Lawnless in Ventura

Plant a water-wise front yard alive with texture and blooms

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  • ‘Big Red’ kangaroo paws is favored for its exceptionally long bloom cycle.

    Lawnless in Ventura

    Steven Gunther

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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)

 

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