12512 Brooklake Street

This drought tolerant garden is eclectic! It is newly planted (Fall of 2009) by ‘do it yourselfers’ and a great chance to get hands on advice. Jairo Ramirez of Exotic Succulents, Member of Cactus & Succulent Society of America, will be on hand to answer questions the day of the tour.

The focal point is a fruitless olive tree, and they chose plants with interesting foliage to complement the gray green leaves of the tree. Two mounds of plantings have a decomposed granite walkway between them. Large rocks, a rock “stream” and redwood tree stumps add interest.

The lawn was removed in August. While it was covered with black plastic to kill the weeds, their water usage was cut in half. While watering to establish the plants it is down about a third. Once established, they don’t plan to water much, if at all.

Their daughter, who is mindful of the earth, had suggested a drought tolerant garden years ago. Two years ago the needles on their pine tree began turning brown, so it was necessary to have it removed. When the DWP began offering rebates for turf removal, they were given the impetus they needed to get serious about their dream of having a water-wise garden.

They are DIYers and didn’t think it would be difficult to design the yard. However, they were overwhelmed once the lawn was out and the planning began. They knew they wanted mounds for planting, a walkway, an olive tree, drought tolerant plants, and overall low maintenance and worked with a professional to pull their ideas together. He was great - adding boulders, redwood tree stumps, mulch and a pebble “stream” to the mounds and positioning the plants that they wanted. This month they are planning a succulent rock garden for the planters. Hopefully, it will be ready by the time of the Green Garden Showcase!

They water by hand using a water meter to check the soil. When they first planted, they were watering twice a week but haven’t watered at all since the rains started in January.