The Yin and Yang of Landscape Design

Water Features

Water features come in every conceivable size and description and they are an ideal addition to a landscape that will be planted with native and drought-tolerant plants.

It may seem incongruous to think about creating a stream or pond or placing a fountain in a landscape that looks more like a dessert than a sylvan glade, but the right feature can not only give your landscape a focus, it can act as a stunning counterpoint to rocks and stones in a succulent filled, "green" garden.

Just think of an oasis in the dessert – the yin and yang of landscape design – polar opposites but perfect complements.

If you've come to the realization that pouring water on a lawn is not only wasting a precious resource it's wasting your money, then the time has come to pull out that lawn and give yourself a blank canvas to work on.

Here are some ideas that I hope will convince you that having a yard that can pass as a putting green is not only inappropriate, given the drought conditions that Southern California is now facing, it is boring!

Ideas To Fire Your Imagination







Garden Consultation

If you're interested in exploring how to save water, help save our planet and still have a stunning landscape and would like to set up a phone consultation or arrange a site inspection, please give me a call (323-461-6556) or email me. 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.

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Plant Of The Month

California Poppy

Ornamental Grasses

They are low maintenance, great for hedges and privacy plantings, and do well in containers. They attract birds for seeds and nesting, yet many grasses deter deer browsing.

The Regal Mist Pink Murphy (shown here) blooms in the late summer and early fall. A stunning addition to the garden. waving adios to Summer, as a breeze blows by.

Grasses add texture, fall color and they bloom when the rest of the late summer garden is looking a little ragged. You can tuck a few into existing boarders or perennial beds, or plant en masse for a big wow!

Display them in a vase with cut flowers, or even on their own. No wonder Ornamental Grasses have become so popular in the past few years.

Ornamental Grasses

Bowles Golden Sedge

The low-growing varieties, like Sedge, can create an attractive edging in a perennial border or tucked into a rock garden.

Try Bowles Golden Sedge, with its striking yellow foliage. Sparkler has brilliant green and white foliage and an interesting shape – sort of like mini palm trees.

Fox Red Curly Sedge has clumps of red-bronze foliage that fades to flax at the tips. We love the silvery-green, very narrow, recurving leaf blades with hair-like curls of Frosty Curls... giving the illusion of flowing water when planted on hillsides or allowed to spill over a wall..

Feather Reed Grass

Feather Reed Grass

Feather Reed Grasses add a nice vertical element to the garden. Their strong, colorful stalks work well in cut flower arrangements.

Overdam's feathery blooms emerge reddish-brown in summer and turn golden in fall. Its seeds attract flocks of birds, but the seeds are sterile and won't set unwanted seedlings.

Foerster's, which was named the 2001 Perennial Plant of the Year, blooms earlier and longer than most varieties, emerging reddish-brown in spring and turning golden in the fall.

Korean has especially showy, feathery pink flower plumes.

Blues Little Bluestem

Native Grasses

Native grasses are popular for eco-friendly garden designs, like the colorful foliage of Switch Grass. Not only do they add interest, their seed heads provide food for birds.

They are hardy to Zone 4 – 9. Rigid metallic-blue blades give Heavy Metal Blue its name, and then the foliage turns bright yellow in the fall. Shenandoah is prized for its unmatched red-tipped green foliage that darkens through summer, turning burgundy in fall.

Another excellent native is The Blues Little Bluestem (shown here). Its blue-green foliage turns flaming orange in the fall.

Morning Light Maiden Grass

Hedge Grasses

Taller grasses can make wonderful hedges or privacy plantings. Morning Light Maiden Grass (shown here) will reach six feet tall, and its green and creamy-white blades create a shimmering silvery look.

Porcupine Grass has a nice upright habit and interesting green blades with horizontal yellow striping.

Adagio Maiden Grass is a real stunner with silvery-green arching foliage that turns orange, gold and burgundy in the fall. In late summer through winter, it is covered in plumes of bronzy-pink that fade to white.


The information and photographs for Ornamental Grasses came from Monrovia's newsletter, if you'd like to read it in its entirety, please CLICK HERE.

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