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A tough landscape.  

I was faced with a daunting task.  A client asked me to do her entire garden after a big remodel and add-on to her home. 

Her front yard is in shade for most of the time from huge eucalyptus trees looming in the neighbors’ surrounding yards. This in itself wouldn’t be so bad, but there is a certain element of eucalyptus bark and leaves which can prevent most plants from growing, or at least harm them.   I’ve heard this from people who have gotten free mulch from the City to the detriment of their existing plants in their garden.  (The City of Torrance has huge eucs lining some boulevards.)
So, after reviewing my landscape design books and not finding much on the subject, I hit the Internet to see what I could come up with.  There were a few Aussie sites expounding on the subject, but San Marcos Growers is a great resource for getting good information on plants.  In this article, it contained quite a comprehensive list of hardy plants from different sources and provided a key to that source.  The sources were quite reputable.  Sunset was one of them.  Anyway, I did my homework.  After reviewing the website, I remembered one other ‘complication’ to my endeavor–the landscape must be drought tolerant.  But, these days in this California weather, I can’t do it any other way, so that was a non-issue.  

The San Marcos list was quite the pedestrian list of the most tough and hardy plants around, but I wanted to create a landscape which was more than that.  I stretched it a teensie bit by using Pittosporum of a variety that’s  not mentioned, but one’s gotta take some chances in life, right?  This is what I came up with.   Also, it’s a challenge to take pics without having a lot of shade in them because it’s always shaded.  Oh, and the drainage!  I can write a whole other article on the drainage.Everything after this project will be cake! I’ll take the backyard pictures later.And the icing on the cake!What do you think?