7 Great Water-Wise Plantings

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Looking to choose ornamentals that thrive in your region? Sunset Magazine writes on Plants for all climates.

LOW SPREADING: Ceanothus griseus ‘Kurt Zadnik’ is a colorful groundcover that grows 2 to 3 feet tall and 6 feet wide or more. Spring flowers are deep blue.

WATER-WISE AND FIRE-WISE: In a San Diego – area garden, spaces between boulders are filled with a deep pink rose-scented geranium, white nutmeg-scented geranium, and purple sweet-pea shrub.

WILDLIFE MAGNET: Coneflower (Echinacea) is a tough perennial with daisy-like flowers in pink, lavender-purple, yellow, orange, and white. Bees and butterflies love to visit the beehive-shaped centers for nectar; finches visit later for seeds.

EASY TO GROW: Horned poppy (Glaucium favum) produces rosettes of crinkly gray-green leaves topped by orange to bright yellow blooms.

BRIGHT BERRIES: Tall (usually to 10 feet), dense Toyon puts on a bright show in winter, when red berries envelop the shrub.

BOLD FOLIAGE: Clouds of lime- colored flowers on Euphorbia characias wulfenii contrast with chocolate-hued Aeonium aboreum ‘Zwartkop’ to create drama in a San Clemente, CA, garden.

SHAPE AND TEXTURE: Mediterranean-climate plants fill a garden border in a rain shadow along Washington’s Puget Sound. They include Aster ‘Mönch’ and Schizostylis coccinea ‘Oregon Sunset’, framed against ‘Gold Sword’ New Zealand flax. Behind is tall, airy Verbena bonariensis.

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