Low Water Landscape Design
2. Plant for Color
David plans for color throughout the season and uses only a few annuals. He mixes woody plants, perennials, culinary herbs, grasses, and cacti for texture. Groundcovers between flagstone pavers cover the clay soil and add to the lush feel.
3. Bring in Rocks
David uses rocks of all sizes throughout the garden to add height, build berms, and define spaces. Without them, his yard would be flat. “I love them for the topography they create. They are my own mini mountains, ” he says.
4. Attract Nature
Nectar-rich flowers welcome birds and bees. Among the plants David picks to make his yard more appetizing for pollinators are prickly cacti like claret cup, which puts out a dozen or more scarlet saucer-like blooms the hummingbirds love. “They need an oasis to maintain their population, ” he says. His garden has certainly become one: David watches about 24 hummingbirds feed and fight.
5. Shop Small
Visit local nurseries to find lesser-known plants for your garden. “Mass retailers sell a limited plant palette, ” David says. “To find unique plants, shop nursery catalogs, websites, and growers in your Zone.”
6. Be a Plant Pioneer
David’s masterful mix of native plants is punctuated with a few global growers that have similar needs and tolerances. South African cold-hardy Ruschia, for example, is one he added to his front garden and nursery offerings.