When I bought this house, the fence along 201st looked like this.
What could possibly grow in an area exposed to the hot summer sun,
with fast draining sandy soil that did not hold water?
The answer is a Xeric Garden!

(By the way, this is a good time to point out
just how much higher the fence is compared to the street.
Even before trees and bushes were established,
no one could see into the backyard over this 100 foot long fence.)

So what the heck is a Xeric Garden?
And why should I care?

Every garden must be watered on a regular basis, if you want the plants to thrive and bloom, right?
Well, yes, usually. But a Xeric garden is different. It NEVER needs to be watered. How can this be?
The secret is knowing which plants can survive only on the natural rainfall.
In our area, the rain comes mostly during the winter, and summer often has no rain for months.
Just pick the plants that are happy with that arrangement,
and they thrive and bloom all summer long without a drop of rain!

You will see all sorts of different strategies.
Lamb's Ear has white soft leaves covered in felt that protect against evaporation.
Lupines have fat roots, like carrots, that hold enough water
to get through an entire dry summer while blooming like crazy.
Some send their roots deep, deep down to find water sources.
The ceanothus bush and smoke trees will actually die from root rot if you water during the summer!
Each plant has it's own unique strategy, but all of them are covered in blooms every summer, without a drop of water.

The following pictures have been taken over many summers,
but all of them show beautiful, healthy plants thriving and blooming in this Xeric garden.
And all without ever being watered.

Blue Ceanothus blooming. Reddish purple smoke trees.

Those are the steps to the side gate.

Purple globe flower. White lamb's Ear. Red Rose Campion. Orange day-lillies.
Nothing is ever watered, all summer long.

Light purple hardy geranium.

These Lupines planted themselves from seeds!

Both the bright red flowers in front (rose campion)
and bright magenta flowers in back (hardy geranium)
are prolific self-seeding plants.

The white flowers are Mock Orange, and have a delightful fragrance.

The Smoke Tree has a haunting beauty.

One of the last to bloom are the Black Eyed Susan.

Blooms are wrapping up by fall, but bushes turn yellow and red.

Besides being beautiful, these tall plants add extra privacy.

Even the hardy geraniums add to fall color.

Click here to continue the tour

Tour Chapters:
Beaver Pond
Outside Views
Entry and Dining Area
Great Room
Hall and North Bedrooms
South Bedroom and Laundry
Floor Plan and Aerial Photos
Xeric Garden
Backyard and Flowers
Contact and Other Details