Last month we replaced our front lawn and existing plants with a row of boulders and drought tolerant planting. Our new landscape conserves water, provides habitat for butterflies and hummingbirds, and frames our entryway. With the help of several good friends we were able to get all the work done in one day!
Here are some of the plants we used:
-Cercis occidentalis (beautiful small deciduous tree that becomes covered in pink flowers in the spring before new leaves emerge)
-Arbutus marina (evergreen, attracts hummingbirds, showy copper bark)
-Penstemon h. ‘Margarita Bop’ (blue-purple flowers, attracts hummingbirds)
-Calandrinia spectabilis (long stemmed showy flowers)
-Festuca i. “Siskiyou Blue’ (clumping blue green foliage)
-Epilobium canum (scarlet-orange blooms from summer-fall, attracts hummingbirds and butterflies)
-Dymondia margaretea (spreading silver foliage with bright yellow flowers)
-Heuchera sanguinea (pink flowers, blooms spring-early summer)
-Arctostaphylos ‘Howard McMinn’ (winter white blooms, attracts hummingbirds)
-Lavandula stoechas ‘Otto Quast’ (purple blooms, fragrant, attracts bees)
-Salvia clevelandii (blue-purple flowers that bloom spring through summer, fragrant)
-Echeveria (striking gray-green leaves)
Step 1: Demolition. We removed all the turf and shrubs. We transplanted the crape myrtle to the side yard, where it creates a small grove along with two other crape myrtles, and we moved the alder to the backyard.
Step 2: Installing Irrigation. We capped the existing spray irrigation, fixed leaks in the main line, and removed the existing drip system. We then laid out new drip line and individual micro-bubblers on the uphill side of each plant. The micro-bubblers allow for great flexibility as they are adjustable between 1-10 gph.
Step 3: Placing the Boulders. The boulders were added to frame the entrance path and to create a separate level to plant succulents and rushes.
Step 4: Fine Grading and Details. We placed a stepping stone between our front walk and the driveway for easier access from the car to the front door. It is a beautiful piece of quartzite with dymondia placed around it–in time the dymondia will form a silver carpet around the entire stone.
Step 5: Planting. It is important to make each plant pit 1.5-2 times the size of the rootball. The crown of the plant should be approximately 1 inch above ground level. In each planting pit individual fertilizer tablets were placed to help establish healthy root systems.
Step 6: Mulching. To increase moisture retention, decrease erosion, and provide weed control we spread 2-3” of cedar bark in all planting areas. In succulent planting areas decomposed granite is used to improve drainage.
We enjoy coming home every day and seeing how the plants are growing and which are blooming–by next spring everything should be filled out nicely!
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