See Our Drought As A New Beginning

Mediterranian Garden

USAToday recently interviewed me for a story they did on California's on-going drought, "Calif. drought challenges state's businesses". From the title you can see that the focus of the article was on how the drought was impacting California's business and my segment dealt with its impact on homeowners.

While the drought is indeed the worst in California's history and, given the impact of Climate Change, will undoubtedly be with us forever … there is a sunny side (we live, after all, in California) to this issue. And here is what I'm telling my clients, "This drought is the perfect opportunity for a new beginning."

A Little Background

We live in an area know as Chaparral, or as Wikipedia explains it,

Chaparral is a shrubland or heathland plant community found primarily in the U.S. state of California and in the northern portion of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. It is shaped by a Mediterranean climate (mild, wet winters [a thing of the past] and hot dry summers) and wildfire. Similar plant communities are found in four other Mediterranean climate regions around the world: the Mediterranean Basin, central Chile, the South African Cape Region and in Western and Southern Australia.

Get Real!

This is the reality of our climate and the idea that we can replicate the landscapes of the East Coast with grassy lawns and thirsty plant material, which replicated English landscapes (where there has always been an abundance of rain), simply doesn't make sense, given where we live and what we're facing.

Use Reality & Make It Work For You

From the beginning of time gardens have been grown throughout the Middle East (the hanging gardens of Babylon were a wonder of the world and Nile gardens have been depicted in numerous Egyptian tomb paintings. Romans were famous for their gardens as were the Moors in Spain. There are beautiful gardens ringing the Mediterranean today from Morocco to Greece and what all of these gardens have in common is that they reflect their environment, use indigenous and drought-tolerant plant material and incorporate hardscape, water features, stone, brick, pavers, gravel and tile work into their designs.

These are the countries that we should be looking to for inspiration. They offer wonderful examples of how you can turn your water-consuming landscape into a beautiful drought-tolerant one. So take this opportunity to give your landscape a new beginning.

What follows are a few examples of what I've been talking about.

Babylonian and Egyptian Gardens

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Moroccan Gardens

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Mediterranean Gardens

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Garden Consultation & Gift Certificates

If you're interested in learning more about our landscape design, contracting and maintenance services and would like to set up a phone consultation or arrange a site inspection, please fill out our Contact Information Form and we'll be in touch.

In addition to my work as a landscape designer and contractor, I love giving advice and have provided garden consultations to any number of folks with great results.

I am also pleased to offer Garden Of Eva Gift Certificates for those of you who would like to provide a truly unique, thoughtful and very special gift—suitable for holiday giving or for any special occasion. There are three levels of Certificates, depending on the scope of the work involved. If you'd like to see what's being offered, please CLICK HERE.

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“A Gardener's Thoughts & Fancies”

Theodore Payne Foundation
Theodore Payne Foundation

The Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, Inc., established 1960, is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the understanding, preservation and use of California native flora. The Foundation preserves the legacy and carries on the work of Theodore Payne, a pioneering Los Angeles nurseryman, horticulturist and conservationist widely considered to be the father of the native plant movement in California.

We are located on 22 acres of canyon land in the northeast corner of the San Fernando Valley (map). Our full-service native plant nursery, seed room, book store, art gallery, demonstration gardens and hiking trails are open to the public year round. We offer classes for adults and families, as well as field trips to TPF and in-classroom programs for children. Friendly on-leash dogs are welcome. There is no admission charge.

Retail Nursery

Our retail nursery is open to the public year round and offers the largest and best selection of California native plants in the region – throughout the year, more than 900 unique species and cultivars. We sell plants in 4-inch, 1-gallon and 5-gallon containers> Most plants we offer are propagated on site. We also sell ceramic containers and our custom TPF potting soil.

Expert staff and trained volunteers are available for assistance, and gardeners of all ages and experience levels are welcome. Our goal is to make native plants accessible to everyone, especially newcomers. When visiting for the first time, we recommend that you give yourself a couple of hours to explore the nursery, ask questions and enjoy the abundance of plants and natural history here at the Foundation. We like to think of our nursery as an outdoor classroom, a place where you can come and learn at your own pace. More native plant information can be found in our California Native Plant Database.

Feel free to explore the grounds when you visit. In and around the retail nursery, you'll find displays of mature specimens – real examples of plants you are purchasing for your garden. From the nursery, you can access Wild Flower Hill Trail – a ¾ mile walk through chaparral and coastal sage scrub. A picnic bench and panoramic view of the San Fernando Valley reward you at the top of the hill. Keep your eyes and ears open for signs of deer, coyotes, and quail. Rattlesnakes are not uncommon here in spring and summer, so it is best to stay alert.

We hold plant sales throughout the year, including our Fall Plant Sale in October and Poppy Day in March or early April. All plants are discounted during these two large sale events. We also sell plants at the at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia and the Hollywood Farmers' Market at Selma and Ivar (first Sunday of each month).

Nursery hours change seasonally; please check our homepage or call (818) 768-1802 for current hours.

To see what's currently for sale in our nursery, check our online inventory. It is updated weekly.

Source: Theodore Payne Foundation

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