||A perennial front yard in full bloom in early
summer. This garden includes red flax,
purple sea lavender near the front of this
photo. Yellow kangaroo paw and
lavender are further back. The kangaroo paw, which comes in
several colors, stays in bloom for a very long time.
Lawn with Perennials
The homeowners have made a complete change to their
front yard, above, by removing the lawn and installing drought
tolerant--and very colorful--flowering perennials. This
award-winning garden is, surprisingly, only one year old
which means the owners purchased almost mature plants --
which can be an very expensive proposition. On the other
hand, they did not have to wait three or four years for the
garden to look gorgeous!
Among the plants in the photo: golden yellow Kangaroo
paw, purple sea lavender, aloe with tall red blooms. For
ground cover between the perennials: pink flowering
miniature ice plants and dark green creeping rosemary.
||Many homeowners take a more gradual and
economical approach by replacing the lawn in a
parking median first. Much of this area is covered
ground covers, including
miniature ice plants, and flat gray-green
The red flowers on spires are
For more ideas and photos for parking medians,
||Another way to begin is to start with a drought
tolerant border and then--year after year--expand
it. Several of the plants shown here could be
divided and replanted to save even more money.
Plants in this border:
red Fountain grass, lambs
ears, society garlic, white roses and flax. Note:
Flax does not do well in desert areas.
||This is one of my favorite drought-tolerant
gardens. It has very simple plantings: agaves,
echiverias, ice plants, and golden sedge.
That's all. Once a year in mid-winter the
owner cuts the grass back to about six inches tall.
That is the annual maintenance for this garden.
If you intend to plant your front yard with blooming
perennials, spend some time at a good local nursery and ask
which perennials will do well in your area. And because
perennials--especially mature ones-- are a considerable
investment, be sure to prepare the soil by adding
significant amounts of organic mulch before you plant.
Another thing to keep in mind -- the scale of the plants.
Make sure they will be approximately the same size when grown,
so one or two perennials do not overshadow and become larger
than the rest.
||In this drought tolerant garden the owner has
planted taller plants, including bougainvillea and
agaves, near the street and much
shorter plants along the sidewalk leading to the
front door. Gray-green
fill in the space around the pavers.
Replacing your lawn
-- read this for what NOT to do
Replacing your lawn with ornamental grasses
your lawn with ground covers
lawn with pavers
your lawn with mazes and knot gardens
the lawn in your parking strip