I was expecting some local garden centers to go bankrupt due to the drought--that may happen eventually, but most garden centers and especially landscape and garden contractors have been hopping this spring, since the Governor's announcement of mandatory water reductions.
People are trying to figure out what "drought tolerant" means, changing out plants, removing lawns in favor of hardscape or succulents, getting their leaking swimming pools repaired, and upgrading or repairing irrigation systems.
Although they've been promoting xeric plants for several years now, one local garden center seems more significantly changed to make the most of the demand for xerics. The display garden, which last spring still had lavish displays of massed Delphiniums and daisies has given way to such austere plants as Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'...
Teucrium scorodonia 'Crispum'
Gaura, weedy scraggly Gaura--well, it's not that bad, but...
Sedum 'Frosty Morn'
There were large signs to explain the virtues of unfamiliar plants:
Still, there were little reminders of pre-drought favorites. Beautiful, beautiful begonias...
Love begonias. On a shaded patio, are they really all that profligate? Back ten years ago, this garden center had a huge section of camellias and azaleas, long time coastal favorites. There are still a few for sale, but only a few. Camellias do well here--if the plants but especially the roots are kept cool, covered, shaded, they do fine on once-a-month summer watering, and no additional irrigation the rest of the year. Being understory plants, they are used to drier conditions. They'll live for a hundred years, too. Azaleas--not so much. Azaleas are fading from our region, as they should.
Nice xeric pots here.
Love the combo of 'Sunset Gold' Coleonema and Leucospermum out of bloom. In bloom with yellow Leucospermum flowers, even better.
There was a mass of fresh new Tibouchina urvilleana for sale. The big purple flowers are nice, but how about this luscious foliage?
Almost no tuberous begonias in moss lined pots. Lots and lots of driftwood pieces planted with succulents seems to be the latest and greatest.
So, that's what's up with the trendy garden center these days.
The times they are a-changin'.