Hot Gardens Newsletter: June 2011
A thirsty lawn was replaced with Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos) blossoms on tall stalks in golden yellow and dark red. Sea lavender (Limonium), which you may also know as the dried flower statice, adds purple to the scene. Both plants are very long-blooming.
Adios Lawn. Hello Gorgeous!
Astonishing as it may seem the front yard shown left is less than one year old. Every inch of the water-guzzling lawn was ripped out and low-water usage plants were installed–fairly densely. This spring these new perennials are blooming beautifully and winning garden awards for the homeowners. There are rosemary, lavender and upright red flax (Phormium) lining the path to the front door. A recycling fountain bubbles gently from a tall turquoise color ceramic pot before guests reach the doorway.
In another nearby garden, planted several years ago–and also an award-winner–Sea Lavender has been combined with iris to create a early summer palate of purple blooms. Both Sea Lavender and Iris make great cut flowers for your home. Shards of terra cotta pots fill in blank spaces.
Both of these gardens are in Pasadena, California which has been under increasingly strict water restrictions. In March 2011, the water department required at 40% reduction in water usage and that requirement, along with climate change, inspired even more homeowners to say goodbye to their green lawns. As of 2017, these restrictions have not been entirely lifted despite the above-average rainfall this last winter.
One comment we have heard often is that after drought-tolerant plants bloom and fade, the garden looks sort of drab. One solution is to plant vibrant color succulents which provide contrast year round.
Another solution is to leave space among the drought-tolerant perennials for annuals like these Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) They will grow practically anywhere and bloom even during sizzling hot weather. We also have suggestions for plants that bloom in sizzling mid-summer heat.
For more information and inspiration about what to do when you remove your lawn, go here. There are six pages on the Hot Gardens website about lawn replacement.
Hot Rocks. If you have been thinking about replacing your lawn with colorful rocks or synthetic grass–beware! Both rock mulch and fake grass can reach temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit on hot summer days. Worse yet, fake grass retains the stink of doggy droppings.
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