Australian plants for dry Southern California
As sustainability in garden design grows in popularity, gardeners and designers alike search to expand the palette of plants and visual effects. Despite the rainy beginning of this year’s rainfall season we are now falling behind with no serious rain for over a month in most areas of Southern California. This will not bode well with the already existing shortage of rain and natural groundwater. Maybe we will still get in some heavy rain, but the long range forecast over coming years is for dryer times. We really need to make sure we design our landscapes for our dry climate.
Drought-tolerant plantings offer an opportunity to grow eco-friendly, drought-resistant and visually beautiful gardens. There are many drought tolerant plants from tropical areas that can’t handle our winter cold or our desiccating Santa Ana winds. But we can expand our choice by looking at some of the beauties available from other chaparral-like areas of the world. Some highly decorative plants have evolved in Australia that will grow nicely in different garden areas from inland to the coast. Many of these plants have unusual, ornamental flowers.
Although conditions in different parts of the world will vary, many Australian plants will thrive well alongside other drought-tolerant and chaparral plants from the Mediterranean, California, South Africa, Texas, Arizona and other low rainfall climates. With some very showy flowers, leaves and growth forms, Australian plants can offer exciting new selections to make the successful water-wise garden as glamorous as water-hungry traditional ones. Take a look as some of the decorative plants that grow naturally in Australia, plants like the Bottlebrush (Calistemmon), the dramatic Proteas, the handsome Hakeas and the floriferous Emu Bushes (Erimophyla) to name just a few. You’re likely to be impressed!
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