DIG THIS! SLO Landscape Strategies

Protea In The Water-Wise California Garden

Named after the legendary sea god, Proteus, who could changed his shape at will, the family of Proteas has a surprising diversity of form, flower, and foliage across the different species. From the trees, such as Grevilleas, to the shrubby Leucadendrons and the ground-covering Banksias, there is a Protea for every purpose in the garden, and it’s easy to see why they’re one of our favorite landscape ingredientsA Gardens by Gabriel protea pincushion collection

Their flowers are exotic looking and come in a warm spectrum of colors and extra-terrestrial forms. In fact, Proteaceae are cultivated commercially as cut flowers because of their striking forms and propensity to last for weeks to months in a vase.

All of the protea tribe appreciate well-drained soil and cool temperatures, so they grow to perfection on the fog-kissed dunes of the coast. They require minimal maintenance, and don’t want much water once established. If you’re looking for a few eye-catching plants to light up your garden in the winter time, the protea family is not to be missed!

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California Native Plants–Flora Delights!

California is known for its vast array of unique climates. Within a 5 hour driving radius you can be in the towering redwoods, the waves of the Pacific, the searing desert dunes, or the snow-capped sierra.  The eastern part of the US has 11 climate zones, while we westerners boast 24! The Central Coast is no exception, hosting a multitude of micro-climates from the elevations of warm North County to the fog belt bluffs of the coast.  Specialized communities of plants have adapted to these distinct environments over thousands of years, yielding plants are that built exactly for where we live. Native plants give our gardens a sense of connection to the indigenous surroundings, and make us feel at home. A well-planned native garden reflects our subtle seasonal changes, supports a wealth of wildlife, and contributes to the delicate ecological balance of our global environment.

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