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Home highlight: great color is key

In an effort to destroy the misconception that all drought tolerant gardens have to be “deserty”, colorless, and full of tacky 1970’s lava rock, I am going to start a home highlight series showing off great local drought tolerant gardens. I’ll try to pack the series full of photos and great ideas for personalizing your xeriscape garden.The first in the series is a wonderful front garden in Northpark.

This garden is artful for so many reasons that it is difficult to find one to point out, so I’ll chose color. Many of the plantings were chosen for unusual foliage color: burgundy, ice blue, variegated, orange. The right and left sides of the yard are carefully balanced so that the burgundy/purple from the smoke tree on the right shows up in the colorful prickly pear cactus on the left. It is repeated again in the purple hopseed bush and the Tradescantia.

Another wonderful element in this garden is the use of detail: note how one stone in the dry streambed has the word “imagine” carved into it.

Sage Outdoor Designs is a San Diego landscape design firm. Kate
Wiseman, the Principal, has been a San Diego landscape designer
for the past ten years. Find out more at