Gardeners' Guild Inc.
The Guild Report:
June 2010   Is the drought over?
In This Issue
Point of View
Drought Resistant Planting
Ground Cover
Invasive Plants
Alternative to Turf Grass

Point of View
With Employee Owner
Jeanne Phelan
Jeanne Phelan Employee Owner

"I like planting with grasses and natives for their hardiness, low demand for water, maintenance and their natural beauty."

Jeanne is our Purchasing Administrator and Yoga teacher!  Every morning you will see her at 6:00 am leading our crews in stretching. 

This is what she says about the importance of a daily regimen of yoga. 

"Yoga builds health and self awareness through flexibility and strength"

See the video on our Sustainable Program!


In spite of record rainfall this year all water agencies are advising its customers to continue to use water wisely as there is uncertainty about water conditions next year.  Approximately 50% of our water is used for landscape irrigation and our population continues to grow, creating still more demand for water resources. 

The good news is that drought resistant planting can be beautiful!

See below for a small sampling of ideas and tips.

All the best,
Suzanne Harris
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Drought Resistant Planting

Can we have lush and beautiful landscapes and save water?

The answer - yes!  There are a myriad of drought resistant and native plants along with some cultural practices that will save water and provide enduring beauty.


The Bay Friendly Coalition has devised a list which we believe is a good basis for a water friendly garden or landscape:


  • Use California natives or plants adapted to a Mediterranean climate
  • Group plants by water needs
  • Minimize or eliminate lawn area
  • Install efficient irrigation
  • Water according to plant needs, not just on a fixed schedule
  • Use mulch in garden beds
  • Install a rainwater collection of gray water system.

We Recommend Perennials in Place of Annual Plantings
They are easy to maintain, usually require less water, and less waste.  See below for an example.

Beware of Invasive Plants!
The danger of these plants is that they spread rapidly and outcompete natives, degrade wildlife and increase fuel load.
Some examples are:
French Broom

Minimize Your Lawn
Substitute with beautiful no-mow Fescue, ground cover or pavers.


Lantana MontevidensisLantana Ground Cover
Lantana is a flowering plant used as ground cover.  It is easy to grow and looks great  throughout the year.


Replace Pampasgrass with:
Lindheimer's Muhly GrassMuhly Grass

Showy ornamental grass has blue-gray

foliage and flowering spikes in the fall and winter. Good in poor soils, it grows up to five feet tall.

No-mow Fescue

Low maintenance, environmentally friendly and has a soft, carpet feel to it.  It is a very rich green and appeals to people who like the look of a green lawn.

Property Owners and Managers
Are you looking to upgrade to Smart controller technology but afraid of the cost?  There are new products on the market that can upgrade your existing controller at a fraction of the price. 

ET Water has a new product that could be of interest.
Hydropoint - maker of WeatherTRAK is also a quality product.  Their website also has a wealth of information including a white papers with in depth information about this technology and its benefits.

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