Dry Garden Before & After

Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)January 13, 2012

Gardening in an arid climate has its drawbacks and its benefits. Up until a few years ago, I did whatever possible to maintain a lush lawn, and a large lush garden. The problem was that because those plants needed to much water, I always found they did not perform as well as they do in the amazing photos you all post. I still gaze in awe at the woodland type gardens filled with Hostas, ferns and begonias.

So after much debate, I decided to begin ripping out my lawn, piece by piece. This is one of the first sections that I transformed in early 2010. This was done in the wet season, so my best bet is probably around late January 2010, judging by the flowering apricot tree far in the background.

And here is that same shot as it appeared at the peak of the dry season in early November of this year. There are still some water loving plants that refuse to give into drought. The brugmansia and canna, if you can spot them, are still there from before.

I've gotten so hooked with this look that I've already gotten rid of ALL of the remaining lawn. The best part of it all is the maintenance is minimal, and i water once every two weeks or so. Anyway, I hope this helps anyone out there who might be strugling with the same dilemma I was.

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wow, you have nothing to envy those woodland gardens, that last shot looks GREAT. I recently read Anna Pavord's book "The curious gardener" and she discusses the worlds obsession with lawns, and how flowers and shrubs are so much better. She also talks about how we desperately try to grow plants in climates that are just not for them and they are always under performing instead of planting things suited for the climate we've got, and see them thrive. I think your approach to your garden pretty much exemplifies what she wrote down. Amazing work!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

Thanks Santi,

I know exactly what you mean! I had such a hard time letting the lawn go, but now that it's gone, I'm glad I did. I think a lot of the big box stores are catching on to the native and near-native craze. Every year I keep seeing more and more drought tolerant plants showing up.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 1:09PM
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Indigo_Skye(7 (Taylors, SC))

BEAUTIFUL! What an amazing transformation. I dream of transforming my backyard into a natural type garden. Unfortunately I have three rather large dogs that love to dig up and chew up ANYTHING I plant out there! I love animals, really I do, but if it weren't for my kids being so attached to the dogs I would have found them new homes long ago

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 9:35AM
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