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At the age of four, my family and I moved from Portland, Oregon to southern California and I have lived here since. I love California, (except for the traffic) with it’s sunny skies, beaches and mild climate. I live in San Clemente where the average temperature year round is 65º and within a short drive I can be at the beach, mountains or desert. It’s a wonderful place to live, except when the state hasn’t had rain and has been in a severe drought for several years. Gone are the days of water running without being tended. Now I have drained my fountain, gather water for my plants by keeping buckets in the showers and am really conscientious about the amount of water I use.  Jokingly, I told my friends that I am going to “sneak” watering my yard.  My sweet husband overheard me and said, “It’s no laughing matter.  The water department will fine us!”.  To which I replied, “Well, I’ll just bathe less.”  He looked at me like I was crazy (which I can be), and shook his head.  By the way, the water department does fine us, even though we have cut waaaaaay back.

We don’t have any grass in our yard.  It is mostly hardscape and planters.  Our neighbors who do have grass have let their yards die and some have chosen to put in “faux” grass. Sorry, I just can’t go there. I would rather put in decomposed granite.

We are currently restricted to watering 2 days a week and will be cut back to one day a week in November.  Not only is the lack of water an issue, but the chance of fires is much more prevalent because of the dryness. As much as I love California, which is a desert state, and it’s sunshine, I am really ready for winter and the chance of rain.

I used to enjoy spending time in my yard tending my roses, hydrangeas and blooming shrubs.  Nowadays instead of planting, I am pulling out dead plants on a weekly basis.  I like gardening and being outside, so I am currently designing a drought tolerant landscape for my yard.  For some inspiration, I popped over to one of my favorite haunts, Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar.  I am never disappointed when I go there.

Interesting use of driftwood and succulents make a great statement piece

Succulents on wood

Lovely hanging baskets and patterned beds

Drought tolerant plants

Cactus, agave,and succulents

Drought Tolerant plantings

Repurposing an old wall hanging

Succulents in a pot

Nice wall hangings I spied on Balboa Island

Succulents

These wreaths are on a beautiful bay front home in Newport Beach.

The entire landscape and structure of the house is decorated with succulents.  

Succulent Wreaths

A crown of succulents in London

Crown of succulents

There are many creative ways you can decorate with succulents outdoors as well as indoors, and they are really easy and inexpensive to propagate.  I have seen old dressers, chair seats and sofas filled with succulents and they are quite charming.

Are you a fan of succulents and drought tolerant landscaping?  Would you be interested in a tutorial about making a succulent wreath or chair?  Let us know and we can create something beautiful together.

In the meantime, please do a rain dance for your friends in California and surrounding states.

P.S. Oh my gosh!  As I am previewing and editing this post it is raining outside!  No kidding!  Is that crazy timing or what?!?  Oh, the sound is heavenly (smile to myself).

xox,

Valerie

7 thoughts on ““Brown is the new green!”

  1. janeamok says:

    Congratulations on the rain. Having just moved out of California, I know how exciting that can be. I love the beautiful succulents and drought-resistant plant arrangements. I’m living in Seattle now, where there is also (supposedly) a drought. I took notes! 😉 xo
    – Janea at http://theSTYLetti.com

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    1. Nice to know you can relate to our rain (or rather lack of) dilemma. Misery loves company, I suppose. I never thought I would be a fan of succulents but didn’t realize how many beautiful colors and textures they came in. Now I love them. Glad the post was helpful!

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  2. Beautiful draught resistant ideas! Love the wreaths and the succulents paired with driftwood. Good luck in your gardening endeavors!

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    1. Those are both great aren’t they? Now that my creative juices are flowing I can’t wait to get started!

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