Monrovia PLANT SAVVY
May 2015
Nothing says “welcome” like a gorgeous front garden. Whether a re-do or a spruce-up, you can add traffic-stopping WOW with statement-making plants, plenty of textures and inspired finishing touches. Follow the lead of Kellie Carlin Landscape Design who gave major oomph to a lattice fence with two espaliered pomegranate trees and then set water-wise euphorbias, flax lilyaloes and bulbine, a long-season bloomer, into colorful crushed gravel. The modern sculpture provides the height of a tree without the need for irrigation. Photo credit: Kellie Carlin

Colorful climbers

For a profusion of bright color, try the new Sun Parasol® mandevillas whose blooms have richer hues and last longer that other mandevillas. Plant this fast growing vine in hanging pots to trail down, or to climb up a trellis, arbor or fence. Learn more in this video. Another fabulous climber is Balboa Sunset® trumpet creeper, a red-flowered hummingbird magnet.

Growing trend: Windowboxes

Window boxes and planters are mini-gardens that add instant curb appeal. Dwarf varieties such as these Pixie Meadowbrite™ coneflowers are a good choice, as are herbs potted near the kitchen. Sage, rosemary, and lavender have similar light and water needs, so they do well combined into one window box. Organic Life’s step-by-step guide will get you off to a good start.

Trees for the front yard

Not all trees have to tower! Most yards benefit from smaller-scale trees that provide height and beauty without overwhelming the space and shading out other plants. There are many beautiful varieties such as Little Gem magnoliaEmperor I® Japanese mapleredbud, and double flowering cherry that remain under 25 to 30 feet at maturity. Desert willow  is super drought-tolerant.

Lush AND water-wise

Water-wise plants grow effortlessly in low-water conditions and many have serious flower-power. The new Katrina® African iris doesn’t set seed, so it blooms and blooms from spring through fall. Lantana, available in a rainbow of colors, is ideal for almost year-round blooming. Bougainvillea and cape honeysuckle are fast-growing vines that will cover a wall or trellis with color in no time. Find more here.

"Curve" appeal

Topiary potted at the front door is a classic, but consider using them in the landscape, too. Boxwood and juniper topiaries are easy-to-maintain and work in many garden styles, from formal to casual. Go for drama with a single specimen or mix with perennials such as grasses and iris for a more relaxed look. Here’s advice for choosing the best ones.

Stop and smell the...

Azaleas! Fragrant Bloom-A-Thon® varieties flower profusely from spring through first frost. Clad fences and arbors with pink jasmine or evergreen clematis, climbers with seductively sweet scents. Never could grow a gardenia? Ours are grafted onto hardy root stock that resists pests and is more tolerant of poor soils. And, citrus is memorably perfumed, indoors as well as out.