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Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Rosemary 'Roman Beauty'

GUEST BLOGBy San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles eClub contributor, Christiane Holmquist--With the cooler nights and fresh breezes announcing fall, I'm impatient to get into the garden and try some of the exciting plants I have noticed in recent months. Here are four xerophytes (plants that have adapted to survive in an environment with little water) that are easy to maintain and provide year-round interest.

--'Rio Braco' Texas Ranger: Landscape designer Marilyn Guidroz of Marilyn's Garden Design says this is a fast-growing, dense, screen shrub that needs no pruning after the initial shaping. At maturity, it reaches 5 feet by 5 feet. This is a drought-tolerant shrub that only requires a once-a-month deep watering in the summer until it is established. Lovely lavender flowers cover the shrub in intermittent waves during hot, humid months of summer and fall. In dry summers, the flowers are sparser. The foliage is mint green all year long.

--Vitex californica 'Rogers Red' Grape: This is a great plant for fall color on fencing. It takes regular to moderate water. It is best in full sun, but can take partial shade. A deciduous native plant that has edible fruit and climbs by tendrils, this autumn beauty has gray-green leaf color all summer and then turns brilliant red in fall.

--Rosemary 'Roman Beauty' (shown abo e): Owner/landscape contractor Mark Sterk of Columbine Landscape Inc. recommends this compact plant that is slow growing — reaching 1 to 2 feet tall and wide. This Mediterranean shrub grows in an upright, roundish form that is consistent and easy to keep in place. It has a graceful appearance, with slightly arching stems and violet-blue blooms in late winter and spring. As with other rosemary, it is deer and rabbit resistant and tolerant to salt spray, alkaline soils and drought. Plant in full sun. I'd use it as an important connector and "glue" that, frequently repeated, can hold all your other plants together.

--Abelia 'Kaleidoscope': Mark also recommends this dwarf plant with its white flowers and gold, variegated foliage that provide "good pop" in the garden. The foliage color is best when planted in full sun. It grows 2 to 3 feet tall by 4 to 5 feet wide. Water requirements are low; and, once established, this plant is quite drought tolerant, except in extended periods of heat.

Editor’s note:
This article first appeared Wednesday, October 8, 2014 in the Garden Tip section of San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyle magazine’s E-Club blog.  Content was submitted to SDHGL by:

Christiane Holmquist
Christiane Holmquist Landscape Designs
2523 San Vicente Road
Ramona, CA 92065


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