Need ideas for a very small and narrow drought tolerant garden

vp_78February 7, 2014

Hello experts - we have a narrow strip right next to our house that needs help. Since we're in Southern Cal (San Diego), we need to use drought resistant plants and/or succulents, but the light is really weird. The strip is 3.5 feet wide by 12 feet long. The front part 6 feet receive about 4 hours of sun in the winter, and probably 6-7 hours of sun in the summer (late morning to afternoon). The rear 6 feet receive only a couple of hours of sun in the winter, and maybe 4 hours of sun in the summer. We inherited a couple of daylilies, a meyer lemon in a container, the hibicscus that you see in this photo, and 4 rectangular metal planters (there are two in this photo to the right of the garden strip). While I love lush mediterranean gardens with lots of flowers like geraniums, painted daisies, lavender, lilies, etc, I think this strip is too narrow. Plus, there's the water issue.

I was also thinking some kind of rock garden, with containers?

I have no idea. And unfortunately we can't change any of the hardscape, both for financial reasons and for HOA restrictions. But we could add something to the other side of the walkway.

I know this is a VERY meager little garden area, but I'd still like to to look as lovely as we can make it...

Thanks for anyone taking the time to comment!

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Might be some ideas or inspiration for you at the San Diego Botanic Garden, not far from the main coastal freeway near Encinatas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Low Water Gardening for Coastal San Diego

This post was edited by bboy on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 13:54

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 1:51PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Containers need more frequent watering than plants in the ground. A selection of succulents in orange and turquoise tones would look very nice with your house color and brick. Know in advance the mature size of the plants you select -- some succulents can become tree-like. If you wish, add some blue fescue for softness. Because it is a small area, you could splurge on some fancier rock, such as coral with sea shells and sea glass mixed in. Or rounded river rock can be appealing, with a few larger, angular rocks deeply set for accents.

First make sure the bed is weed free. If needed, improve the soil so that drainage is sharp -- succulents don't want to sit in wet soil. If you plan to use drip irrigation, plot your drip lines. Lay down a heavy layer of plastic, cut holes and plant your succulents. Spread your rock over the plastic. Stand back and admire your work.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 9:29AM
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emmarene

I think a light weight vine climbing up the stucco wall would be nice.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:55PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Succulents would thrive there, and just a few species such as Cotyledon orbiculata v orbiculata, Echeverias such as Afterglow, imbricata, agavoides, pulv-oliver, Bulbine frutescens, Sedum ' Angelina' or rubrotinctum, maybe a few Aloes such as striata, vera, and a few taller nonsucculent accents such as Alyogyne huegelii or Coleonema pulchrum 'Sunset Gold' or Lavandula stoechas would all give a lush look without much water.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:21AM
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