With a desire to save water, be more ecologically sound and reduce maintenance requirements, this front yard renovation removed an existing Bermuda grass lawn while maintaining the original low adobe brick wall and large cactus.
Preferring California and western natives, the homeowner only used plants with a low or very low water use requirement per WUCOLS IV (the 4th edition of the Water Use Classification of Landscape Species for region 2). This adherence to hydrozoning, grouping plants together with similar water use requirements and exposure needs, helps to save water and assign irrigation valves.
The design was inspired by the owner's cactus collection which included the existing 10+ foot tall Peruvian Apple Cactus. Special consideration was also given to selecting smaller tree species which would not shade the existing solar panels on the roof.
A permeable micro-patio was added to provide a place for a small bistro table and oversized pots were used along the entryway to allow the owner to grow heat loving edibles during summer. And, locally sourced crushed walnut shells were used as unique mulch giving the appearance of fine textured gravel or desert sand.
This yard literally explodes with color every few weeks as something new comes into bloom or re-blooms. This garden is indeed a desert delight!
- Dwarf Coyote bush, Baccharis pilularis ‘Pigeon Point’
- Fairy Duster, Calliandra eriophylla
- Bush Anemone, Carpenteria californica ‘Elizabeth’
- Concha Wild Lilac, Ceanothus ‘Concha’
- Valley Violet Ceanothus, Ceanothus maritimus ‘Valley Violet’
- Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis
- Island Bush Poppy, Dendromecon harfordii
- California Fuschia, Epilobium canum (Zauschneria californica)
- Sticky Monkey Flower, Mimulus aurantiacus
- Mexican Elderberry, Sambucus Mexicana
- St. Catherine’s Lace, Eriogonum giganteum
- Red Buckwheat, Eriogonum grande var. rubescens
- Sulfur Buckwheat, Eriogonum umbellatum
- Desert Globe Mallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua
- Mule Ears, Wyethia glabra
- Idaho Fescue, Festuca idahoensis
- Elk Blue California Gray Rush, Juncus patens ‘Elk Blue
- Canyon Prince Wild Rye, Leymus condensatus ‘Canyon Prince’
- Drummond’s Sundrops, Calylophus drummondianus
- Soapweed, Yucca glauca
- Parry’s Agave, Agave parryi
- Torch Aloe, Aloe arborescens
- Ocahui Agave, Agave ocahui
- Rock Purslane, Calandrinia spectabilis
- Peruvian Apple Cactus, Cereus peruvianus
- Desert Spoon, Dasylirion wheeleri
- Yellow Yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora ‘Yellow’
- Golden Sword Yucca, Yucca filamentosa ‘Golden Sword’
- Soap Lily, Chlorogalum pomeridianum
- Desert Museum Palo Verde, Parkinsonia (Cercidium) x ‘Desert Museum’
- Freesia species
- Desert willow, Chilopsis linearis ‘Bubba’
Designer: Soleil Tranquilli, Tranquil Gardens
Contractor: Eric Zemlicka, Z-Scapes
Project Cost: $10,000
This 'greener' garden is within the Laguna Creek Watershed. A river friendly garden like this one reduces runoff and the pollutants that would otherwise drain into Elk Grove Creek, a tributary of Laguna Creek.