For Californians, you need look no further than UC Davis Arboretum’s searchable list of All-Stars.
The horticultural staff of the UC Davis Arboretum have identified 100 tough, reliable plants that have been tested in the Arboretum, are easy to grow, don’t need a lot of water, have few problems with pests or diseases, and have outstanding qualities in the garden. Many of them are California native plants and support native birds and insects. Most All-Star plants can be successfully planted and grown throughout California.
The list consists of plants that the UC Davis Arboretum has proven to thrive in our Mediterranean climate. They also look good year round. Most are drought tolerant, low maintenance and attract beneficial wildlife. Not all are native, but that’s not an issue for us here at Root Simple (we like diversity). We’ve learned that if you’ve got a small garden, having plants that look good year round is particularly important.
If you just cashed in your LA Department of Water and Power lawn rebate check and (hopefully) decided against the artificial turf grass option, the All-Star list is good place to start.
Kelly and I are working, this summer, on lowering our garden’s water needs. How has drought (assuming that’s a problem for you) changed your gardening plans?