Some of My Favorite Plants for So Cal Gardens

California gardenI love to garden. I don’t have as much time to spend in the garden as I would like, but I still get my hands dirty as often as I can. Over the years, I have created a mental inventory of plants I like to use to perform a variety of duties in the Southern California landscape.

Crape Myrtle Tree: beautiful crepe-paper-like blossoms in a wide variety of colors, restrained habit and can be trained as a bush, a single-trunk tree or a multi-trunk specimen. They like heat and sun, have lovely bark, are deciduous but not too messy, don’t get too big and bloom summer to fall.

St. Mary Magnolia tree; all the beauty of the full-size Southern Magnolia tree, but of smaller stature. Likes sun and remains smaller and narrower.

Mexican Bush Sage, Waverly Sage and most other sages are ideal for Southern California gardens. They are drought tolerant, like heat, are easy-care and look great in the back of the border.

Lavenders; Spanish lavenders and french lavenders are great companions for the sage plants and like the same kind of soil and sun exposure. Smell great, too!

Heavenly Bamboo; can sometimes be overused, but when massed together and trimmed to keep from getting leggy, they are lovely backdrops for other plants and help add texture.

Daylilies; a wide variety of colors and sizes and look great en masse or as a specimen if big enough.

Australian Tea Trees; Lacy-like foliage with tiny flowers in white, pink or dark red. Can be pruned into tree-like forms or sheared to evergreen hedges. There is even a great miniature version that stays small.

Roses; there are some great carefree roses like “Iceberg”, “Our Lady of Guadalupe”, “Lavaglut”, amongst others. Full sun.

If you have some shade or part-shade or filtered sun, then you can use geraniums, gardenias and calla lilies.

A note on geraniums; there are geraniums that we are familiar with that have those vibrant colored blooms, and then there are those geraniums that are really pelargoniums. They are useful perennials that act as fillers between plants and can spread their leaves and blooms amongst the other plants, adding beauty and texture. I like “Ann Folkard”, “Rozanne” and “Tiny Monster” in certain instances. Check them out!

This is just a partial list. I also love azaleas and camellias, penstemon and pentas, Jacaranda tress and olive tress. If you are getting ready to sell your home and your garden needs a tune-up, consider some of these easy-care and low maintenance plants to add a new cohesive look to your garden that will last and last and be low maintenance for you while your home is on the market.

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