Big Red kangaroo paws is favored for its exceptionally long bloom cycle.
FOUR GREAT IDEAS FROM THIS GARDEN
1. Mix California natives with other water-wise plants to extend the color show.
Cole originally wanted an all-native garden, but Bednar Walker persuaded him to use a mix so there would be more color in summer and fall when native plants are dormant.
Season extenders here include kangaroo paws, Cedros Island verbena, and hummingbird bush ( Grevillea thelemanniana).
2. Use berms to create subtle screening.
Walker built up the landscaping on either side of the front window to replace some of the privacy lost when a hedge was removed. A mini arroyo of pea gravel and rocks flows between the two berms.
3. Add grasses for movement.
The Cole-Perez garden was too small for a majestic giant like Miscanthus, but not for modest-size red fountain grass or Mexican feather grass ( Nassella tenuissima).
4. Add succulents for contrast.
Senecio, euphorbia, and aeonium look "juicy" next to "crunchy" xeric plants, says Walker, who frequently pairs them.
Design and construction: Blooming Gardens, Ventura (805/643-3139)