Tracy’s Dry Garden in California

Hi! I’m Tracy, gardening in the East Bay, California, Zone 9b. I’ve done 100% of the planting here; the space behind the house was just a pile of mud when we moved in. Oh, the possibilities! The front garden was full of typical new housing plantings and grass, which I have completely removed.

strawberry tree in a sloped garden bedThe strawberry tree (Arbutus ‘Marina’, Zones 7–9) may have been the first thing I planted in the slope in the back.

sloped garden bed next to a poolBecause it is so very dry here, I recently did the entire slope as a dry garden. The plantings are all under a couple of years.

colorful planters full of succulentsDry gardens don’t need to be boring. Here, various succulents grow in colorful peacock planters.

garden path dividing two very different garden bedsThe dry garden is on the right, with wetter perennial gardens on the left. The tall bearded yucca (Yucca rostrata, Zones 7–10) makes a dramatic statement in the dry garden.

gravel garden full of succulents and cactusThe wide diversity of forms, colors, and shapes of succulents and cactus makes the dry garden endlessly interesting.

garden bed with different types of cactiA cluster of tall cactus makes a vertical element, contrasting with the round golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii, Zones 9–11).

dry garden bed next to poolThe dry garden runs down right to the pool.

small palm treesThis ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata, Zones 9–11) was a freebie from half a mile away that I spotted in a cracked pot. The owner gladly let me handtruck the ponytail palm away, and it is an excellent showstopper for the slope.

View down the slope, showing the wide range of succulents, including a couple more golden barrel cactus

cactus and succulents of various sizesA tall Aloe ‘Hercules’ (Zones 9–11) is another favorite. It will eventually grow to form almost a small tree.

Tracy sent so many great photos that we’ll return to her garden next week and explore her perennial beds.

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Published at Thu, 12 May 2022 03:00:27 -0400

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