In March 2013 we installed 1,200 plugs of Carex flacca – Blue Sedge by the pool area right outside our door. Ostensibly a beautiful, low-water alternative to grass that could take foot traffic, it did not live up to its billing. It used just 25% less water than turfgrass and was unsightly up close. Walking on all those clumps, while possible, was off-putting.
March 2014’s rationing was the nail in carex’s coffin. We considered installing mulch until the drought ended. Instead, because this area abutted our outdoor living room, we decided on drought-tolerant, drip-irrigated plants.
As these paired before and after photos show, the carex was replaced with:
- Sweeps of Agave ‘Blue Glow’, Agave ovatifolia ‘Frosty Blue’, Westringia fruticosa ‘Morning Light’, and Senecio Crassissimus
- Groundcover of Ceonythus griseus horizontalis ‘Diamond Heights’, Helichrysum petiolare, and Plectranthus Ciliatus ‘Drege’
- A graceful gravel path with Cherokee Creek flagstone
Water for this 1,000 square foot area plummeted 65%. The icing on the cake? The space is now delightful; the walkable path gets constant use; and relaxing by the pool, surrounded by a garden, is priceless. Imagine it after the plants fill in!
Photos courtesy of Pat Brodie and Buzz Hochberg