Feast vs. Famine

replace poor performers and feast on three low-water natives

We need to expect more from our landscapes. Exchanging California native plants for popular “drought tolerant” plants usually saves water, money, and time. These three exchanges can also feed you!

formla2016_whitesage

Pride of Madera vs. White Sage

Native to Southern California, white sage is uniquely suited to thrive in our gardens. Like Madeira, it maintains a round, structural shape. It’s bloom-covered spires can reach six foot in height during spring and summer. Adaptable, white sage will thrive in coastal and chaparral regions as well.

White sage has another advantage. When its blooms fade, its fragrant leaves can be used in Thanksgiving dinner! Read More

formla2016_yucca

Pampas Grass vs. Yucca

Yucca serves as the new starch staple at many farm-to-table establishments and is touted for its nutrient value. While best known for its roots, virtually every portion of HW, from its blooms to its seeds, is edible at one time of the year or another.

Yucca makes a brilliant exchange for thirsty, invasive Pampas grass.Coming upon a Yucca Whipplei sparks wonder. Prevalent from the coast to the alpine regions around California, Yucca’s blue-grey, spikey and highly architectural foliage can be as much as 6’ feet in diameter where it has space to grow. A pretty extraordinary wet-to-dry exchange, Yucca actually likes periods of completely dry soil. Read More

formla2016yarrowblock

Common Yarrow vs. Turf

A wonderful soft herb like tarragon, Yarrow is also known for its medicinal properties.

While most of us know Yarrow as a beautiful white, yellow or reddish-pink flower, Yarrow can also function as a deliciously soft lawn alternative. Mowing Yarrow inspires it to grow as a low matt of fern-like foliage. Vibrantly green, Yarrow can also look like a traditional lawn from a distance. As a lawn alternative, its tolerance to foot traffic is second only to Carex pansa, and, like the Carex, it is incredibly low maintenance. Read More