Removing or reducing lawn is certainly the hottest landscape trend in San Diego. Once the lawn is gone, we scratch our heads and ask “What now?” How do we replace the lawn with a good alternative? Turf plays important aesthetic and functional purposes, making it critical to thoroughly analyze exactly what will replace it. The best ‘lawn be gone’ designs take the monochromatic turf space and turn it into a visual treat of naturalistic planting schemes, rockscapes mixed with plants, or even patio spaces and outdoor rooms. The worst designs turn the space into a singular type of gravel or an unkempt thicket of unappealing shrubs.
It is crucial to take time to investigate those lawn substitute designs that work, and decide what the individual space will be used for before embarking on this important design change. Among the possibilities:
It was definitely a nice surprise to see my book The New California Landscapes featured in the June issue of San Diego Home and Garden magazine. As a labor of love, my book took nine years to produce, tackling the daunting subject of designing drought tolerant gardens specifically within the borders of California. During the time I was writing the book, our state went through the worst drought-induced water crisis in its history, making landscaping in San Diego and throughout California a fluid and expanding subject to tackle.
The SD Home and Garden article following the cover shot of the book is entitled “In the Know” and reads, “Alpine-based landscape designer Steven Harbour worked for a decade on what he calls a crash course in the design of drought-tolerant outdoor spaces. The New California Landscapes (Steven Harbour, 2015) offers techniques for planning and maintaining dynamic landscapes. The book profiles best uses of 300 water-wise plants…”
To preview and purchase The New California Landscapes, go to http://www.steveharbourlandscapes.com/books-and-press.html and click on the link at the bottom of the page.
Summer in San Diego has barely begun and yet has already had its moments of scorching heat and humidity. The intense heat can be as hard on landscape plants as it is on us; we escape indoors to air conditioned rooms or head to the pool for a cool dip. Plants are firmly rooted in the ground and must endure each of the dog days of summer. And to the chagrin of all but the desert tortoise, the hottest period still lies ahead. Sustained periods of heat are a sure thing in August and September, often with little or no reprieve. It’s not only time to check that watering systems are working properly but to also take additional measures to help prized plants endure summer’s inferno.
Here are a few tips: