Colorful California Landscape: A Water-Friendly Garden
Colorful California Landscape:  A Water-Friendly Garden

Plants

In this age of water restrictions and our unpredictable weather cycle, reducing outdoor watering is the best solution. Native and California Friendly plants accomplish this without sacrificing beauty.

A photo tour of our garden can be found in the Garden Tour section of this website. A description of the individual plants utilized in our landscape can be found in the Foliage section of this website.

Water-Friendly Plants Resources

If you only buy one book on California Gardens get "Landscape Plants for California Gardens" by Bob Perry.  It is a comprehensive illustrated reference of plants and information regarding landscape water conservation.  Landscape Resource is a great website for learning, planning, and shareing your garden.

The Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District in Escondido, California, has a California Nifty Fifty" list.  These are their top 50 tried and true landscape plants that are readily available, low water users, easy to maintain, and true performers.  Their website provides pictures and descriptions for most of these plants.

Nifty 50 Plants for Water Smart Landscapes
nifty50.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.5 MB]

Trees

Trees have a multitude of benefits. They conserve energy by shading buildings and paved surfaces, filter airborne pollutants, remove atmospheric carbon dioxide, reduce stormwater runoff, and increase the value of your home (for example, increases "curb appeal" thereby increasing sale prices).

Using the National Tree Benefits Calculator, our 1 Coastal Oak tree (6" in diameter) provided the following benefits this year. These will increase as the tree grows.

  1. Raised the property value by $67 this year and added 39 square feet of leaf surface area (LSA)
  2. Intercepted 164 gallons of stormwater runoff this year
  3. Conserveed 11 Kilowatt / hours of electricity for cooling
  4. Absorbed/intercepted pollutants (such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide) and lessened the need for creation of these pollutants by reducing energy production needs
  5. Reduced atmospheric carbon by 49 pounds this year

Weeds

Learning to live with a few weeds is a gardener's mark of maturity, not unlike that moment when you suddenly stop fretting about the fact that you're too tall or too short and simply decide to get on with life. Weeds compete with your cultivated plants for water, nutrients, sunlight, and growing space. Left alone, they will overrun your garden. However, by tolerating a few weeds, you will make your entire gardening experience more relaxed and enjoyable. And your garden will still be beautiful. There are as many shades of green in this world as there are of gray. The Organic Gardening website offers an organic strategy to weeds and provides insights into weed control the organic way.

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Stewardship requires the recognition that we are all caretakers of the environment and economy for the benefit of present and future generations. We must balance the impacts of today's decisions with the needs of future generations. - The Minnesota Round Table on Sustainable Development (1998)