Grass be gone #2

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.


carex2   carex   IMG_4122


pool10   pool2   pool9

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

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