( I apologize for publishing this earlier without the text!)

With the turf replacement rebates from San Diego Water District and the state, we are thinking of replacing our turf in the front yard with some lower-water use plants. Since I have a cottage garden, I need to find something in this style. I don’t want rocks like above, but I liked that fake stream, which we might put on our hill one day.

I recently went to the Master Gardener demo garden at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad for a look at different water-wise plants from different regions: Mediterranean, South African, Australian, native… it’s a good way to learn about different plants from different regions but not so much about landscaping.

Over the weekend, I went to Cuyamaca College Water Conservation Garden in Rancho San Diego (www.thegarden.org), which was tremendous and I recommend going.

Most of the pictures are from the Cuyamaca garden. I loved how natural everything was, yet there was still lots of color and lots of green. (The rock stream with the log “bridge” photo at the start of the blog is also shot there.)

Below are photos of plants that want to remember for my yard: African daisy and creeping germander below. My landscaping idea is to replace our turf with patchwork meadow of water-wise groundcovers. We will also add a much needed walk-way meandering through it. The trick will be to find ground covers that look good all year and don’t die down in the winter. I will need some evergreens and hearty heat-lovers.

A very cute bunny topiary with two other cute bunnies on display in the topiary garden.

I like the fern below. Once established, some types of ferns do not require much water. This is a Wooly Lip fern. There is a lantana in the front (purple ground cover).

The blue fescue grass in the lower left of the next photo will probably be one of the main grasses in my front yard meadow.  Then I think I will plant Santa Barbara Daisies and blue geranium incanum  with it. In the lower left part of the photo is snow in summer ground cover, but it doesn’t live for more than a year or so and it needs water. Maybe that’s why it is under the pink bush.

Below are pictures from the Flower Fields Master Gardener displays. The first picture is of native plants, and I like the Dudleya succulent in here this picture. To the left is a native huechera and in the front is a native penstemon. It’s a little sparse for my taste! (And I had that native penstemon and it died fast!)

The plant below with red flowers are  a type of protea from the South African garden–great for flower arrangements, too. These would be good on our hill. The next photo with the “bee hive” is of a herb garden with thyme, rosemary, etc.

The Cuyamaca Water Conservation Garden will have a Butterfly Event in May 9 and also the college has a spring garden festival coming up. They sell plants too.

As I am writing this, I realized I missed the meadow garden. I was on the way to see my horse, and I had three little girls with me so I was in too much of a hurry and a little distracted. Oh well, good excuse to go back!

If you know of any groundcovers that would look good in my meadow, let me know! I want ones that will look good in winter and summer.