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April 14, 2014 / patrickbelhon

Reduced Water Garden Tips for California Residents

With the Right Landscaping Design, California Residents can Grow Lush Gardens that Need Less Water


The state of California offers its residents numerous benefits including warm temperatures year-round, plenty of recreational areas and picturesque scenery. The state also features unique gardening opportunities since it frequently suffers from drought conditions. A few tips and tricks can help California property owners create a garden that requires low water consumption.

Folsom Lake Calif 2014

With the edge of Folsom Lake, Calif., more than 100 yards away, Gina, 8, left, and Sydney, 9, Gerety walk on rocks that are usually at the waters edge, Thursday Jan. 9, 2014. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press

Design Tips

California property owners should avoid planting large sections of grass because the vegetation type requires an excessive amount of water to grow. In fact, gardeners should consider eliminating grass entirely from their property. If grass is a requirement, then decrease it to a small space. When creating a low water consumption garden, property owners should form large paths in their green areas. In addition, gravel can be used in place of groundcover to support seating areas while decomposed granite is ideal for open spaces.

Soil Tricks

To decrease the amount of water that their garden drinks, California property owners can improve the soil in their growing areas. Soil can be enhanced by incorporating organic material into it on a regular basis. With enriched soil, gardens can better preserve moisture. Enhanced soil also helps plants establish themselves more quickly.

Advanced Watering Systems for Drought Areas

An upgraded irrigation system will help California property owners use water in their gardens more efficiently. Upgrade options include installing smart controllers that link to weather stations to provide the proper amount of water in a garden year-round. Water efficient sprinklers and drip lines are another upgrade option that will decrease the amount of water that property owners use to maintain their garden’s vegetation.

Plant Options for California the Lewisia cotyledonPlant Options for California

Gardeners can plant native vegetation to reduce a garden’s water consumption. Plants that thrive in California include:

  • Lewisia cotyledon
  • Lavandula multifida
  • Angelina
  • Salvia clevelandii
  • Agastache rugosa

By planting lewisia cotyledon, California property owners will gain a blooming plant that provides brilliant color. When gardeners add lavandula multifida to their home’s exterior spaces, they’ll receive a plant that features silvery vegetation and slender stems. From spring to fall, the plant displays violet flowers. For green vegetation, California residents can plant Angelina. The plant is ideal for filling in areas between other types of foliage. It also spreads easily. Salvia clevelandii has purple and blue colored blossoms that grow in spiky formations. Agastache rugosa is another drought resistant plant that California residents may consider planting. The flower features green stems and purple blossoms that emit a licorice scent. The plant type attracts hummingbirds, and its leaves grow about 5 feet tall.

General Tips

To prevent water waste, California gardeners should plant vegetation types together. For instance, locate annuals together as well as perennials, shrubs and trees. Desert plants should also be located with other desert plants as should redwood and riparian plants. Also, avoid incorporating ground cover with annuals because the area may become weedy.

Final Considerations

Since drought conditions are a part of California’s regular weather cycle, the state’s property owners must make gardening decisions based upon decreased water use. By embracing design elements that include fewer grass areas, technologically advanced watering systems and native vegetation, California residents can grow a lush and colorful garden that will enhance their home.

Article Copyright ©2014 – All Rights Reserved Patrick Belhon (

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