My front garden is beautiful this year in spite of the drought. All of my yard is dripped (no overhead spraying) and it is only watered once a week. The front garden is entirely water wise except for the two hydrangeas close to the house. They do get the same amount of water as everything else, and have learned to adapt.
My garden is over 25 years old so most of the plants that remain do so because they have survived.
The area around the fountain is planted with standard oleander (I have learned to love oleander). I think we Californians tend to dismiss it because it grows profusely along the highways. I personally love it. Another bonus is the deer hate it since it is poisonous. These appear red right now because they are just beginning to bloom. Once they bloom they are the color of the roses below.
They are under planted with landscape roses (another underrated plant). They require no special care like most roses. I fertilize them in the early spring and let them go. They are rimmed by teucrium (germander). I have barely replaced a single plant in 25 years. This is another of the most underrated plants in existence. It blooms once a year (it has not yet bloomed). It is hacked back after blooming and that is all the care it requires until the following year.
The bulk of the front yard is planted in lavender
and bordered with nepeta faassenii (catmint), The lavender and catmint do require cutting back three times a year but are well worth it for the repeat bloom.
Santa Barbara Daisies can be invasive but require so little effort and bloom all summer long
The side yard is mostly gravel with star jasmine, a few sickly camelias and bordered by boxwood. Most of the area is dry shade so these are the plants that have managed to tolerate that. The standard roses are Red Fairy which I would highly recommend both for disease tolerance and putting up with less water than most.
A Mature Brazilian Pepper Tree surrounded by California Gold (gravel) hasn’t gotten any additional irrigation in years. All of the mature olives on the property no longer receive any summer water either.
The climber super dorothy on both arbors in the distance is extremely disease resistant and quite drought tolerant by rose standards but it has never been too “super” in my yard. They are at least 8-10 years old and still don’t cover the arbors. Inside the fence is my small herb garden.
Another view from the pool. The Rose Sally Holmes (who will tolerate light shade) is climbing on the fence in the distance. Another good performer that can get by on less water and fertilizer. On the closest arbor is the rose Cecil Bruener. I don’t think it is possible to kill that rose.
The back garden which houses roses that require more care and water is not at it’s best due to the drought. I am not willing to drench them in the water they desire so hopefully they will survive. The beautiful Butterfly Bush is a great performer, requiring little water and care. The rose in front (once the David Austin Symphony Rose) has reverted to it’s natural state. I have no idea what wild rose it is but it too is doing well in spite of the lack of water.
What are you doing to conserve water in your garden? Are there any special circumstances you are dealing with in your area ?