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Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Rain Garden

  • New faux flagstone walkways are composed of urbanite -- reclaimed pieces of concrete that resulted from busting up the homeowners' existing walkways to make way for the new landscape. Two colors of gravel were used: speckled gray to "grout" the urbanite, line the dry stream bed, widen the driveway and form a crunchy path in front of the garage; and California Gold to mulch the planting beds.

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Let It Rain!


A low-lying tapestry of colorful, water-conserving California native and Mediterranean plants in this front yard garden conceals a host of sustainable gardening techniques.

First off is rainwater harvesting. From the roof, new gutters, downspouts and barrels collect rain, while a rain chain and urn disperse it. Below, a series of rock walls, drainage swales and deep gravel basins retain water, then let it slowly seep to irrigate fruit trees. A dry stream bed directs water as well.

Edibles include blueberry bushes, and seasonal vegetables and herbs that fill a raised stone bed. Ornamental plantings provide nectar, pollen and habitat for beneficial insects, butterflies and birds. Swaths of multi-hued succulents form dramatic mosaics in the strip between the sidewalk and street.

The homeowners are strong believers in creating sustainable spaces and were featured in Meg West's Garden Wise Episode 3: Rainy Days in the Garden. Their segment begins about 6:20 into the show and can be viewed at: