Strike Silver

9 Silver Stunners That Thrive in LA Gardens

If you’ve started to question why Los Angeles would want to look like England, Arizona or Florida, we may be able to convince you that Kentucky doesn’t have the best blue grass!  At least not for LA. California has several native grasses and ground covers that bring a delightful silvery blue-grey to our gardens.
Lawn Alternatives

Blue IdealMow Meadow

Idaho Fescue in the California Native Garden of La Canada's drought tolerant Gardens of the World shows only light wear and tear after nearly five years of drought.

For mounds of delightful silver to grasses, check out Festuca california, Festuca idahoenis `Siskyou Blue.’  At meadow-length, each will provide an eye-catching water wise lawn.  These three festucas are both native to California and will thrive from the coast to the San Gabriel Valley.  For a more mow-able mix, look to the FormLA/Theodore Payne meadow mix – it will have a touch of silver within a mix of more traditional green grasses, and it can be mowed… if that is your interest.



artemesiacanyongrey Native Sonslessingia_filaginifolia_Silver_carpet300No need to wed yourself to a lawn-like look.  Cover ground with California native Artemisia and Lessinga, `Silver Carpet,’ for soft blankets of silver foliage.  Silver Carpet brings delightful lavender blooms while blue-silver Artemisia earns year round interest.  South Africa native Dymondia‘s tight silver foliage and yellow flowers contrast beautifully with the terra cotta tiles of Spanish architecture.  Each of these lovelies may withstand foot traffic, but they appreciate protected areas.  Photos courtesy of Native Sons and Las Pilitas Nurseries.


Photo courtesy of Landscape Resources.

Eriophyllum Nevinii, Calfiornia Native:  Eriophyllum nevinii's frosty foliage blooms with tiny, daisy like clusters of flowers that start bright yellow and fade to a rich syrupy brown.  Without frost, it is long lived, and the flower stalks can be cut back to spark rejuvenation and create open, airy growth for the next season.

Leymus condensatus ‘Canyon Prince’ makes for a beautiful meadow accent or architectural grouping.  For low borders, consider native and climate-compatible alternatives to the popular Dusty Miller.  California native Eriophyllum Nevinii’s tiny clusters of daisy-like flowers attract pollinators.  We are also fans of Agave deserti and Chalk Cudleya. Photos courtesy of Landscape Resources and Yerba Buena Nursery.

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