Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Sexy Sumptuous Color / Water-Wise Plants
We drool when we see those garden photos on the mags at the dentist’s office. Sensuous burgundy leaves, fragrant gray-leaf lavendar, delicate pink flowering shrubs. Looks like it belongs in front of Muffin Mouse's little cottage in merry old Newark. Ya just wanna take a bite out of it!
But much of the stuff we lust after in garden books doesn’t make sense in our semi-desert Santa Barbara / SoCal climate. We just can't shake that temperate climate aesthetic. So do we resign ourselves to a life of sensual deprivation or do we waste one of the most precious resources we have coaxing lush growth in a climate that’s supposed to be sporting sagebrush?
Have I got a deal for you! Call now and you can have the best of both worlds! Operators are standing by.
The key is understanding what makes a plant composition attractive to you, and “reverse engineering” it to its basic components. If your bippy gets all aroused from the combination of sky-rocketing yellow blooms framed by dark green weeping foliage, find something in your own neck of the woods that gives you that effect. Don't try to import something from another climate that needs a life-support system we can't afford!
The photo above gives the look of a lush English garden, but all the plants would survive with a monthly deep soak in the summer and no supplemental water for the rest of the year.
That dark burgundy foliage is a flowering plum with a deep root system that doesn’t need much pampering. The graceful pink flowers are bursting out of a tough-as-nails New Zealand Tea Tree. And Lavendar is a Mediterranean plant that needs no help from us, thank you very much!
So you can have it both ways—drop-dead-gorgeous garden and treading lightly on the planet. Pretty sexy, eh?