Name: Tracy (My Mom)
Type of space: Front Yard
How did you do it?: Welcome to my mom's front yard. I wish I had a before shot of it but about ten years ago it was half dead lawn with sad hedges hugging the house. My mom, a landscape designer, decided to forgo the lawn and make a garden rich in texture, color and low on water consumption and maintenance.
The garden has been transforming over the last ten years as things overgrow, die or just need to make room for new plants. My mom wanted to have the garden look lush for as much of the year as possible so she chose plants that would bloom or peak at different times: crepe myrtle, kangaroo paw, roses, lavender, euphorbia, phormium and heavenly bamboo all have interesting leaf textures and offer different colors at different times of the year. She also scavenged rocks from the backyard and from neighbors trying to get rid of them (she lives in a rocky area) to make drainage areas and cover large areas without relying on grass. The result is a garden that looks alive most of the year instead of going dormant in the winter or getting burnt out in the summer. The best part is that most of her plants are drought tolerant and she's installed a drip system so watering doesn't take up a lot of time (or water).
Recommended store, site, product or resource?
Green Arrow Nursery for small starter plants.
California Cactus Center for a great selection of succulents and cactus.
The Huntington Cactus Garden for inspiration.
Theodore Paine for native plants that need very little water.