Lately I find myself answering many gardening questions, most friends and family assume that that I am the ultimate authority on gardening (No pressure) The truths is that in all my years of trial and error in the garden, I have acquired some knowledge of what works what does not work in my zone, I am far from a guru on the subject. I consider myself more like a grasshopper learning something new everyday.
A co-worker asked me for help this week; she wants a nice garden in her front yard. The first thing she told me was “I am a killer of plants, I don’t know how to take care of them, I want garden that looks nice and is labor free” (is there such it thing?) she also told me that she is on a strict budget. This is quite a tall order but I couldn’t resist the challenge.
This is my canvas; the house has a western exposure.
The large coral rock will move to the inside courtyard to be the focal point. (The house will get a new coat of paint) I am suggesting stone border around the walkway and replacing the gravel with mulch. Where the coral rock is today I would plant a juniper or sago palm. Under the arch I would put a couple of thriyallis with some silver dragon liriope around it.
The inside courtyard is the main focus of the job, here I am thinking of dwarf ixoras around the wall, the large coral rock in the center and maybe a couple of alocasias around it, different types of liriope grasses and some lantanas for color. On both sides of the walkway I would put Mexican heathers. If the budget permits some garden art would be nice.
On this side I would put Mexican petunias against the wall, and a collection of the same plants from the other side.
For this spot under the tree I am planning on planting several bromeliads from my garden at no cost to the budget.
I am open for suggestions, and remember the three main factors.
1 – Plants must be drought tolerant.
2 - Easy to take care (there will be no gardener on duty)
3 – Economical plants that will fit a tight budget.