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GardenSMART :: 4 Romantic (and Water-wise) Gardens to Inspire

4 Romantic (and Water-wise) Gardens to Inspire

By Kate Karam, Monrovia

Yes, we've had a wet winter in droughty parts of the country, but it pays to take the long view. Planting with specimens that sip rather than gulp water is smart for many reasons regardless of whether or not the rain gods are smiling on us. Here are just three: Plants that can tolerate drought mean less work hauling hoses all summer; fewer gallons of water used equals a pretty significant savings on the water bill in many parts of the country; water-wise plants, by their nature do not require heavy pruning. And, the next time Mother Nature turns off the spigot, you're already ahead of the game.

If you need a gentle nudge to start swapping out some of your thirstier plants, here are three landscapes that do it right. Feel free to steal these great ideas!

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Billowy, Blowsy, and Beautiful

There's just something about a flowery, colorful Tuscany-inspired garden full of water-wise perennials that's totally seductive. And this one is classic with very easy to grow plants. Love it? Here are a few of the plants that bring it to life:

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Image courtesy of Zeterre Landscape Architecture

Simply Fragrant

A garden that's wild and billowing has its considerable charms (above!), but sometimes keeping it clean with geometric lines and mass plantings of lavender, and warming it up with terra-cotta-toned hardscape elements, yields an elegant, understated, less-is-more, chic style. This one's easy to pull off, and we predict you'll be the envy of the 'hood. Here's what makes it work:

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Image courtesy of Zeterre Landscape Architecture

Walk on the Wild Side

Picture it. Strolling up this meandering flagstone pathway filled with rich color, loads of texture…and all of it water-wise and nearly work-free. The secret here is a limited plant palette, but lots of plants! If you want to try this style, remember that more is more–at least a dozen of each plant. (Groundcover between the pavers is Dymondia.) This is the recipe:

For more truly lovely water-wise plants visit our blog, Grow Beautifully. While you're there, be sure to sign up for our award-winning monthly newsletter, Plant Savvy.


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