomposed granite patio. And for a soft path, mix stone with plantings like creeping thyme.

Call on ezhome’s landscape design services  to create a custom plan that suits your yard and tastes.

Get inspired and dream up your best garden with ezhome on Pinterest.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s