Original air date: October 2003
The front lawn. It’s an American icon, but in San Diego, it’s a real water hog. This month, Tom offers an alternative to the unused blanket of grass that better suits our climate.
October is a great time of year to install what is known as Mediterranean landscape. Tom takes us to a front garden in Solana Beach that had a Mediterranean makeover a year ago, and shows us what is possible with the Mediterranean plant palate.
Then we get to work on another property in Solana Beach where a front island is begging for attention. Tom shows us how to resist the urge to throw down turf by tempting us with a wide array of beautiful Mediterranean plants. He also gives us tips on setting up an irrigation plan for a low water-use garden.
The Mediterranean Climate in San Diego
San Diego County is one of five areas of the world that share a unique climate category known as Mediterranean -- warm, dry summers, mild, wet winters, and a relatively low annual rainfall. These conditions have given rise to a group of plants that are, by nature, drought-tolerant. The Mediterranean plant palate is large and diverse which allows us to plant landscapes that are beautiful and, at the same time, water-wise. (more)
Mediterranean Landscape Irrigation
The water-saving benefits of a Mediterranean landscape are lost if your irrigation system is not used correctly. Tom begins the transformation of our Solana Beach front island with an irrigation lesson for drought-tolerant landscapes. (more)
Tom finishes off our Solana Beach island by packing it full of Mediterranean plants that will thrive in San Diego. (more)
Tom's Plant Pick of the Month
Arbutus x 'Marina' - Strawberry Tree
This hybrid of the strawberry tree is gorgeous, with showy red bark, pink bell like flowers in the winter followed by red berries. It grows to a mature height of 20’-30’. It’s best grown as a multi-trunk to show off bark. It will tolerate drought well, and grows best in full sun with good drainage.