This Used To Be A Lawn

For at least the last two years, I was anticipating Rogers' would do something dramatically different with the large expanse of lawn on their corner frontage.  Finally, they have.

Now, it is a first-rate xeric garden.
Arctotis 'Pumpkin Pie' will settle in this fall and bloom generously from winter into spring:
 Agave 'Stained Glass', Opuntia, Aloe maculata, Aloe x spinosissima, etc:
 Hesperaloe 'Brake Lights', and something grassy.
 Meadow grass (Sesleria) to the right, Doryanthes at extreme top center, and something Proteacaea at middle left:
 Agaves.  Can't tell you the species on this one offhand.  Looks gentryi-ish. 
 Kalanchoe luciae glowing in the morning sun:
 Agave ovatifolia...a bit rotted...
 An Aloe thraskii specimen in front of the re-habbed gazebo.  For decades, the gazebo was painted white and had some gingerbread woodwork.  White paint and gingerbread removed, it is updated.   
 Graceful, flowing path.  Hesperaloe 'Brake Lights' on the lower left--they'll have to pull some of that out as it grows too large for the space, no?
 This type of planting scheme is initially very expensive.  Even at wholesale prices there are thousands of dollars of new plants here.  What savings materializes is in water and maintenance, but though minimal, skilled maintenance is a must.   Lawns are cheap to plant. The expense is water, mow-blow labor, and the gasoline that runs mowers and blowers, expense paid a little at a time.  Cost is a major reason why people hang on to their lawns.   
 Cordyline 'Electric Shock', with a grass above.  The latest/greatest new Cordylines seem to be replacing Phormiums as the go-to grassy non-grass plants.  Phormiums get larger faster.
 Succulent baskets hang in the gazebo.
 Oops.  A bit of irrigation adjustment needed.  This whole new installation was done in the past few weeks. 
The area, always slightly above sidewalk level, was sculpted into berms via a sinuous narrow pathway that is as much visual as functional--probably even more so.  The beautiful plants invite a stroll on the path, though.   
Opuntia gosseliniana var. santa-rita (or whatever the correct name is) on the lower left with grass above.  Kalanchoes, Agaves, a Yucca, and Aloes on the right of the path.  
 The Opuntia viewed from the opposite direction, with a variegated grass(?):
Grassy behind the gazebo:
 Looking back at the area, partially framed by one of the long-time-there Canary Island Pines.  A group of Phoenix canariensis across the street:
 The narrow hellstrip is simply Chondropetalum (hopefully a dwarfish one) and Aloe 'Roikoppe':
 This slope going back east towards the Rogers entrance was updated over the past couple of years.  Aeonium, Aloe 'Roikoppe', Grevillea rosmarinifolia (maybe), Westringia, Leucadendron 'Ebony', prostrate Rosemary...

 What do you think?  Should they put the lawn back? 


  1. Wow! This is a cool garden already and will become even more so as it knits together. No! they should not put the lawn back! Great that they were willing and had the means to put in a garden like this.

    1. All the profits from my plant purchases there--or at least some of it--I can enjoy again.

  2. I guess your question at the end of the post can only be seen as a rhetorical one ;-)? I like their design, especially the soft curvy paths and their plant choices. You are right that putting a drought tolerant garden in like this for a private person would be way over budget for most people, but it can be done little by little.

    1. Yes it certainly can be done little by little with the offsetting power of succulent plants. It is not everyone that has the patience for little by little--most non-gardeners want instant, it seems.

  3. How nice that they updated the gazebo as part of the process, the "before" you describe would have really stood out (in a bad way) with all those fabulous plants.

    1. They have excellent designers. I try to learn from them.

  4. Wow is right! I think all this went in since I was last there a few weeks ago. I'm impressed - but then they do have lots of plants at their disposal.

    1. It's an advertisement for their landscape services as much as a landscape. Yes that is a staggering number of plants there. Can you imagine the cost of two dozen five gallon Leucospermums?

  5. Beautiful garden for your climate, I like the winding paths.

  6. Impressed with the changes, so much more dramatic than a lawn!

  7. "No lawns...EVER" she screamed in her best Joan Crawford voice.


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