When many people think of “native” California yards or gardens, they think of large areas of hard brown surfaces, covered in dirt, gravel or decomposed granite, with a few sparse, spiky plants poking up. Those who attended the West Adams Native Plant Garden Tour this past Saturday, however, saw that nothing could be further from the truth. The tour, designed by the West Adams Heritage Association to show how native gardens and historic homes make perfect neighbors, presented a wide variety of both front and back gardens, which featured an even bigger variety of plants (both greenery and flowers), as well as an extremely varied palette of textures, shapes, colors, and other garden features. Oh, and poppies…lots of brightly blooming California poppies!
While most of the gardens maintained a strict adherence to “natives only,” a few others mixed in some non-native but still drought-tolerant plants with the larger collection of natives. And there were many other features to complement the plants, including swales, large rocks, small fountains or ponds, statuary, and even the kinds of rusty metal implements you might find slowly weathering in a midwestern meadow. In the end, the overall sense conveyed by the gardens was one of nearly infinite variety – whether in more natural, meadow-like settings, or more manicured and formal configurations. Here, for your enjoyment and landscaping inspiration, are some images from the event.